Electical Transformer Definition
A transformer is an electrical device that transfers electrical energy between two or more circuits through electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic induction produces an electromotive force across a conductor which is exposed to time varying magnetic fields. Commonly, transformers are used to increase or decrease the voltages of alternating current in electric power applications.
A varying current in the transformer's primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer core and a varying magnetic field impinging on the transformer's secondary winding. This varying magnetic field at the secondary winding induces a varying electromotive force (EMF) or voltage in the secondary winding due to electromagnetic induction.
Making use of Faraday's Law (discovered in 1831) in conjunction with high magnetic permeability core properties, transformers can thus be designed to efficiently change AC voltages from one voltage level to another within power networks.
Since the invention of the first constant potential transformer in 1885, transformers have become essential for the transmission, distribution, and utilization of alternating current electrical energy.
A wide range of transformer designs are encountered in electronic and electric power applications. Transformers range in size from RF transformers less than a cubic centimeter in volume to units interconnecting the power grid weighing hundreds of tons.