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The Importance Of Transformer Overcurrent Protection

The Importance Of Transformer Overcurrent Protection

Considering the essential role a transformer plays in any equipment or system, ensuring it has the necessary transformer overcurrent protection in the design is always a critical determining factor. This is true on large power mains as well as for three-phase and single-phase transformers used in industrial types of equipment and machines as well as office and household electronics.

What is Overcurrent?

The most common reason to include transformer overcurrent protection is power surges. This is often a direct result of lightning, and can dramatically spike power to a system and result in total failure of circuits and electronic equipment. Other common issues are overheating of the transformer, short circuits in the system, and incorrectly functioning switches.

All transformers are designed to operate with specific electric voltage ranges. A transformer can be used to step up or step down the voltage from the main to the equipment or machine, and the protection is on the primary or the intake side of the transformer. This is essential to reduce the overcurrent from transmitting through to increased voltage on the secondary side.

Secondary Side Protection

There are also methods to add transformer overcurrent protection to the secondary side of the transformer. Overcurrent on the secondary side has a direct negative impact on the equipment and machines, costing companies in both downtime and replacement or repair.

The more sensitive and essential the equipment is, the more practical it is to include overcurrent protection on both sides of the transformer. In some instances, the overcurrent protection on the secondary side can also be included with fuses on the electronic equipment that trip before the power surge or overcurrent reaches the specific panelboard or another type of component.

It is always beneficial to consider a custom transformer if overcurrent protection is in question. Talking to the transformer manufacturer can also ensure the correct level of protection is provided when choosing a standard transformer for the application.

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