Buying guide | Important facts you need to know before selecting a control transformer

Control transformers are an important component in the electrical circuit, particularly in an industrial setting. They are used to transform the high voltage from the mains to a lower voltage which can be used safely by the circuit components. However, these transformers are in plenty, and picking the right one can be pretty daunting. So if you're looking to replace or purchase a new transformer, then there are a number of things you need to have in mind. This will help you get the best one for your needs. Here are some factors that are often overlooked when purchasing control transformers.

Location of the transformer

This may not cross your mind, but it's one of the most crucial requirements. Whether the control transformer needs to be placed outside or within a sheltered environment can help you narrow down your options a great deal. If a transformer is going to be located outside, it needs to be protected from the elements. You can have one designed within a sealed tank to guard against the elements. Also, go for liquid-filled transformers. They normally have insulating oil that is stable and offers protection even in high temperatures. You can also pick one with louvers to enhance ventilation.

If, however, a transformer is going to be used in hazardous environment, then ensures that it meets ATEX (Atmosphere Explosive) approval.

How many phases do you need?

These two classifications differ on how the transformer produces its output. Three phase transformers produce power by rotating three coils as opposed to two coils in a single-phase transformer. The result is a huge difference in power output and efficiency. For a household or small office setting, a single-phase transformer is more than enough. However, if you intend on using the transformer to run large industrial projects, shopping centres or larger office blocks, then go for a three-phase transformer.

Frequency required

The frequency of the transformer can assist you in narrowing down your options. The incoming frequency needs to be similar to the frequency the equipment or devices need. If the output of the transformer doesn't match your devices frequency, then you may have to get a frequency converter.

A frequency converter serves one main duty—to convert alternating current from one frequency to the other. So if you've imported a device from the US, for instance, the frequencies may be different, and that's where a frequency converter comes in handy.