# Transformer ratings and Safety effects of current on the body

TRANSFORMER RATINGS

When a transformer is to be used in a circuit, more than just the turns ratio must be considered. The voltage, current, and power-handling capabilities of the primary and secondary windings must also be considered.
The maximum voltage that can safely be applied to any winding is determined by the type and thickness of the insulation used. When a better (and thicker) insulation is used between the windings, a higher maximum voltage can be applied to the windings.
The maximum current that can be carried by a transformer winding is determined by the diameter of the wire used for the winding. If current is excessive in a winding, a higher than ordinary amount of power will be dissipated by the winding in the form of heat. This heat may be sufficiently high to cause the insulation around the wire to break down. If this happens, the transformer may be permanently damaged.
The power-handling capacity of a transformer is dependent upon its ability to dissipate heat. If the heat can safely be removed, the power-handling capacity of the transformer can be increased. This is sometimes accomplished by immersing the transformer in oil, or by the use of cooling fins. The power-handling capacity of a transformer is measured in either the volt-ampere unit or the watt unit.
Two common power generator frequencies (60 hertz and 400 hertz) have been mentioned, but the effect of varying frequency has not been discussed.
If the frequency applied to a transformer is increased, the inductive reactance of the windings is increased, causing a greater ac voltage drop across the windings and a lesser voltage drop across the load. However, an increase in the frequency applied to a transformer should not damage it. But, if the frequency applied to the transformer is decreased, the reactance of the windings is decreased and the current through the transformer winding is increased. If the decrease in frequency is enough, the resulting increase in current will damage the transformer. For this reason a transformer may be used at frequencies above its normal operating frequency, but not below that frequency.
Q.25 Why should a transformer designed for 400 hertz operation not be used for 60 hertz operation?

TYPES AND APPLICATIONS OF TRANSFORMERS

The transformer has many useful applications in an electrical circuit. A brief discussion of some of these applications will help you recognize the importance of the transformer in electricity and electronics.

POWER TRANSFORMERS

Power transformers are used to supply voltages to the various circuits in electrical equipment. These transformers have two or more windings wound on a laminated iron core. The number of windings and the turns per winding depend upon the voltages that the transformer is to supply. Their coefficient of coupling is 0.95 or more.
You can usually distinguish between the high-voltage and low-voltage windings in a power transformer by measuring the resistance. The low-voltage winding usually carries the higher current and therefore has the larger diameter wire. This means that its resistance is less than the resistance of the high-voltage winding, which normally carries less current and therefore may be constructed of smaller diameter wire.
So far you have learned about transformers that have but one secondary winding. The typical power transformer has several secondary windings, each providing a different voltage. The schematic symbol for a typical power-supply transformer is shown in figure 5-12. For any given voltage across the primary, the voltage across each of the secondary windings is determined by the number of turns in each secondary. A winding may be center-tapped like the secondary 350 volt winding shown in the figure. To center tap a winding means to connect a wire to the center of the coil, so that between this center tap and either terminal of the winding there appears one-half of the voltage developed across the entire winding. Most power transformers have colored leads so that it is easy to distinguish between the various windings to which they are connected. Carefully examine the figure which also illustrates the color code for a typical power transformer. Usually, red is used to indicate the high-voltage leads, but it is possible for a manufacturer to use some other color(s).
Figure 5-12. - Schematic diagram of a typical power transformer.

There are many types of power transformers. They range in size from the huge transformers weighing several tons-used in power substations of commercial power companies-to very small ones weighing as little as a few ounces-used in electronic equipment.

AUTOTRANSFORMERS

It is not necessary in a transformer for the primary and secondary to be separate and distinct windings. Figure 5-13 is a schematic diagram of what is known as an AUTOTRANSFORMER. Note that a single coil of wire is "tapped" to produce what is electrically a primary and secondary winding. The voltage across the secondary winding has the same relationship to the voltage across the primary that it would have if they were two distinct windings. The movable tap in the secondary is used to select a value of output voltage, either higher or lower than E p, within the range of the transformer. That is, when the tap is at point A, Es is less than Ep; when the tap is at point B, Es is greater than E p.
Figure 5-13. - Schematic diagram of an autotransformer.

AUDIO-FREQUENCY TRANSFORMERS

Audio-frequency (af) transformers are used in af circuits as coupling devices. Audio-frequency transformers are designed to operate at frequencies in the audio frequency spectrum (generally considered to be 15 Hz to 20kHz).
They consist of a primary and a secondary winding wound on a laminated iron or steel core. Because these transformers are subjected to higher frequencies than are power transformers, special grades of steel such as silicon steel or special alloys of iron that have a very low hysteresis loss must be used for core material. These transformers usually have a greater number of turns in the secondary than in the primary; common step-up ratios being 1 to 2 or 1 to 4. With audio transformers the impedance of the primary and secondary windings is as important as the ratio of turns, since the transformer selected should have its impedance match the circuits to which it is connected.

Radio-frequency (rf) transformers are used to couple circuits to which frequencies above 20,000 Hz are applied. The windings are wound on a tube of nonmagnetic material, have a special powdered-iron core, or contain only air as the core material. In standard broadcast radio receivers, they operate in a frequency range of from 530 kHz to 1550 kHz. In a short-wave receiver, rf transformers are subjected to frequencies up to about 20 MHz - in radar, up to and even above 200 MHz.

IMPEDANCE-MATCHING TRANSFORMERS

For maximum or optimum transfer of power between two circuits, it is necessary for the impedance of one circuit to be matched to that of the other circuit. One common impedance-matching device is the transformer.
To obtain proper matching, you must use a transformer having the correct turns ratio. The number of turns on the primary and secondary windings and the impedance of the transformer have the following mathematical relationship

Because of this ability to match impedances, the impedance-matching transformer is widely used in electronic equipment.
Q.26 List five different types of transformers according to their applications Q.27 The leads to the primary and to the high-voltage secondary windings of a power transformer usually are of what color?

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SAFETY EFFECTS OF CURRENT ON THE BODY
Before learning safety precautions, you should look at some of the possible effects of electrical current on the human body. The following table lists some of the probable effects of electrical current on the human body.

Note in the above chart that a current as low as 4 mA can be expected to cause a reflex action in the victim, usually causing the victim to jump away from the wire or other component supplying the current. While the current should produce nothing more than a tingle of the skin, the quick action of trying to get away from the source of this irritation could produce other effects (such as broken limbs or even death if a severe enough blow was received at a vital spot by the shock victim).
It is important for you to recognize that the resistance of the human body cannot be relied upon to prevent a fatal shock from a voltage as low as 115 volts or even less. Fatalities caused by human contact with 30 volts have been recorded. Tests have shown that body resistance under unfavorable conditions may be as low as 300 ohms, and possibly as low as 100 ohms (from temple to temple) if the skin is broken. Generally direct current is not considered as dangerous as an equal value of alternating current. This is evidenced by the fact that reasonably safe "let-go currents" for 60 hertz, alternating current, are 9.0 milliamperes for men and 6.0 milliamperes for women, while the corresponding values for direct current are 62.0 milliamperes for men and 41.0 milliamperes for women. Remember, the above table is a fist of probable effects. The actual severity of effects will depend on such things as the physical condition of the work area, the physiological condition and resistance of the body, and the area of the body through which the current flows. Thus, based on the above information, you MUST consider every voltage as being dangerous.

ELECTRIC SHOCK

Electric shock is a jarring, shaking sensation you receive from contact with electricity. You usually feel like you have received a sudden blow. If the voltage and resulting current are sufficiently high, you may become unconscious. Severe burns may appear on your skin at the place of contact; muscular spasms may occur, perhaps causing you to clasp the apparatus or wire which caused the shock and be unable to turn it loose.

RESCUE AND CARE OF SHOCK VICTIMS

The following procedures are recommended for rescue and care of electric shock victims:
Remove the victim from electrical contact at once, but DO NOT endanger yourself. You can do this by:

• Throwing the switch if it is nearby
• Cutting the cable or wires to the apparatus, using an ax with a wooden handle while taking care to protect your eyes from the flash when the wires are severed
• Using a dry stick, rope, belt, coat, blanket, shirt or any other nonconductor of electricity, to drag or push the victim to safety

Determine whether the victim is breathing. If the victim is not breathing, you must apply artificial ventilation (respiration) without delay, even though the victim may appear to be lifeless. DO NOT STOP ARTIFICIAL

RESPIRATION UNTIL MEDICAL AUTHORITY PRONOUNCES THE VICTIM DEAD.

Lay the victim face up. The feet should be about 12 inches higher than the head. Chest or head injuries require the head to be slightly elevated. If there is vomiting or if facial injuries have occurred which cause bleeding into the throat, the victim should be placed on the stomach with the head turned to one side and 6 to 12 inches lower than the feet.
Keep the victim warm. The injured person's body heat must be conserved. Keep the victim covered with one or more blankets, depending on the weather and the person's exposure to the elements. Artificial means of warming, such as hot water bottles should not be used.
Drugs, food, and liquids should not be administered if medical attention will be available within a short time. If necessary, liquids may be administered. Small amounts of warm salt water, tea or coffee should be used. Alcohol, opiates, and other depressant substances must never be administered.
Send for medical personnel (a doctor if available) at once, but do NOT under any circumstances leave the victim until medical help arrives.

For complete coverage of administering artificial respiration, and on treatment of burn and shock victims, refer to Standard First Aid Training Course, NAVEDTRA 10081 (Series).
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR PREVENTING ELECTRIC SHOCK
You must observe the following safety precautions when working on electrical equipment:

• Never work alone. Another person may save your life if you receive an electric shock.
• Work on energized circuits ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
• Power should be tagged out, using approved tagout procedures, at the nearest source of electricity.
• Stand on an approved insulating material, such as a rubber mat.
• Discharge power capacitors before working on deenergized equipment. Remember, a capacitor is an electrical power storage device.
• When you must work on an energized circuit, wear rubber gloves and cover as much of your body as practical with an insulating material
(such as shirt sleeves). This is especially important when you are working in a warm space where sweating may occur.
• Deenergize equipment prior to hooking up or removing test equipment.
• Work with only one hand inside the equipment. Keep the other hand clear of all obstacles that may provide a path, such as a ground, for current to flow.
• Wear safety goggles. Sparks could damage your eyes, as could the cooling liquids in some components such as transformers should they overheat and explode.
• Keep a cool head and think about the possible consequences before performing any action. Carelessness is the cause of most accidents.
• Remember the best technician is NOT necessarily the fastest one, but the one who will be on the job tomorrow.

Q.28 What is the cause of most accidents? Q.29 Before working on electrical equipment containing capacitors, what should you do to the capacitors? Q.30 When working on electrical equipment, why should you use only one hand?

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