Transformers are available in different types based on build, design, and installation requirements among other factors. For this reason, finding one that's suitable for your work will require evaluation of some factors. Here are some essential things you need to know about transformers when buying or renting one.
Number of Phases Needed
Know the number of phases required when selecting a transformer. When connecting a transformer, you may be required to connect them to single-phase or 3-phase power sources and loads. If you make the wrong connections, you might damage your equipment and possibly cause electrical injuries. The number of the phases that you need will depend on the type of equipment that you are using. In most cases, many households will require only the single-phase connection. Single-phase is also ideal for small machines. For larger machines, businesses, or industries, a 3-phase transformer should be your ideal choice.
Voltage and Amperage
When buying or renting a transformer, you need to have information on the primary/input voltage as well as the secondary/output voltage. This means that you need to evaluate your incoming power supply as well as the voltage of the appliances or equipment that you are using.
Amperage is also important and for transformers, it's usually measured in kilovolt amperes (kVA). Therefore, when choosing a transformer, pay careful attention to the kVA value or rating. Amperage will depend on the size and nature of the load. The load includes things such as lights and motors. You need to find out the maximum load that's required first then use the information to choose your transformer. This is because the transformer's kVA has to be greater or equal to that of the load for it to handle the current demands or requirements as well as accommodate any future expansions.
Different types of transformers are suited for different uses. For instance, if you'd like to reduce the effects of the harmonic currents from loads such as electric discharge lighting, induction heating appliances or equipment, and mainframe computer loads, you should go for K-Factor transformers. Autotransformers are a cheaper type of transformer but have better regulation and greater efficiency. The bottom line is, you want something that's specifically suited to your needs so that you get the most favourable results.
Do you want an indoor or outdoor transformer? What is the prevailing temperature of the area? Will it be used in a hazardous environment? Outdoor transformers are usually liquid-filled for protection of the winding from the outdoor elements. Ask for the operating temperatures of the transformer as well when selecting one. Last, find out any regulations in place concerning transformers operating in hazardous areas.
In order to make an even more informed decision about this power equipment, you can work with your electrician especially when evaluating things such as number of phases, voltage, amperage, and purpose.