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Making a solid (steel) investment

03 September 2018

Transformers are among the most basic electrical devices in a power distribution system. Essentially, it's a chunk of iron wrapped with wire.

If you thought that, then you'd be wrong.

Okay, yes, it's still a block of iron with wire wound around it, but there are a huge number of factors which go into building a transformer which make it such a dynamic essential to a wide variety of applications. The design of a transformer can be hugely complicated considering the amount of power it has to transform, the properties of the power going in and coming out, environmental factors, efficiency issues, sizing requirements, availability of materials and, subsequently, the amount all this will cost before the first turn of wire makes it around a steel core.

There are two major factors to the cost of a transformer: what you pay for it, and the cost to run it. A well-built, efficient unit with low losses will keep the running cost of the transformer to a minimum and can be defined by its loss rating. But to build a high efficiency transformer, you need the best quality materials which will come at a premium – so in keeping running costs down, you must be prepared to make sacrifices to your initial outlay.

Read the full article in the September issue of DPA

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