Summary:A current transformer (CT) is a device that steps down a high current in an alternating current circ...
A current transformer (CT) is a device that steps down a high current in an alternating current circuit to a lower, safer level.
CTs are commonly used in metering applications and protection devices, as well as other specialized circuits. They also can be used for revenue metering to provide isolation between power electronic circuits and metering equipment.
What is a current transformer?
A current transformer is a magnetic circuit that uses Faraday's law of induction to convert the high-current primary winding to a low-current secondary winding. This conversion produces an alternating current in the secondary that is proportional to the high-current primary current and can be measured with a low-range ammeter or metering instrument.
What are the different types of current transformers?
There are two basic types of current transformers: wound and bar. Wound current transformers use a toroidal core with a secondary winding wrapped around the center. The primary and secondary windings are usually made from silicon steel laminations.
What is a current transformer's accuracy?
A CT's accuracy is the difference between the secondary current and the calculated value of the secondary current, which can be expressed as a percentage. It is measured at a full rated load, which includes the impedance of the secondary winding itself, the impedance of the leads from the CT to the load and the impedance of the load.
The accuracy rating of a CT is determined at a full-rated load, so an open-circuit condition may cause the secondary voltage to exceed its rated value. This can lead to damage or fire.
What are the advantages of a current transformer?
A current transformer can step down high-current currents, making them easier to measure and reducing the risk of damage or fire. It also reduces the amount of energy required to measure and maintain accurate readings.
What is the difference between a current transformer and a tripping relay?
A tripping relay is a circuit that interrupts an electrical system when a fault occurs. It has an insulated secondary coil that sends a current signal to a trip device. The current transformer's secondary coil is surrounded by an insulating material, such as tape or varnish.
What are the differences between a current transformer and a GFCI?
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a type of tripping relay that is installed in residential and commercial electrical systems to protect outlets from ground faults. The GFCI's secondary coil is connected to the grounding conductor and sends a current signal when an imbalance in the current path between the energized conductor and the neutral return conductor occurs.
The GFCI's secondary coil is surrounded by an insulation material, such as tape or varnish. The insulating material is typically used to protect the GFCI from moisture ingress, but can also be used to improve the efficiency of the device.
Unlike the tripping relay, which interrupts an electric circuit, the CT's secondary output signals can be used to supply current to protective relays that protect electrical circuits from electrical hazards. These relays can be triggered at various fault levels and can help to minimize downtime and prevent accidents.