Daily Facts
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50 Hz vs. 60 Hz Power Transformers

April 15th Fact-of-the-Day

More iron and/or more turns of wire are required to have the same transformer winding inductive reactance at a lower frequency. Iron-core and copper-wire both cost money and take physical space, so transformer designers generally use no more of either than necessary to keep power losses reasonable at an intended operating frequency. As a result, power transformers designed for use in U.S. 60 Hz applications typically run very hot, and sometimes extremely hot, if used in countries that have 50 Hz power mains, even if they have windings to accommodate the higher voltages that also are used in most 50 Hz countries. Long-time U.S. suppliers to Europe and other parts of world with 50 Hz power know better, but U.S. companies that are just starting to offer their products internationally very often have major problems with power transformer overheating. ©2005 Martek, International. All rights reserved.

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