Basics of Transformer Ratings

Mar 03,2017
 Basics of Transformer Ratings

Transformers are rated using several methods. Two common ratings of transformers include the:

(1) KVA rating

(2) Impedance rating

KVA Rating

KVA ratings of transformers are obtained by simply multiplying the current times the voltage. The result is a rating in VA or volt amperes. Small transformers are rated in VA. As size increases, the ratings are adjusted accordingly to KVA (kilovolt amperes) or MVA (megavolt amperes)

1KVA = 1,000VA or volt amperes

1MVA = 1,000,000VA

Power transformers are defined as transformers rated 500 kVA and larger. Transformers smaller than 500 kVA are generally called distribution transformers.

Impedance Rating

The impedance of a transformer is the total opposition offered to an alternating current. When referring to impedance of a transformer, it is the equivalent impedance that is meant. To determine the equivalent impedance of a transformer, one of the windings, usually the low voltage winding is short circuited while just enough voltage is applied to the other winding to create full load current in the short circuited winding. This voltage is known as the impedance voltage.

Impedance rating is a characteristic of large power and distribution transformers. The transformer impedance value is often given in percent on the nameplate

It means that the voltage drop due to the impedance is expressed as a percent of rated voltage.

For example, suppose the impedance rating of a 2400V/240V transformer with full load current of 90 amps is given as 3%.

Voltage drop due to impedance with low voltage winding short circuited

= 0.03 X 2400 = 72volts

This means there would be a 72-volt drop in the high-voltage winding at full load due to losses in the windings and core. Only 1 or 2% of the losses are due to the core; about 98% are due to the winding impedance.