Subject Area

Physics/Applied Physics

Description

Transformers are important for modern society. Without transformers, using electric power is impossible; however, most mid- and small-sized transformers have poor efficiency. These range anywhere between 50-75% efficiency, depending on the total power and magnetic core materials used. The lack of output stems mainly from an energy loss called the eddy current loss. Reducing the eddy current loss, by increasing the permeability of core materials and reducing their electrical resistance, are two major goals for many researchers in this area. A common way to reduce the eddy current loss is to make a laminated core with insulator film surface of each laminated sheet. The laminated sheet reduces the eddy current loss a great deal, but there is still some considerable ohm heat loss. Another idea being explored is the use of nano particles to build the core. This method was utilized here with the awareness that, first, nano-powder core materials cannot be easily made, and, second, coating these particles with some form of insulated materials is not simple, either. In this project, two different sub-nano materials were used to make the core. One was Iron oxide (Fe3O4), and the other one was pure iron. Neither are classified as nano particles but come very close, and were therefore an appropriate substitution in lieu of other nano particles. A transformer core was successfully made from Iron oxide, and the performance of the transformer was tested. A simple test core of pure ion powder was also made and tested. The iron oxide purchased and used here did not give the results predicted, due to its permeability being too low. For the pure iron powder, insulation coating on particles was not good enough, so the eddy current loss was higher than we hoped. Essentially, the project was not successful with the materials we had at hand. We learned that the process of successfully coating nano or sub-nano powder itself is a research topic worth pursuing. Furthermore, finding a way to determine the core material’s magnetic permeability may greatly reduce limiting factors in the development of nano and sub-nano powder cores in the future.

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May 22nd, 11:30 AM May 22nd, 11:45 AM

Benefits of Nano-Powder Transformer Core

Transformers are important for modern society. Without transformers, using electric power is impossible; however, most mid- and small-sized transformers have poor efficiency. These range anywhere between 50-75% efficiency, depending on the total power and magnetic core materials used. The lack of output stems mainly from an energy loss called the eddy current loss. Reducing the eddy current loss, by increasing the permeability of core materials and reducing their electrical resistance, are two major goals for many researchers in this area. A common way to reduce the eddy current loss is to make a laminated core with insulator film surface of each laminated sheet. The laminated sheet reduces the eddy current loss a great deal, but there is still some considerable ohm heat loss. Another idea being explored is the use of nano particles to build the core. This method was utilized here with the awareness that, first, nano-powder core materials cannot be easily made, and, second, coating these particles with some form of insulated materials is not simple, either. In this project, two different sub-nano materials were used to make the core. One was Iron oxide (Fe3O4), and the other one was pure iron. Neither are classified as nano particles but come very close, and were therefore an appropriate substitution in lieu of other nano particles. A transformer core was successfully made from Iron oxide, and the performance of the transformer was tested. A simple test core of pure ion powder was also made and tested. The iron oxide purchased and used here did not give the results predicted, due to its permeability being too low. For the pure iron powder, insulation coating on particles was not good enough, so the eddy current loss was higher than we hoped. Essentially, the project was not successful with the materials we had at hand. We learned that the process of successfully coating nano or sub-nano powder itself is a research topic worth pursuing. Furthermore, finding a way to determine the core material’s magnetic permeability may greatly reduce limiting factors in the development of nano and sub-nano powder cores in the future.

 

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