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Uses of Transformers

Author: E.E. Kimberly

One of the many advantages of alternating-current electricity is the ease with which it may be transformed from high voltage to low voltage and vice versa. Economy of transmission is greatest at high voltage, but lower voltage is better suited to generation, distribution, and use. Voltages of 13,500 or fewer volts are commonly used in generation; 13,500 to 250,000 volts are common for transmission over great distances; and 13,500 or fewer volts are best for distribution and use among customers. Transformers are used to "step" up or "step" down the voltage of a system to meet a particular need. A transformer is, in general, the electrical analog to the gear reduction box of a mechanical-power transmission system.

Last Update: 2010-10-05