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Losses in transformers

Teacher Angelo Baggini


Losses in transformers decide about their energy performance and although transformers are yet efficient devices the potential for energy saving is nearly 50% when considering all operating units globally. The focus will be energy losses in power transformers with particular reference to medium and low voltage units. Selecting the value of losses is a decision mainly of economic nature because losses are the main operational cost and higher the cost of electrical energy, higher the importance of losses. In this context it’s important to understand that:

  • No-load losses depend mostly on construction methods of the magnetic core (type of material and technology) and such operating conditions as magnetic induction, voltage and frequency at the same time they are independent of the load
  • The load losses depend on the characteristics of the windings as well as on the load

In principle, lower the losses, more benefits from the transformer, but the life cycle cost analysis is generally carried out by determining the capitalized cost of the unit which consists of:

  • The capitalized cost of the installed transformer (transformer cost and cost of installation)
  • The capitalized cost of the losses.

The analysis is going to determine the trend of losses over the life of the transformer, depending on the type of intended use (load chart, periods without load and out of service, future load growth), combining losses with the cost of energy which depend on the type of supply or generation cost. The course delivers methodology necessary to perform such life cycle cost analysis.

Target Audience

Users of transformers, engineers, utility economists

Duration (hours)