Types of Transformers

Transformers are available in many different shapes and sizes. Some of the more common types include the power transformer, audio transformer, IF (intermediate-frequency) transformer, and RF (radiofrequency) transformer. Each is designed to fulfill a particular requirement in a specific area of application. The symbols for some of the basic types of transformers are shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1: Transformer symbols.
The method of construction varies from one transformer to another. Two of the many different ways in which the primary and secondary coils can be wound around an iron core are shown in Fig. 2. In either case, the core is made of laminated sheets of ferromagnetic material separated by an insulator to reduce the eddy current losses. The sheets themselves will also contain a small percentage of silicon to increase the electrical resistivity of the material and further reduce the eddy current losses.
Fig. 2: Types of ferromagnetic core construction.

Split Bobbin Transformer

A variation of the core-type transformer know as split bobbin appears in Fig. 3. This transformer is designed for low-profile (the 2.5-VA size has a maximum height of only 0.65 in.) applications in power, control, and instrumentation applications. There are actually two transformers on the same core, with the primary and secondary of each wound side by side.
Split bobbin, low-profile power transformer
Fig. 3: Split bobbin, low-profile power transformer.
The schematic representation appears in the same figure. Each set of terminals on the left can accept 115 V at 50 or 60 Hz, whereas each side of the output will provide 230 V at the same frequency. Note the dot convention, as described earlier in the chapter.


The autotransformer [Fig. 4(b)] is a type of power transformer that, instead of employing the two-circuit principle (complete isolation between coils), has one winding common to both the input and the output circuits.
Two-circuit transformerautotransformer
Fig. 4: (a) Two-circuit transformer; (b) autotransformer.
The induced voltages are related to the turns ratio in the same manner as that described for the two-circuit transformer. If the proper connection is used, a two-circuit power transformer can be employed as an autotransformer. The advantage of using it as an autotransformer is that a larger apparent power can be transformed. This can be demonstrated by the two-circuit transformer of Fig. 4(a), shown in Fig. 4(b) as an autotransformer.
For the two-circuit transformer, note that
$$S = ( {1 \over 20}A)(120 V) = 6 VA$$
whereas for the autotransformer, $$S = (1 {1 \over 20}A)(120 V) = 126 VA$$, which is many times that of the two-circuit transformer. Note also that the current and voltage of each coil are the same as those for the two-circuit configuration. The disadvantage of the autotransformer is obvious: loss of the isolation between the primary and secondary circuits.

Pulse Transformer

A pulse transformer designed for printed-circuit applications where high-amplitude, long-duration pulses must be transferred without saturation appears in Fig. 5. Turns ratios are available from 1: 1 to 5: 1 at maximum line voltages of 240 V rms at 60 Hz.
Pulse transformers
Fig. 5: Pulse transformers.
The upper unit is for printed-circuit applications with isolated dual primaries, whereas the lower unit is the bobbin variety with a single primary winding.