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A simple transformer consists of two coils, a primary and a secondary, wound on a high
permeability, soft iron core. The changing current in the first coil creates a changing
magnetic field that induces a voltage in the secondary coil.
The size of the secondary voltage compared to the voltage applied to the primary
depends on turns ratio, or transformation ratio. That is, the number of turns of wire in
the secondary winding compared to number of turns in the primary.
If losses are very small, the turns ratio may be expressed as:
= T (transformation ratio)
V Pr imary
N Pr imary
If the number of turns on the secondary is less than the number of turns on the primary,
the output voltage will be less than the input voltage, and the transformer is called a step
If the number of turns on the secondary is greater than the number of turns on the
primary, the transformer is a step up type and the output voltage will be greater than the
By convention, when writing the transformation ratio, the secondary voltage is put before
the primary, therefore, a 4:1 transformer is a step up transformer, the secondary voltage
being 4 times the primary voltage.
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