What Is the Purpose of a Transformer?

Transformers can be found in almost any type of power generation task. Their crucial systems wherever alternating current is used. At their base level, transformers are electrical devices that trade voltage for current within an electrical circuit. These systems do not affect the total electrical power and this ensures that the transformer can take on high-voltage electricity with small current changes or work at converting high current into a low-voltage. Transformers typically work with alternating current such as the power that you would receive from a typical wall plug and not direct current. 

Uses of Transformer

Transformers can be used in many configurations, such as stepping up the voltage by increasing the voltage from the current that it receives or decreasing the voltage, which is called stepping down the voltage. The coils within the transformer are built to manage the incoming electricity and then manage the outgoing electricity. The alternating current on the incoming coil will set up the magnetic field in the core which then generates the alternating current for the outgoing coil. 

Energy Losses

The energy that’s lost in the transmission of electricity over long distances needs to be managed. Usually, electrical utilities require high-voltage generation through long-distance transmission wires. This high-voltage is often too dangerous for home or business units and this is where a local transformer can change the electricity down as it travels from the power plant to home. It was found that was not eventually ideal because a lot of energy was lost in the form of heat due to something called eddy current. To solve this issue the cores are now made of laminated sheets of iron to help scatter the heat more evenly and prevent energy loss.

The power generated by the plant is stepped up with a transformer for the right level of long-distance power transmission and then a transformer at the other end will work to step down the current to a level that is stable for home use. Electrical transformers deliver AC current from one circuit called the primary circuit to another called secondary circuit, changing the voltage but not the frequency of the circuit. 

If you’d like to learn more about transformers for commercial or residential use, contact us today to learn more. 

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Swartz Engineering has been at the forefront of industrial safety for nearly half a century. They are a family-owned company specializing in power distribution for the electrical industry. Our design ensures maximum flexibility for excellent reliability and a high return on investment. 


The arrival of the first constant potential transformer was in 1885. Since then, the transformers have become necessary for the distribution, transmission, and utilization of alternating current electrical energy in all appliances of power.

Transformers are simple devices when the lower base understanding is there. They are even available in a variety of types including current sensing, power, isolation, and many more.

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