How Is Heat Managed Within a Power Transformer?

The power transformer is one of the most crucial pieces of substation equipment we as a society rely on today. It provides a much-needed energy source and a necessary means of transmitting electrical power between generators and distribution primary circuits. Because power transformers are so important, it’s imperative that they’re able to operate at full capacity and not fall victim to possibilities like overheating.

But with all of the energy it’s moving through it at any given time, this can be difficult to ensure. Read on to learn how power line transformers regulate their temperatures in an effective and efficient way.

Different Types of Power Line Transformers

Power Transformer

You might not be aware of this but there are actually two main types of power transformers: dry-type transformers and oil immersed type transformers.

A dry-type transformer is one that doesn’t use liquid to dissipate excess heat. On the other hand, an oil immersed type is a transformer where the core and coils are immersed in oil to help meet temperature requirements. Each type of transformer uses one of a few different types of cooling methods.

Cooling Methods for Power Transformers

When you have a dry-type transformer, obviously no liquids are involved. Therefore the two main kinds of heat regulation are air-natural cooling and air-forced cooling. 

As the name suggests, with air-natural cooling, the natural circulation of the surrounding air gets used to cool the transformer. When it comes to air-forced cooling, a fan gets used to continuously filter cool air through to the core of the transformer.

With oil immersed transformers, there are a few more heat regulation options:

  1. Oil Forced Air Forced Cooling
  2. Oil Forced Water Forced Cooling
  3. Oil Natural Air Natural Cooling
  4. Oil Natural Air Forced Cooling

Oil forced air forced cooling sees heated oil circulated from the top of the transformer tank to a heat exchanger. A blast of air is forced through the heat exchanger using a fan. In oil forced water forced cooling, pressurized water gets used to cool down the oil. 

Oil natural air natural cooling is similar to air-natural cooling. Air from the atmosphere cools the oil in the core. Then, with oil natural air forced cooling, heated oil circulates from the top of the transformer tank to a heat exchanger, where a blast of air is forced through.

Of course, these methods have different applications and should be used in different situations. If you’re looking for safe and effective ways to cool a power transformer, then you’ll probably choose one of the above options.

The Anatomy of a Power Transformer

The power transformer is a relatively simple machine, providing it’s allowed to operate in safe conditions. Making sure it doesn’t overheat is imperative. Otherwise, outages and accidents can occur.

Looking for more information on transformers? We’ve got all the resources you need. Get in touch with a member of our team today or call us at (877) 324-0909.