Selecting a Transformer for Your Class Project

by | Feb 2, 2017 | Electric Motors

Transformers are machines that move power from one circuit to another without a change in frequency at different voltage levels. Lacking moving parts, a transformer is what is termed a “static device.” Transformer size is very important and is determined by the device’s KVA (Kilovolt Amperes) rating and also the type of transformer. It’s also best to use a well-known brand like Products Unlimited transformer.

  • The KVA load will determine the size of the transformer you need.
  • The voltage needed to operate the load is called secondary voltage.
  • Primary voltage is the voltage from the source.
  • You need to account for starting current, not just what it takes to operate the device.

For instance, you have a 120 volt engine with 5 amperes of load.

120V x 5A = 600VA

Account for 125 percent start factor for the load.

600VA x 1.25 = 750VA

You would need – at minimum – a 750VA Products Unlimited transformer.

Adult Supervision – Yes!

No matter how advanced a student, adult supervision is an essential element in any experiments or projects that involve electricity and electrical equipment. You should never work carelessly around any electrical current – even household current can kill under the right circumstances. You should always:

  • Take off jewelry and keys.
  • Wear flame resistant jacket, shirt, and pants.
  • Wear leather work boots.
  • Wear a hard hat and safety glasses or a switching hood.
  • Wear rubber insulating gloves and use only insulated hand tools.
  • Read about electrical safety procedures.

Learning projects should be fun, but you need to be fully informed of how to stay safe, and exactly follow procedures to stay that way. It’s not only for your protection, but the protection of people and even the building around you. Even if you’re not working at a paid job, follow OSHA guidelines!

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