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31156116 Sound Energy to Electrical Energy

31156116 Sound Energy to Electrical Energy

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Publicado porMani Kandan

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Published by: Mani Kandan on Oct 07, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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  • Types Of Speakers:
  • Coupling by mutual induction
  • The universal electromotive force (EMF) equation
  • Operation at different frequencies
  • Classifications
  • Transformer losses
  • Stray losses
  • Cooling system
  • Construction
  • A) Autotransformers
  • B) Constant voltage transformer (ferro-resonance)
  • C) Polyphase transformers
  • D) Resonant transformers
  • E) Instrument transformers
  • Uses of transformers
  • Types of transformers
  • Limitations
  • Diode Bridge
  • Schematic of a diode bridge
  • Basic operation
  • How Bridge Rectifier works
  • Polarity
  • Safety
  • Electrical behavior of electrolytics
  • Capacitance
  • Variants
  • An electrolytic capacitors come in several types:
  • Electrolytic double-layer capacitors
  • Potentiometer
  • VU meter
  • How to use a VU meter



We would like to give our sincere thanks to the people who are directly or indirectly attached in completion of our project “ELECTRICAL ENRGY THROUGH SOUND” during the academic year 2009-2010.

We express our deep obligation to “Mr. FAHEEMULLAH, H.O.D. of ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING” for his kind initiation, invaluable guidance and keen interest throughout the project work, and preparation of this report. We are also grateful to “Mr. SHAHEBAN” Electrical Engineering Department for his worthy help in progressing the work. Last but not least we wish to express our sincere thanks to all our professors, friends and colleagues who helped us directly or indirectly in the completion of this project.


1 Construction

• • • • • • • •

2 Polarity 3 Safety 4 Electrical behavior of electrolytics 5 Capacitance 6 Variants 7 See also 8 External links References

This project is to construct a Sound Battery (generation of electrical energy by sound energy) and to study the current variation

by different sound frequencies in front of speaker working as microphone under Faraday’s Law. The main idea behind this project is that Now day’s there are so many vehicles running on the road’s with which there is a lot’s of noise pollution on the road’s. Government has made many rules to stop this but still it is same as before. We have try to solve this problem, but we also cannot get the solution for this. So finally we decided that if we cannot stop this noise pollution, we can take use of this noise pollution in our daily life by generating electricity with it. The project appears to be very simple (and it is ), but the important basic electronic operation are very profound. Virtually every electronic circuit in our house uses one or more of the concepts we are about to consider. In brief the circuit operation is as follows. Loud sounds received by the speaker generate AC voltage. The transformer steps these AC voltages up to a higher level so that may be more effective in causing a meter reading. The diode (bridge rectifier) changes the AC voltage into DC voltage which is required to drive the meter or LED (light emmiting diode). The meter uses the DC current to move the pointer (needle) of the meter so that we can see the effect of the generated electrical energy.


2. this consists of some components which are :1. Speaker Transformer (step up) Diode (bridge rectifier) 4. Electrolytic capacitor Micro Volt Meter or LED SPEAKER . 5.The project is basically used to generation of electrical energy by sound energy. 3.

Inside your ear is a very thin piece of skin called the eardrum. it pushes out on the surrounding air particles on that side. is an electromechanical transducer which converts an electrical signal into sound. . When the bell flexes away. The term loudspeaker is used to refer to both the device itself.a bell. let's look at a simple vibrating object -. An object produces sound when it vibrates in air (sound can also travel through liquids and solids. but air is the transmission medium when we listen to speakers). it pulls in on these surrounding air particles. you first need to understand how sound works. which collide with the particles in front of them and so on. . your brain interprets the vibrations as sound -that's how you hear.rapidly. Rapid changes in air pressure are the most common thing to vibrate your eardrum. or speaker. carrying the pulse of the vibration through the air as a traveling disturbance. the metal vibrates -. When you ring a bell. These air particles then collide with the particles in front of them. it moves the air particles around it. When it flexes out on one side. When something vibrates. and a complete system consisting of one or more loudspeaker drivers (as the individual units are often called) in an enclosure. which creates another drop in pressure that pulls in particles that are even farther out and so on. To see how this works. creating a drop in pressure that pulls in on more surrounding air particles.A loudspeaker.flexes in and out -. When your eardrum vibrates. Those air particles in turn move the air particles around them. Sound Basics To understand what and how speakers work. This decreasing of pressure is called rarefaction.

• A microphone works something like our ears. The signal from a microphone gets encoded on a tape or CD as an electrical signal.This is the wave's amplitude. a vibrating object sends a wave of pressure fluctuation through the atmosphere. When the fluctuation wave reaches your ear. When you play this signal back on your stereo. When there are fewer fluctuations in a period of time. In the next section.A higher wave frequency simply means that the air pressure fluctuates faster. it vibrates the eardrum back and forth. Our brain interprets this motion as sound. Differentiating Sound We hear different sounds from different vibrating objects because of variations in: Sound-wave frequency .In this way. We hear this as a higher pitch. Making Sound . • Air-pressure level . the amplifier sends it to the speaker. which determines how loud the sound is. which re-interprets it into physical vibrations. we'll see how the speaker accomplishes this. It has a diaphragm that is vibrated by sound waves in an area. the pitch is lower. Good speakers are optimized to produce extremely accurate fluctuations in air pressure. just like the ones originally picked up by the microphone. Sound waves with greater amplitudes move our ear drums more. and we register this sensation as a higher volume.

etc. This vibrates the air in front of the speaker. We also learned that microphones translate sound waves into electrical signals. When the electromagnet's polar orientation switches. which represents the original sound wave. LPs.interact with each other as any two magnets do. like a piston.In the last section. dictates the rate and distance that the voice coil moves. When the coil moves. LP. In this way. creating sound waves.the electromagnet and the permanent magnet -. CD. which can be encoded onto CDs. the alternating current constantly reverses the magnetic forces between the voice coil and the permanent magnet. the speaker produces nearly the same vibrations that the microphone originally recorded and encoded on a tape. so does the direction of repulsion and attraction. The electrical audio signal can also be interpreted as a wave. we saw that sound travels in waves of air pressure fluctuation. The positive end of the electromagnet is attracted to the negative pole of the permanent magnetic field. A speaker is essentially the final translation machine -. etc.the reverse of the microphone. and the negative pole of the electromagnet is repelled by the permanent magnet's negative pole. When everything is working as it should. tapes. This pushes the coil back and forth rapidly. These two magnets -. Players convert this stored information back into an electric current for use in the stereo system. It takes the electrical signal and translates it back into physical vibrations to create sound waves. The frequency and amplitude of this wave. . and that we hear sounds differently depending on the frequency and amplitude of these waves. it pushes and pulls on the speaker cone. Making Sound: Magnets So how does the fluctuation make the speaker coil move back and forth? The electromagnet is positioned in a constant magnetic field created by a permanent magnet.

and we'll look at the main driver types used in loudspeakers. usually wrapped around a piece of magnetic metal.This. the amplifier is constantly switching the electrical signal. Different driver sizes are better suited for certain frequency ranges. Since electrons always flow in the same direction between positively charged particles and negatively charged particles. If you've ever hooked up a stereo system.and it is attracted to iron objects. This alternating current causes the polar orientation of the electromagnet to reverse itself many times a second.a "north" end and and a "south" end -. . we'll find out how speakers divide up the frequency range. The field acts just like the magnetic field around a permanent magnet: It has a polar orientation -. If you reverse the flow of the current. the north and south ends of the electromagnet switch. In the next section. such as iron. This is exactly what a stereo signal does -. Essentially. But unlike a permanent magnet.typically a black one and a red one.it constantly reverses the flow of electricity. determines the frequency and amplitude of the sound waves produced by the diaphragm. in an electromagnet you can alter the orientation of the poles. you know that an electromagnet is a coil of wire. then you know that there are two output wires for each speaker -. Running electrical current through the wire creates a magnetic field around the coil. Making Sound: Voice Coil The voice coil is a basic electromagnet. in turn. loudspeaker units typically divide a wide frequency range among multiple drivers. magnetizing the metal it is wrapped around. For this reason. the current going through the speaker moves one way and then reverses and flows the other way. fluctuating between a positive charge and a negative charge on the red wire and black wire.

usually from about somewhere around 3-5 kHz up to 20 kHz and beyond. A tweeter is a driver capable of reproducing the higher end of the audio spectrum. typically from 200 Hz to about 45 kHz. others only work up to 1 kHz or less. Whilst some woofers can cover the audio band from bass to 3 kHz. Midranges are used when the other drivers are incapable of adequately covering the mid audio range.Types Of Speakers: A woofer is a driver capable of reproducing low (bass) frequencies. also called a squawker. . The usable frequency range varies widely according to design. is designed to cover the middle of the audio spectrum. A mid-range speaker. Some woofers are capable of very deep bass performance in the proper enclosure. while others become unusable below 50 or 60 Hz.

yet transformer designs and materials continue to be improved.Transformer A transformer is an electrical device that transfers energy from one circuit to another by magnetic coupling. All operate with the same basic principles and with many similarities in their parts. a magnetic core to concentrate magnetic flux. The hypothetical ideal transformer has no resistance in its coils. and all flux linking the primary winding also links the secondary winding. which induces a voltage in the other windings. Energy is coupled between the windings by the time varying magnetic flux that passes through (links) both . in most cases. In this case. A simple transformer consists of two electrical conductors called the primary winding and the secondary winding. the core requires negligible magnemotive force to sustain flux. The transformer is one of the simplest of electrical devices. Coupling by mutual induction The principles of the transformer are illustrated by consideration of a hypothetical ideal transformer. without requiring relative motion between its parts. A changing voltage applied to one winding creates a time-varying magnetic flux in the core. A transformer comprises two or more coupled windings. Transformers come in a range of sizes from a thumbnail-sized coupling transformer hidden inside a stage microphone to huge gigawatt units used to interconnect large portions of national power grids. and.

induces a back electromotive force (EMF) in opposition to . Just as an electromotive force (EMF) drives current around an electric circuit. a current will flow in it producing a magnetomotive force (MMF). the voltage induced across the primary winding is proportional to the rate of change of flux: and where vP and vS are the voltages across the primary winding and secondary winding. is an example of electromagnetic induction. The primary MMF produces a varying magnetic flux in the core. In accordance with Faraday's law of induction. with an open circuit secondary winding.primary and secondary windings. . The effect. a voltage is induced in the neighboring coil. and. Whenever the amount of current in a coil changes. If a time-varying voltage is applied to the primary winding of turns. called mutual inductance. so MMF tries to drive magnetic flux through a magnetic circuit.

Hence in an ideal transformer. For example. the primary and secondary windings are perfectly coupled. Substituting and solving for the voltages shows that: where vp and vs are voltages across primary and secondary. or equivalently. dΦP / dt and dΦS / dt are the derivatives of the flux with respect to time of the primary and secondary windings. the voltage per turn is the same for both windings. In this way. . suppose a power of 50 watts is supplied to a resistive load from a transformer with a turns ratio of 25:2. In addition. (See note 1) Now with transformer change: . In the hypothetical ideal transformer. the ratio of the primary and secondary voltages is equal to the ratio of the number of turns in their windings. the flux density will always stay the same as long as the primary voltage is steady. Since the reduced flux reduces the EMF induced in the primary winding. or alternatively. The EMF in the secondary winding will cause current to flow in a secondary circuit. Np and Ns are the numbers of turns in the primary and secondary. P = EI (power = electromotive force × current) 50 W = 2 V × 25 A in the primary circuit if the load is a resistive load. The ratio of the currents in the primary and secondary circuits is inversely proportional to the turns ratio. The MMF produced by current in the secondary winding opposes the MMF of the primary winding and so tends to cancel the flux in the core. The resulting increase in MMF due to the primary current offsets the effect of the opposing secondary MMF. increased current flows in the primary circuit. the electrical energy fed into the primary winding is delivered to the secondary winding.NP and NS are the numbers of turns in the primary winding and secondary winding. respectively.

In a practical transformer. magnetic flux density and core cross-sectional area is given by the universal emf equation (from Faraday's law): where E is the sinusoidal rms or root mean square voltage of the winding. the relationship for either winding between its number of turns. The universal electromotive force (EMF) equation If the flux in the core is sinusoidal. this quantity does not change and so cannot induce a voltage in the secondary winding. it produces a steady MMF and so steady flux in the core. Operation at different frequencies . Other consistent systems of units can be used with the appropriate conversions in the equation. N is the number of turns of wire on the winding. a is the cross-sectional area of the core in square metres B is the peak magnetic flux density in teslas.50 W = 25 V × 2 A in the secondary circuit. Since a direct current by definition does not change. f is the frequency in hertz. voltage. direct current applied to the winding will create only heat.

Classifications Transformers are adapted to numerous engineering applications and may be classified in many ways: By power level (from fraction of a volt-ampere(VA) to over a thousand MVA). so-called "volts per hertz" protection relays. also increase with frequency. etc. etc. impedance matching. water cooled. Operation of a power transformer at other than its design frequency may require assessment of voltages. For example.) By purpose (distribution. with the rated voltage applied. such as losses within the core and skin-effect. oil filled. By application (power supply. Generally. other properties of the transformer. arc furnace. and cooling to establish if safe operation is practical. operation of a transformer at its designed voltage but at a higher frequency than intended will lead to reduced magnetising (no load primary) current. However.). fan cooled. By frequency range (power. and a given core is able to transfer more power. transformers at hydroelectric generating stations may be equipped with overexcitation protection. losses. At a frequency lower than the design value. radio frequency(RF)) By voltage class (a few volts to about 750 kilovolts) By cooling type (air cooled. transformers can be physically more compact without reaching saturation. amplifier output. By ratio of the number of turns in the coils Circuit symbols . circuit isolation). to protect the transformer from overvoltage at higher-than-rated frequency which may occur if a generator loses its connected load.The equation shows that the EMF of a transformer at a given flux density increases with frequency. audio. rectifier. the magnetising current may increase to an excessive level. By operating at higher frequencies.

. energy is dissipated due both to the resistance of the windings known as copper loss or I2R loss. and to magnetic effects primarily attributable to the core (known as iron loss). The dots show the relative winding configuration of the windings. such as a plug-in "power brick" used to power small consumer electronics. WINDINGS • Energy Losses An ideal transformer would have no losses. Transformer with three windings. may be less than 85% efficient. Transformers are. which prevents capacitive coupling between the. Small transformers. Step-down or step-up transformer.75%. in general. Transformer with electrostatic screen. but does not usually show the exact ratio.Standard symbols Transformer with two windings and iron core. highly efficient: large power transformers (over 50 MVA) may attain an efficiency as high as 99. The symbol shows which winding has more turns. In practice. and would therefore be 100% efficient.

Magnetostriction Magnetic flux in the core causes it to physically expand and contract slightly with the alternating magnetic field (producing a buzzing sound). skin effect and proximity effect create additional winding resistance and losses. Eddy currents Induced eddy currents circulate within the core. an effect known as magnetostriction. a small amount of energy is lost to hysteresis within the magnetic core. Mechanical losses .Transformer losses Winding resistance Current flowing through the windings causes resistive heating of the conductors (I2 R loss). Hysteresis losses Each time the magnetic field is reversed. Adding silicon also has the advantage of stopping ageing of the electrical steel that was a problem years ago. causing resistive heating. This in turn causes losses due to frictional heating in susceptible ferromagnetic cores. At higher frequencies. The amount of hysteresis is a function of the particular core material. Silicon is added to the steel to help in controlling eddy currents.

whereas hysteresis and eddy currents losses contribute to over 99% of the noload loss. These incite vibrations within nearby metalwork. more of it is usefully linked by both primary and secondary windings. has . The power used to operate the cooling system is typically considered part of the losses of the transformer. Construction A) Cores i) Steel cores Transformers for use at power or audio frequencies have cores made of many thin laminations of silicon steel. and be converted to heat. Since the steel core is conductive. such as the transformer's support structure. it. Cooling system Large power transformers may be equipped with cooling fans. By concentrating the magnetic flux. oil pumps or water-cooled heat exchangers designed to remove the heat caused by copper and iron losses. Stray losses Not all the magnetic field produced by the primary is intercepted by the secondary. A portion of the leakage flux may induce eddy currents within nearby conductive objects. too. the alternating magnetic field causes fluctuating electromagnetic forces between the primary and secondary windings.In addition to magnetostriction. Losses may be either load-dependent('load-losses') or independent of it ('no-load loss'). creating a familiar humming or buzzing noise. and consuming a small amount of power. Winding resistance dominates load-losses.

That means saturation occurs at half the flux density. The cost goes up when using thinner laminations mainly over the labor in stacking them. The cut core or C-core is made by winding a silicon steel strip around a rectangular form. In the EI transformer. and the insulation is used to keep the laminations from acting as a solid piece of steel. Usually two Ccores are used to shorten the return path for the magnetic flux resulting in a form similar to the EI. If an air gap is needed (which is unlikely considering the low remanence available for steel). Using a longer E and wedging it with two small Is will increase the overlap and additionally make the grains more parallel to the flux (think of a wooden frame for a window). A steel core's remanence means that it retains a static magnetic field when power is removed. The gap area is very large. Very thin laminations are generally used on high frequency transformers. Like toroidal cores. The E-pieces are pressed together to reduce the gap width to that of the insulation. and holding them closed by a steel strap.currents induced in it by the changing magnetic flux. Each layer is insulated from the adjacent layer to reduce the energy lost to eddy current heating of the core. The thinner the laminations. leading to the name "EI transformer". they have the advantage. the lower the eddy currents. More cores would necessitate a triangular cross-section. The faces of the cuts are then ground smooth so they fit very tight with a very small gap to reduce losses. The core is then assembled by placing the two C halves together. The thin laminations are used to reduce the eddy currents. usually after a few cycles of the applied . some area is lost for a rectangular winging. That means that on one end all flux is only on every second E. When power is then reapplied. it is removed from the form and the laminations are bonded together. that the flux is always in the oriented parallel the grains. Due to the bending of the core. the laminations are stacked in what is known as an interleaved fashion. so that the effective gap width is very small (in analogy to a capacitor). and all the I's on the other creating a gap. all the E's are stacked on one side. After the required thickness is achieved. and the lower the losses. Due to this interleaving a second gap in parallel (in an analogy to electronic circuits) to the gap between E and I is formed between the E-pieces. For this to work the flux has to gradually flow from one E to the other. It is then cut in two forming two C shapes. A typical laminated core is made from E-shaped and I-shaped pieces. the residual field will cause a high inrush current until the effect of the remanent magnetism is reduced.

and false operation of transformer protection devices. Gaps are also used to keep a transformer from saturating. so-called "metal glasses" — the high cost of the core material is offset by the lower losses incurred at light load. especially audio transformers that have a DC component added. Overcurrent protection devices such as fuses must be selected to allow this harmless inrush to pass. Steel cores develop a larger hysteresis loss due to eddy currents as the operating frequency is increased. or a controlled. The thinner steel laminations serve to reduce the eddy currents. This technique is used to stabilize the output current for loads that exhibit negative resistance such as electric arcs. The additional leakage inductance limits the secondary winding's short circuit current to a safe. ii) Solid cores . Military gear includes 400 Hz (and other frequencies) to supply power for radar or servomechanisms. Ferrite is used in higher frequency applications. distribution transformers are designed to have very low leakage inductance. and neon signs. mercury vapor lamps. Some types of very thin steel laminations can operate at up to 10 kHz or higher. or thinner steel laminations for the core are typically used for frequencies above 1kHz. over the life of the transformer. Distribution transformers can achieve low off-load losses by using cores made with low loss high permeability silicon steel and amorphous (non-crystalline) steel. or safely handle loads that may become periodically short-circuited such as electric arc welders. Ferrite. On transformers connected to long overhead power transmission lines. extending to the VHF band and beyond. In order to maintain good voltage regulation. Certain special purpose transformers use long magnetic paths.alternating current. level. or add magnetic shunts (which bypass a portion of magnetic flux that would otherwise link the primary and secondary windings) in order to intentionally add leakage inductance. induced currents due to geomagnetic disturbances during solar storms can cause saturation of the core. insert air gaps. Aircraft traditionally use 400 Hz power systems since the slight increase in thermal losses is more than offset by the reduction in core and winding weight.

improving the transformer's efficiency by reducing the core's reluctance. The top right is toroidal. . depending on operating frequency. from powdered iron. Cores are available in a wide variety of shapes. Toroidal transformers are built around a ring-shaped core. which is made from a long strip of silicon steel or permalloy wound into a coil. and also provides screening to minimize the core's magnetic field from generating electromagnetic interference. At even higher. The primary and secondary coils are often wound concentrically to cover the entire surface of the core. The strip construction ensures that the grain boundaries are optimally aligned. The bottom right is from a 12 VAC wall wart supply. called ferrites. These eliminate the loss due to hysteresis in the core material. radio-frequencies (RF). iii) Air cores High-frequency transformers may also use air cores. Other shapes include so-called E-cores and C-cores. or ferrite. The closed ring shape eliminates air gaps inherent in the construction of an EI core. The cross-section of the ring is usually square or rectangular.Powdered iron cores are used in circuits (such as switch-mode power supplies) that operate above mains frequencies and up to a few tens of kilohertz. These materials combine high magnetic permeability with high bulk electrical resistivity. are common. This minimises the length of wire needed. Such transformers maintain high coupling efficiency (low stray field loss) by overlapping the primary and secondary windings. but more expensive cores with circular crosssections are also available. including toroids. Some RF transformers also have moveable cores (sometimes called slugs) which allow adjustment of the coupling coefficient (and bandwidth) of tuned radio-frequency circuits. iv) Toroidal cores Various transformers. other types of cores made from non-conductive magnetic ceramic materials.

and more choice of shapes. must be electrically insulated from each other. physical size. copper. Other advantages. Strip conductors are . As a consequence. less mechanical hum (making them superior in audio amplifiers). This can happen if the steel mounting bolt in the middle of the core is allowed to touch metalwork at both ends. Small distribution transformers may achieve some of the benefits of a toroidal core by splitting it and forcing it open. include smaller size (about half). insulated usually with enamel. toroidal transformers are uncommon above ratings of a few kVA. When fitting a toroidal transformer. Larger power transformers may be wound with wire.Ferrite toroid cores are used at higher frequencies. The wire used is generally magnet wire. Magnet wire is a copper wire with a coating of varnish or some other synthetic coating. to reduce losses. and weight of switch-mode power supplies. making a loop of conductive material that passes through the hole in the toroid. or aluminium rectangular conductors. single-bolt mounting. lower weight (about half). B) Windings The wire of the adjacent turns in a coil. Toroidal transformers are more efficient than the cheaper laminated EI types of similar power level. A drawback of toroidal transformer construction is the higher cost of windings. Transformers for years have used Formvar wire. then inserting a bobbin containing primary and secondary windings. it is important to avoid making an unintentional short-circuit through the core. This last point means that. low off-load losses (making them more efficient in standby circuits). compared to EI types. Such a loop could result in a dangerously large current flowing in the bolt. typically between a few tens of kilohertz to a megahertz. lower exterior magnetic field (about one tenth). The conducting material used for the winding depends upon the application. and sometimes additional insulation. Small power and signal transformers are wound with solid copper wire. either a wide. flat toroid or a tall. narrow one with the same electrical properties can be chosen. depending on the space available. The main disadvantages are higher cost and limited size. which is a varnished type of magnet wire. and in the different windings. for a given power output.

This "transposition" equalizes the current flowing in each strand of the conductor. each portion occupies different relative positions in the complete conductor. This is known as a stacked type or interleaved winding. Modulation transformers in AM transmitters are very similar. Large power transformers use multiple-stranded conductors as well.used for very heavy currents. Audio-frequency transformers. Windings on both the primary and secondary of power transformers may have external connections (called taps) to intermediate points on the winding to allow adjustment of the voltage ratio. High frequency transformers operating in the tens to hundreds of kilohertz will have windings made of Litz wire to minimize the skin effect losses in the conductors. have taps to allow adjustment of impedance to each speaker. used for the distribution of audio to public address loudspeakers. Tapped transformers are also used as components of amplifiers. . and reduces eddy current losses in the winding itself. (see reference (1) below) For signal transformers. so that enamel insulation is usually sufficient for small power transformers. and those sections placed in layers between the sections of the other winding. on-load tap changer type of switchgear for voltage regulation of distribution circuits. the windings may be arranged in a way to minimise leakage inductance and stray capacitance to improve highfrequency response. A center-tapped transformer is often used in the output stage of an audio power amplifier in a push-pull type circuit. Each strand is insulated from the other. C) Insulation of windings The turns of the windings must be insulated from each other to ensure that the current travels through the entire winding. The potential difference between adjacent turns is usually small. The stranded conductor is also more flexible than a solid conductor of similar size is. since even at low power frequencies non-uniform distribution of current would otherwise exist in high-current windings. or throughout the whole winding. This can be done by splitting up each coil into sections. and for feedback linearization of amplifier circuits. and the strands are arranged so that at certain points in the winding. Taps may be connected to an automatic. oscillators.

Thus the oil serves as both a cooling medium to remove heat from the core and coil. but at increased manufacturing cost. or to prevent the transformer from affecting the operation of nearby devices that may be sensitive to stray fields such as CRTs. thereby sealing the windings and helping to prevent the possible formation of corona and absorption of dirt or water. air spaces within the windings are replaced with epoxy.Supplemental sheet or tape insulation is usually employed between winding layers in larger transformers. Small signal transformers do not generate significant amounts of heat. D) Shielding Where transformers are intended for minimum electrostatic coupling between primary and secondary circuits. Specific provision must be made for cooling of . The transformer may also be immersed in transformer oil that provides further insulation. By cooling the windings. By impregnating the transformer with epoxy under a vacuum. an electrostatic shield can be placed between windings to reduce the capacitance between primary and secondary windings. This produces transformers suitable for damp or dirty environments. or a single layer winding between primary and secondary. the transformer casing is completely sealed against moisture ingress. Although the oil is primarily used to cool the transformer. insulated where it overlaps to prevent it acting as a shorted turn. Power transformers rated up to a few kilowatts rely on natural convective air-cooling. and as part of the insulation system. Certain power transformers have the windings protected by epoxy resin. the insulation will not break down as easily due to heat. The shield may be a single layer of metal foil. The shield is connected to earth ground. or both to prevent outside interference from affecting the operation of the transformer. To ensure that the insulating capability of the transformer oil does not deteriorate. it also helps to reduce the formation of corona discharge within high voltage transformers. Transformers may also be enclosed by magnetic shields. electrostatic shields.

Today. Oil-filled power transformers may be equipped with Buchholz relays which are safety devices that sense gas build-up inside the transformer (a side effect of an electric arc inside the windings). and thus switches off the transformer. Large transformers to be used indoors must use a non-flammable liquid. It has to be stable at high temperatures so that a small short or arc will not cause a breakdown or fire. The oil-filled tank may have radiators through which the oil circulates by natural convection. it should be changed out. stable silicone-based oils. and its accumulation in the environment. cost. or toxicity compared with mineral oil. or fluorinated hydrocarbons may be used where the expense of a fire-resistant liquid offsets additional building cost for a transformer vault. that is stable at high temperatures. or having a high duty cycle can be fan-cooled. non-toxic. oil pumps and even oil to water heat exchangers. The windings of high-power or high-voltage transformers are immersed in transformer oil — a highly refined mineral oil. electrical self-heating. Old transformers that still contain PCB should be examined on a weekly basis for leakage. Some dry transformers are enclosed in pressurized tanks and are cooled by nitrogen or sulphur hexafluoride gas. Due to the stability and toxic effects of PCB by-products. Other less-flammable fluids such as canola oil may be used but all fire resistant fluids have some drawbacks in performance. using vapor-phase heat transfer. If found to be leaking. it is no longer permitted in new equipment. This helps prevent electrical breakdown under load. Very large or high-power transformers (with capacities of millions of watts) may have cooling fans. the application of a vacuum. to ensure that the transformer is completely free of water vapor before the cooling oil is introduced. . Experimental power transformers in the 2 MVA range have been built with superconducting windings which eliminates the copper losses. or combinations of these. polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) was used as it was not a fire hazard in indoor power transformers and it is highly stable. Transformers handling higher power.high-power transformers. and professionally decontaminated or scrapped in an environmentally safe manner. and provides part of the electrical insulation between internal live parts. Oil-filled transformers undergo prolonged drying processes. Formerly. The oil cools the transformer.

AC or pulsed voltage is applied across a portion of the winding. A large bushing can be a complex structure since it must provide electrical insulation without letting the transformer leak oil. For example. as described above. E) Terminals Very small transformers will have wire leads connected directly to the ends of the coils. These are cooled by liquid nitrogen or helium. and the lower voltage from one end to a tap. a transformer with a tap at the center of the winding can be used with 230 volts across the entire winding. bus bars or high-voltage insulated bushings made of polymers or porcelain. Transformer types and uses A) Autotransformers An autotransformer has only a single winding. Larger transformers may have heavy bolted terminals. and to contain the cooling medium (oil or pressurized gas). which is tapped at some point along the winding. F) Enclosure Small transformers often have no enclosure.but not the core steel loss. and a higher (or lower) voltage is produced across another portion of the same winding. in practice the higher voltage will be connected to the ends of the winding. and 115 volts between one end . While theoretically separate parts of the winding can be used for input and output. Transformers may have a shield enclosure. Larger units may be enclosed to prevent contact with live parts. and brought out to the base of the unit for circuit connections.

By exposing part of the winding coils and making the secondary connection through a sliding brush. B) Constant voltage transformer (ferro-resonance) By arranging particular magnetic properties of a transformer core. lighter. or reversed to drive 230-volt equipment from 115 volts. and installing a resonant tank circuit (a capacitor and an additional winding). and a smaller core can be used. transformer losses mean that autotransformers are not perfectly reversible. The degree of variance is affected by the primary and secondary winding inductances. for the regulating action is dependent on core saturation. even with a constant voltage input. an autotransformer with a nearcontinuously variable turns ratio can be obtained. smaller and more efficient than a true (two-winding) transformer of the same rating. where the transformer is seen by the load . As the same winding is used for input and output. allowing for very small increments of voltage. For voltage ratios not exceeding about 3:1. a transformer can be arranged to automatically keep the secondary winding voltage constant regardless (within some limits) of any variance in the primary supply without additional circuitry or manual adjustment. an autotransformer is cheaper. the flux in the core is partially cancelled. not the least of which includes winding resistance and the degree of mutual inductance (magnetic coupling) between the primary and secondary windings. CVA transformers run hotter than standard power transformers. which reduces efficiency somewhat. among other factors.and the tap. The difference is usually slight enough to allow reversal where the actual voltage level is not critical. one designed for stepping down a voltage will deliver slightly less voltage than required if used to step up. In practice. The output voltage of a transformer varies some with varying load resistances. It can be connected to a 230-volt supply to drive 115-volt equipment. For power transformer applications.

(ideally) as a constant source of voltage. it is good to have the secondary voltage vary as little as possible for wide variances in load current. It can be calculated from the following formula: Characteristic of CVT Physical view Circuit diagram C) Polyphase transformers . The measure of how well a power transformer maintains constant secondary voltage over a range of load currents is called the transformer's voltage regulation.

usually the secondary. If a winding is connected to earth (grounded). or all three phases can be connected to a single polyphase transformer. such as a square or Sawtooth wave at the resonant frequency. and is connected in series with a capacitor. The three primary windings are connected together and the three secondary windings are connected together. Due to resonance. until it is limited by some process such as electrical breakdown. the earth connection point is usually the center point of a Y winding. The most common connections are Y-Δ. acts as an inductor. Δ-Y. A vector group indicates the configuration of the windings and the phase angle difference between them. three separate single-phase transformers can be used. each pulse of current helps to build up an oscillation in the secondary coil. a very high voltage can develop across the secondary. These devices are used to generate high alternating voltages. Examples: Tesla coil Oudin coil (or Oudin resonator. If the secondary is a Δ winding. D) Resonant transformers A resonant transformer operates at the resonant frequency of one or more of its coils and (usually) an external capacitor. and the current available can be much larger than that from electrostatic machines such as the Van de Graaff generator or Wimshurst machine. There are many possible configurations that may involve more or fewer than six windings and various tap connections. named after its inventor Paul Oudin) D'Arsonval apparatus Ignition coil or induction coil used in the ignition system of a petrol engine . Δ-Δ and Y-Y. The resonant coil. A special purpose polyphase transformer is the zigzag transformer. the ground may be connected to a center tap on one winding (high leg delta) or one phase may be grounded (corner grounded delta). When the primary coil is driven by a periodic source of alternating current.For three-phase power.

E) Instrument transformers i) current transformer A current transformer is a type of "instrument transformer" that is designed to provide a current in its secondary which is accurately proportional to the current flowing in its primary. This accuracy is directly related to a number of factors including the following: burden. The burden in a CT metering circuit is essentially the amount of impedance (largely resistive) present. Other applications of resonant transformers are as coupling between stages of a superheterodyne receiver. load. which can be used for equipment that is sensitive to variations of the supply voltage. efficiency is low. external electromagnetic fields. B-0.0. B-2.1. Saturating transformers provide a simple rugged method to stabilize an AC power supply.0 and B-4. A voltage-regulating transformer uses a resonant winding and allows part of the core to go into saturation on each half-cycle of the alternating current. Electrical breakdown and insulation testing of high voltage equipment and cables. where the selectivity of the receiver is provided by the tuned transformers of the intermediatefrequency amplifiers. due to the hysteresis losses accompanying this type of operation.2.5. Typical burden ratings for CTs are B-0. rating factor. the transformer's secondary is resonated with the cable's capacitance.0. B-1. B-0. temperature and physical CT configuration. This effect stabilizes the output of the regulating transformer. However. This means a CT with .Flyback transformer of a CRT television set or video monitor. In the latter case.

there are some issues when attempting to apply theory to the real world. It is important to center primary conductors as they pass through CTs to promote the greatest level of CT accuracy. Not to mention. in an electric metering circuit. While all electrical engineers are quite comfortable with Gauss' Law. slight inaccuracies may occur. The rating factor of a CT is largely dependent upon ambient temperature.2 can tolerate up to 0. the relative cost of a 500:5 CT is significantly greater than that of a 200:5.2Ω of impedance in the metering circuit before its output current is no longer a fixed ratio to the primary current. It is important to be mindful of ambient temperatures and resultant rating factors when CTs are installed inside pad-mounted transformers or poorly ventilated mechanical rooms. the minimum primary current a CT can accurately measure is "light load. Items that contribute to the burden of a current measurement circuit are switch blocks meters and intermediate conductors. While previous revisions of CTs were on the order of 500:5 with a rating factor of 1. A CT usually demonstrates reduced capacity to maintain accuracy with rising ambient temperature. Rating factor is a factor by which the nominal full load current of a CT can be multiplied to determine its absolute maximum measurable primary current. or "full load.0 times the nominal rating. Conversely. This is made possible by the development of more efficient ferrites and their corresponding hysteresis curves.5 yielding an effective range of 50A to 750A. For example." of the CT) of primary current. This is a distinct advantage over previous CTs because it increases their range of accuracy. the most inaccurate component is the CT. This is an 11% increase in effective range for two CTs that would be used at similar services. Recently. . Often times. a 200:5 CT with a rating factor of 4. manufacturers have been moving towards lower nominal primary currents with greater rating factors. Physical CT configuration is another important factor in reliable CT accuracy.0 is most accurate between 20A (light load)and 800A (4." or 10% of the nominal current. Most CTs have rating factors for 35 degrees Celsius and 55 degrees Celsius. substation meters are located significant distances from the meter cabinets and the excessive length of small gauge conductor creates a large resistance. The most common source of excess burden in a current measurement circuit is the conductor between the meter and the CT.a burden rating of B-0. When conductors passing through a CT are not centered in the circular (or oval) void. Afterall.

ii) Voltage transformers . Common secondaries are 1 or 5 amperes. Often. For example. Another type (called a Rogowski coil) requires an external integrator in order to provide a voltage output that is proportional to the measured current. Yn. as this will produce a dangerously high voltage across the open secondary and may permanently affect the accuracy of the transformer. Typically. wideband CTs are rated in output volts per ampere of primary current. For a three-stacked CT application. The secondary winding can be single ratio or multi ratio. Care must be taken that the secondary of a current transformer is not disconnected from its load while current is flowing in the primary. 2s2 and so on. with five taps being common for multi ratio CTs. 2s1. the secondary winding connection points are typically labelled Xn. Unlike CTs used for power circuitry. Zn. the secondary connection points are labelled as 1s1. The CT is typically described by its current ratio from primary to secondary. Specially constructed wideband current transformers are also used (usually with an oscilloscope) to measure waveforms of high frequency or pulsed currents within pulsed power systems. often in the presence of high voltages. multiple CTs will be installed as a "stack" for various uses (for example. Current transformers are used extensively for measuring current and monitoring the operation of the power grid. The current transformer safely isolates measurement and control circuitry from the high voltages typically present on the circuit being measured. a 4000:5 CT would provide an output current of 5 amperes when the primary was passing 4000 amperes. 1s2. One type of specially constructed wideband transformer provides a voltage output that is proportional to the measured current. The multi ratio CTs are typically used for current matching in current differential protective relaying applications. protection devices and revenue metering may use separate CTs).Current transformers (CTs) are commonly used in metering and protective relaying in the electrical power industry where they facilitate the safe measurement of large currents. Current transformers are often constructed by passing a single primary turn (either an insulated cable or an uninsulated bus bar) through a well-insulated toroidal core wrapped with many turns of wire.

The high side (primary) may be connected phase to ground or phase to phase. Correct identification of terminals and wiring is essential for proper operation of metering and protection relays. meter packages. X1. Y2. Medium-sized power versions are used in power-control circuits such as camera flash controllers. For new. Larger power versions are used in the electrical power distribution industry to interface low-voltage control circuitry to the high-voltage gates of power semiconductors.5kV) or generation voltage (13. X2.Voltage transformers (VTs) or potential transformers (PTs) are another type of instrument transformer. iii) Pulse transformers A pulse transformer is a transformer that is optimised for transmitting rectangular electrical pulses (that is. VTs are typically only installed in primary voltage (typically 12. pulses with fast rise and fall times and a constant amplitude). or rework. and sometimes an X3 tap may be present. often for matching logic drivers to transmission lines. modern meters eliminate the need VTs for most secondary service voltages.2kV) meter packages. The transformer winding high-voltage connection points are typically labelled as H1. At any instant terminals with the same suffix numeral have the same polarity and phase. H2 (sometimes H0 if it is internally grounded) and X1. to match the input ratings of protection relays. While VTs were formerly used for all voltages greater than 240V primary. Y3) may also be available on the same voltage transformer. The low side (secondary) is usually phase to ground. Special high voltage pulse transformers are also used to generate high power pulses for . Typically the secondary of a voltage transformer is rated for 69 or 120 Volts at rated primary voltage. Small versions called signal types are used in digital logic and telecommunications circuits. This applies to current transformers as well. The terminal identifications (H1. They are designed to present negligible load to the supply being measured and to have a precise voltage ratio to accurately step down high voltages so that metering and protective relay equipment can be operated at a lower potential. Sometimes a second isolated winding (Y1. Y1. etc. used for metering and protection in high-voltage circuits.) are often referred to as polarity.

iv) RF transformers (transmission line transformers) For radio frequency use. The core material increases the inductance dramatically. For the same reason. a low coupling capacitance (between the primary and secondary) is important to protect the circuitry on the primary side from high-powered transients created by the load. thereby raising its Q factor. To minimise distortion of the pulse shape. high insulation resistance and high breakdown voltage are required. These are sometimes made from configurations of transmission line and sometimes bifilar or coaxial . wound around ferrite or other types of core. because a pulse with slow edges would create switching losses in the power semiconductors.radar. This style of transformer gives an extremely wide bandwidth but only a limited number of ratios (such as 1:9. sometimes bifilar or coaxial cable. the larger this product. a pulse transformer needs to have low values of leakage inductance and distributed capacitance. transformers are sometimes made from configurations of transmission line. v) Baluns Baluns are transformers designed specifically to connect between balanced and unbalanced circuits. In power-type pulse transformers. A good transient response is necessary to maintain the rectangular pulse shape at the secondary. or other high energy pulsed power applications. 1:4 or 1:2) can be achieved with this technique. Generally speaking. The cores of such transformers help improve performance at the lower frequency end of the band. the larger and more expensive the transformer. particle accelerators. and a high open-circuit inductance. the voltage-time integral) is often used to characterise pulse transformers. The product of the peak pulse voltage and the duration of the pulse (or more accurately. RF transformers sometimes used a third coil (called a tickler winding) to inject feedback into an earlier (detector) stage in antique regenerative radio receivers.

high power handling increases the required core size. electronic circuits with wide frequency response and low distortion are relatively simple to design. Good high-frequency response requires carefully designed and implemented windings without excessive leakage inductance or stray capacitance. All this makes for an expensive component.cable and are similar to transmission line transformers in construction and operation. For good low-frequency response a relatively large iron core is required. but they were eliminated as designers discovered how to design amplifiers without them. (The valves can deliver a low current at a high voltage.) Solid-state power amplifiers may need no output transformer at all. the speakers require high current at low voltage. A particularly critical component is the output transformer of an audio power amplifier. Valve circuits for quality reproduction have long been produced with no other (inter-stage) audio transformers. bass guitars) to enable them to be connected to a microphone input on the mixing console. but an output transformer is needed to couple the relatively high impedance (up to a few hundred ohms depending upon configuration) of the output valve(s) to the low impedance of a loudspeaker. Early transistor audio power amplifiers often had output transformers. vi) Audio transformers Audio transformers are usually the factor which limit sound quality. Transformers are also used in DI boxes to convert impedance from high-impedance instruments (for example. vii) Speaker transformers .

Tannoy) applications. a large audio transformer may be used to stepup the low impedance. ix) 'Interstage' and coupling transformers . even with the use of small-gauge conductors (and leads to the term constant voltage as the line voltage doesn't change much as additional speakers are added to the system). In addition. viii) Small Signal transformers Moving coil phonograph cartridges produce a very small voltage. low-voltage output of the amplifier to the designed line voltage of the speaker circuit.g. The use of higher transmission voltage and impedance means that power lost in the connecting wire is minimized. The speaker transformers commonly have multiple primary taps. Then. At the audio amplifier. speaker transformers allow many individual loudspeakers to be powered from a single audio circuit operated at higher-than normal speaker voltages. a smaller transformer at each speaker returns the voltage and impedance to ordinary speaker levels. Such circuits are commonly referred to as constant voltage or 70 volt speaker circuits although the audio waveform is obviously a constantly changing voltage.In the same way that transformers are used to create high voltage power transmission circuits that minimize transmission losses. the ability to adjust. In order for this to be amplified with a reasonable signal-noise ratio. Use of a constant-voltage speaker circuit means that there is no need to worry about the impedance presented to the amplifier output (which would clearly be too low if all of the speakers were arranged in parallel and would be too complex a design problem if the speakers were arranged in series-parallel). This application is common in public address (e. allowing the volume at each speaker to be adjusted in a number of discrete steps. locally.. the volume of each speaker (without the complexity and power loss of an L pad) is a useful feature. a transformer is usually used to convert the voltage to the range of the more common moving-magnet cartridges.

 Large. . A common use was the video head system as used in VHS and Beta video tape players. and electronic circuits measure the different amplitudes of the currents in the secondaries.A use for interstage transformers is in the case of push-pull amplifiers where an inverted signal is required. or radar antenna.  Sliding transformers can pass power or signals from a stationary mounting to a moving part such as a machine tool head.  For regulating the secondary output of a constant voltage (or ferro-resonant).  Small transformers are often used internally to couple different stages of radio receivers and audio amplifiers.  Electric power transmission over long distances. See linear variable differential transformer. Usually they have a single primary and two or more secondaries.  A transformer-like device is used for position measurement.  Rotating transformers are designed so that one winding turns while the other remains stationary.  Other rotary transformers are precisely constructed in order to measure distances or angles. These can pass power or radio signals from a stationary mounting to a rotating mechanism. See synchro and resolver. Here two secondary windings wired in opposite polarities may be used to drive the output devices. Uses of transformers  For supplying power from an alternating current power grid to equipment which uses a different voltage. in which a combination of core saturation and the resonance of a tank circuit prevents changes in the primary voltage from appearing on the secondary.  Some rotary transformers are used to couple signals between two parts which rotate in relation to each other. specially constructed power transformers are used for electric arc furnaces used in steelmaking.

 Balanced-to-unbalanced conversion. They supply high voltage to the CRTs at the frequency of the horizontal oscillator. A special type of transformer called a balun is used in radio and audio circuits to convert between balanced linecircuits and unbalanced transmission lines such as antenna downleads.  Flyback transformers are built using ferrite cores. The tiny cores found in wristwatch backlight power supplies produce audible sound (about 1 kHz). It may be as high as 75 . Transformers may be used as external accessories for impedance matching.  Switching power supply transformers usually operate between 30-1000 kHz. . In the case of television sets.120kHz for high-resolution computer monitors. for example to match a microphone to an amplifier.7kHz. this is about 15.

Examples: • • You are a Swiss visiting the U. The CRT display tube of your computer monitor requires thousands of volts. and want to operate your 220VAC shaver off of the available 110 VAC. at significant power levels. The transformer takes in the low voltage at a high current and puts out the high voltage at a low current. Limitations • • • • Transformers alone cannot do the following: Convert DC to AC or vice versa Change the voltage or current of DC Change the AC supply frequency. but must run off of 110 VAC from the wall. transformers are used for two purposes: signal matching and power supplies.Types of transformers In general..A. . Step-up transformers A "step-up transformer" allows a device that requires a high voltage power supply to operate from a lower voltage source. Power Transformers Power transformers are used to convert from one voltage to another.S.

and still handle hundreds or even thousands of volta at several amperes. The older tube type diodes are much bulkier and less efficient than . The positive terminal of a • diode is called Anode. usually germanium or silicon. The schematic symbol for a semiconductor diode is shown at B. A diode consists of N-type semiconductor material. Positive current flows in the direction of the arrow. Diode can be used for a wide variety of different purposes. and P-type material. under conditions of forward bias (conduction).Diode • A diode is a tube or semiconductor device. and the negative terminal is called Cathode. intended to pass current in only one direction. Semiconductor diode can be very small. Electrons flow into the N-type material and out of the Pterminal. Electron movement is contrary to the arrow. The semiconductor diode is far more common than the tube diode in modern electronic circuits.

When used in its most common application. voltage regulators. switches. .the semiconductor diodes. Diode Bridge A diode bridge or bridge rectifier (occasionally called a Graetz bridge) is an arrangement of four diodes connected in a bridge circuit as shown below. oscillators. that provides the same polarity of output voltage for any polarity of the input voltage. it is known as a bridge rectifier. The bridge recitifier provides full wave rectification from a two wire AC input (saving the cost of a center tapped transformer) but has two diode drops rather than one reducing efficiency over a center tap based design for the same output voltage. the polarity of the output is constant. frequency controllers. Semiconductor diodes are used for many different purposes in electronics. mixers. Schematic of a diode bridge • The essential feature of this arrangement is that for both polarities of the voltage at the bridge input. Some of the tube type diodes require a separate power supply for the purpose of heatihg a filament. for conversion of alternating current (AC) input into direct current (DC) output. and in many other types of circuits. They can be used as amplifiers.

it permits normal .Basic operation • When the input connected at the left corner of the diamond is positive with respect to the one connected at the right hand corner. current flows to the right along the upper colored path to the output. Since this is true whether the input is AC or DC. • When the right hand corner is positive relative to the left hand corner. That is. • In each case. current flows along the upper colored path and returns to the supply via the lower colored path. the upper right output remains positive with respect to the lower right one. this circuit not only produces DC power when supplied with AC power: it also can provide what is sometimes called "reverse polarity protection". and returns to the input supply via the lower one.

Since about 1950. • Prior to availability of integrated electronics. One complete cycle of operation will be discussed to help you understand how this circuit works. How Bridge Rectifier works When four diodes are connected. and the output is taken from the remaining two corners. The input to the circuit is applied to the diagonally opposite corners of the network. We have discussed transformers in previous modules in the NEETS series and will not go into their characteristics at this time.functioning when batteries are installed backwards or DC inputpower supply wiring "has its wires crossed" (and protects the circuitry it powers against damage that might occur without this circuit in place). the circuit is called a BRIDGE RECTIFIER. a single four-terminal component containing the four diodes connected in the bridge configuration became a standard commercial component and is now available with various voltage and current ratings. such a bridge rectifier was always constructed from discrete components. Let us assume the transformer is working .

This path is indicated by the broken arrows. up through RL. The negative potential at point B will forward bias D1 and reverse bias D2. One-half cycle later the polarity across the secondary of the transformer reverses. In flowing through RL this current develops a voltage corresponding to that shown in waveform (5). . At this time D3 and D1 are forward biased and will allow current flow to pass through them. through D3. Waveforms (1) and (2) can be observed across D1 and D3.properly and there is a positive potential at point A and a negative potential at point B. and back to point A. through D2. Since current flows through the load (RL) during both half cycles of the applied voltage. The path for current flow is from point B through D1. forward biasing D2 and D4 and reverse biasing D1 and D3. this bridge rectifier is a full-wave rectifier. through the secondary of T1. up through RL. D4 and D2 are reverse biased and will block current flow. through the secondary of the transformer back to point B. Current flow will now be from point A through D4. The positive potential at point A will forward bias D3 and reverse bias D4. This path is indicated by the solid arrows. You should have noted that the current flow through RL is always in the same direction. Waveforms (3) and (4) can be observed across D2 and D4.

since it permitted the filtering of the 50-60 hertz power supplied to residences. The two most popular geometries are axial leads coming from the center of each circular . the large value of the capacitance allows them to pass very low frequencies. It was largely responsible for the development of mainspowered radio receivers. They are also widely used as coupling capacitors in circuits where AC should be conducted but DC should not. one of which is coated with an insulating oxide layer. This stack is then rolled up. and especially in the absence of rechargeable batteries that can provide similar low-frequency current capacity. This was not practical without the small volume and low cost of electrolytic capacitors. after it was rectified to power the radio tubes. and a paper spacer soaked in electrolyte. The electrolytic capacitor was invented in 1921 by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld.Electrolytic Capacitor An electrolytic capacitor is a type of capacitor typically with a larger capacitance per unit volume than other types. Construction Aluminium electrolytic capacitors are constructed from two conducting aluminium foils. The foil insulated by the oxide layer is the anode while the liquid electrolyte and the second foil act as cathode. in rectifier output. where they store charge needed to moderate output voltage and current fluctuations. fitted with pin connectors and placed in a cylindrical aluminium casing. This is especially the case in power-supply filters. making them valuable in relatively high-current and low-frequency electrical circuits.

The correct polarity is indicated on the packaging by a stripe with minus signs and possibly arrowheads. and if the short circuit current is excessive. Most will survive with no reverse DC bias or with only AC voltage. A constant forward bias is preferable. denoting the adjacent terminal that should be more negative than the other. Tantalum capacitors are more expensive than aluminum-based capacitors. Electrolytics can withstand a reverse bias for a short period of time. thus they are popular in miniature applications such as cellular telephones. . Polarity In aluminum electrolytic capacitors. but they have higher capacitance per unit volume and lower impedance at high frequencies. and generally only usable at low voltage. Unlike most capacitors. but they will conduct significant current and not act as a very good capacitor. or two radial leads or lugs on one of the circular faces. and will increase the life of the capacitor. The aluminum oxide layer can withstand an electric field strength of the order of 109 volts per metre. electrolytic capacitors have a voltage polarity requirement. and it is the thinness of this layer that provides high capacitance. Modern capacitors have a safety valve on one circular face to vent the hot gas/liquid. then the electrolyte will heat up and either leak or cause the capacitor to explode. the layer of insulating aluminum oxide on the surface of the aluminum plate acts as the dielectric. The combination of high capacitance and high voltage result in high energy density. Without the dielectric material the capacitor will short circuit. but circuits should be designed so that there is not a constant reverse bias for any significant amount of time. Both of these are shown in the picture. This is necessary because a reverse-bias voltage will destroy the center layer of dielectric material via electrochemical reduction (see Redox reactions).face of the cylinder. but ruptures can still be dramatic.

e. Were this to happen the capacitor may self-distruct with spectacular and damaging results. Electrical behavior of electrolytics A common modeling circuit for an electrolytic capacitor has the following schematic: where Rleakage is the leakage resistance. LESL the equivalent series inductance (L being the conventional symbol for inductance). Loss power scales quadratically with the ripple current flowing through and . RESR is the equivalent series resistance. i. Care should be taken to avoid ingestion of or eye contact with the electrolyte. when working with the electrolyte. risking significant personal injury. often called "Wet-slug". Particular care needs to be taken with electrolytic capacitors in that the device should not be reverse-biased. contain the more hazardous sulfuric acid. RESR must be as small as possible since it determines the loss power when the capacitor is used to smooth voltage. notably gloves and safety glasses. connected to a circuit where the negative terminal voltage is more positive than the positive terminal voltage. It is important to follow safe working practice and to use appropriate protective equipment. however most of these have corroded away by now.Safety The electrolyte is usually boric acid or sodium borate in aqueous solution together with various sugars or ethylene glycol which are added to retard evaporation. and any areas of the body where skin contact has occurred should be washed in good time. Some very old tantalum electrolytics.

68. so microfarad and picofarad are more commonly used. 47. Most electrolytic capacitors have a tolerance range of 20 %. any practical capacitor value can be achieved. It should be pointed out that this is only a simple model and does not include all the effects associated with real electrolytic capacitors. such as the thickness of the dielectric and the plate area. Capacitance The capacitance value of any capacitor is a measure of the amount of electric charge stored per unit of potential difference between the plates.0.7 or 6. 220. Design life doubles for each 10 degrees lower. By multiplying these base numbers by a power of ten. Using this method.5. Values are generally in microfarads (µF). Since the electrolytes evaporate. Many conditions determine a capacitor's value. In the manufacturing process. 4. within the tolerance. 15.8 by a power of ten. reaching 15 years at 45 degrees. 33. meaning that the manufacturer guarantees that the actual value of the capacitor lies within 20 % of its labeled value. 100. Therefore. 1. For example.linearly with RESR. however this unit is often too large for practical uses. Selection of the preferred series ensures that any capacitor can be sold as a standard value. typically as 2000 hours at 105 degrees Celsius (which is the highest working temperature). 22. 3. 2. values ranging from 0.1 to 4700 are common in most applications. Low ESR capacitors are imperative for high efficiencies in power supplies. and so on. design life is most often rated in hours at a set temperature. it is common to find capacitors with values of 10.3. which is suitable for most applications.2. electrolytic capacitors are made to conform to a set of preferred numbers. A standardized set of capacitor base numbers was devised so that the value of any modern electrolytic capacitor could be derived from multiplying one of the modern conventional base numbers 1. The basic unit of capacitance is a farad. Variants .

Compared to bulk dielectric capacitors. the liquid can dry out. causing the capacitor to fail.000 µF with working voltages up to several hundred volts DC. but maintaining the integrity of the dielectric usually requires the steady application of the correct polarity of direct current else the oxide layer will break down and rupture. these are available in the range of <1 µF to 1. causing the capacitor to fail. the dielectric in electrolytic capacitors depends on the formation and maintenance of a microscopic metal oxide layer.Unlike capacitors that use a bulk dielectric made from an intrinsically insulating material.000. Bipolar electrolytics contain two capacitors connected in series opposition and are used for coupling AC signals. The dielectric is a thin layer of aluminum oxide. In addition. electrolytic capacitors generally use an internal wet chemistry and they will eventually fail as the water within the capacitor evaporates. Over a long time. it is quite common to see an electrolytic capacitor specified as having a "guaranteed minimum value" and no upper bound on its value. An electrolytic capacitors come in several types: Aluminum electrolytic capacitor: compact but lossy. Electrolytic capacitance values are not as tightly-specified as with bulk dielectric capacitors. Tantalum: . Especially with aluminum electrolytics. this very thin dielectric allows for much more capacitance in the same unit volume. this type of specification is acceptable. For most purposes (such as power supply filtering and signal coupling). They contain corrosive liquid and can burst if the device is connected backwards.

The cathode electrode is formed of sintered tantalum grains. They use a molecule-thin layer of electrolyte. The electrodes for EDLCS could also be made by transition metal oxides. IrO2. these have a lower energy density and are more accurate than aluminum electrolytics. tantalum capacitors have very stable capacitance and little DC leakage. For example. the Korean company NessCap offers units up to 5000 farads (5 kF) at 2. rather than a manufactured sheet of material. A development of this type replaces the manganese dioxide with a conductive plastic polymer (polypyrrole) that reduces internal resistance and eliminates a selfignition failure. they are intolerant of voltage spikes and are destroyed (often exploding violently) if connected backwards or exposed to spikes above their voltage rating. unlike aluminum electrolytics. etc. as the dielectric. and very low impedance at low frequencies. low-voltage devices up to about 100 µF. RuO2. the same .compact. The electrodes are made of activated carbon. Smaller units (in the 0. Compared to aluminum electrolytics. these capacitors have an extremely high energy density. which has a high surface area per unit volume. which is then connected to an external wire lead. The thin layer of oxide and high surface area of the porous sintered material gives this type a very high capacitance per unit volume. Individual EDLCs can have capacitances of hundreds or even thousands of farads. useful for electric vehicles and solar energy applications. have very high capacitance values but low voltage ratings. eg. The anode electrode is formed of a chemically deposited semi-conductive layer of manganese dioxide. Tantalum capacitors are also polarized because of their dissimilar electrodes. further increasing the capacitor's energy density. also known as supercapacitors or ultracapacitors. As the energy stored is inversely proportional to the thickness of the dielectric. NiO. Electrodes made by metal oxides store the charges by two mechanism: double layer effect. However.7 V. with the dielectric electrochemically formed as a thin layer of oxide. Electrolytic double-layer capacitors Electrolytic double-layer capacitors (EDLCs).1 F – 10 F range) are frequently used instead of (or in addition to) batteries to supply standby power to memory circuits and clocks.

using carbon aerogel to attain immense electrode surface area. The voltage can be measured by allowing it to pass a current through a resistance.g. Aerogel capacitors Aerogel capacitors. therefore. which can store more energy than double layer effects. The moving coil galvanometer is one example of this type of voltmeter. EDLCs can be used as replacements for batteries in applications where a high discharge current is required. Volt Meter A voltmeter is an instrument used for measuring the potential difference between two points in an electric circuit. capacitor voltage drops faster than battery voltage during discharge. e.with active carbon. This is achieved by using a sensitive ammeter or microammeter in series with a high resistance. a series resistance is added so that the angular rotation becomes proportional to the applied voltage. They can also be recharged hundreds of thousands of times. up to thousands of farads. in electric vehicles. The angular rotation is proportional to the current that is flowing through the coil. so a DC to DC converter may be used to maintain voltage and to make more of the energy stored in the capacitor usable. Potentiometer . One of the design objectives of the instrument is to disturb the circuit as little as possible and hence the instrument should draw a minimum of electric current to operate. can attain huge values. a voltmeter can be seen as a very high resistance ammeter. For use as a voltmeter. However. and pseudocapacitance. unlike conventional batteries which last for only a few hundred or thousand recharge cycles. the galvanometer's indicator rotates and compresses a small spring. When an electrical current is applied. It employs a small coil of fine wire suspended in a strong magnetic field.

record the potentiometer's wiper position. Level is in dB and time is in seconds . divided by the recorded length of wire corresponding to the reference voltage. For example. as discussed at the top of this article. including nanovolt-sensitive integrated circuits. simple audio circuits that click to indicate voltage difference. The response of a VU meter (black line) compared to instantaneous input level (grey area) of a drum beat. if our potentiometer were a length of very long wire and our wiper were some sort of metal wand in contact with that wire. which is a length of uniform resistance material (wire or carbon film. Then the wiper position is adjusted to change the potentiometer's effective resistance until a balance is obtained and no current is detected. The unknown voltage is then given by the product of the known voltage and the recorded used length of wire corresponding to the unknown voltage. At this time. for instance) and a "wiper" that can short-circuit any portion of the material. The potentiometer's resistance is changed at the wiper until the null detector shows zero voltage between the two circuits. One may also measure voltage using a potentiometer in the nullbalance method.A voltmeter may also be realized using a potentiometer. thereby changing effective resistance between the wiper and an end terminal of the potentiometer. For more on circuit transformations. Now replace the unknown voltage supply with the known voltage supply and repeat the procedure. record the length of wire between the wiper and the end of the wiper that is in our circuit. There are many implementations for null detectors. note Thevenin's theorem and Norton's theorem. while the known voltage source is connected to an end terminal of the potentiometer. VU meter A VU meter is often included in analog audio equipment to display a signal level in volume units. which is in turn connected to the potentiometer's wiper. The unknown voltage source may be connected to a current detector. and transformed ammeters.

British Standard BS 6840. The rise and fall times of the meter are both 300 milliseconds. Most users ignore this and call it a VU meter.It is intentionally a "slow" measurement. 0 VU was defined: The reading of the volume indicator shall be 0 vu when it is connected to a 600-ohm resistance in which is flowing one milliwatt of sine-wave power at 1000 cycles per second The typical VU scale is from −20 to +3. or either channel.5-1942. and later arrays of them replaced mechanical meters. The needles would be "pegged" when they hit the physical pegs which stopped the maximum motion of the needle. . and later LCD and fluorescent displays which are not subject to Newton's laws of motion to limit reaction time. The instrument used to measure VU is called the volume indicator (VI) instrument. How to use a VU meter Tape and cassette decks typically used physical meters similar to needles on a compass. meaning that if a constant sine wave of amplitude 0 VU is applied suddenly. It behaves as a full-wave averaging instrument. and is not optimal for measuring peak levels. The behaviour of VU meters is defined in ANSI C16. When LEDs were developed. The Nagra V. and IEC 60268-17. for measuring and standardizing the levels of telephone lines. they were often used to indicate peak levels. It was originally developed in 1939 by the combined effort of Bell Labs and broadcasters CBS and NBC. but this was never adopted by any other design. the latest digital version of a professional reel-to-reel recorder dating from the 1960s still uses analog meters. the Advent used only one meter. averaging out peaks and troughs of short duration to reflect the perceived loudness of the material. the meter will take 300 milliseconds to reach the 0 on the scale. The first high fidelity deck. Computer recording software often emulates an array of LEDs. which could be switched to average both channels.

the sound quality and frequency response is typically poorer at high recording levels. recording levels should be set so that they do not exceed the red area beyond 0 VU or only rarely. which is typically required for recording live music rather than compressed television or radio broadcasts. Systems tailored for voice often incorporate automatic level control. As a rule.Peak levels may be displayed in addition to the current level. . and clipping effects can be especially severe for a digital recording system. If the level is set too low. noise levels will be high. usually not defeatable in inexpensive recorders. VCR's only rarely included VU meters when they provided a manual level control. If set too high.

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