Current Transformers

Current transformers (CT) are devices that are used to transform the current from a high current into a lower current so that the power can then be measured and controlled. The transformers consist of a core, a primary and a secondary winding. When an alternating current flows through the primary winding, a magnetic flux is created which then induces an alternating current in the secondary winding. This alternating current is proportional to the current in its primary. Current transformers are also known as a "step-down transformers". Once the current has been reduced it can be safely monitored and measured using an ammeter.


Current transformers can perform circuit control and perform roles for safety protection and current limiting.


Current transformers are found in:


  • Generating stations,

  • Electrical substations

  • Commercial electric power distribution.

Types of Current Transformers


Toroidal Current Transformer - These transformers are shaped like a doughnut they do not contain a primary winding. Instead, the line that carries the current flowing in the network is threaded through a window or hole in the toroidal transformer. Toroidal transformers offer high efficiency with minimal excess noise and little excess leakage inductance.


Wound Current Transformer - The transformers primary winding is physically connected in series with the conductor that carries the measured current flowing in the circuit. The magnitude of the secondary current is dependent on the turns ratio of the transformer.


Bar-type Current Transformer – This type of current transformer uses the actual cable or bus-bar of the main circuit as the primary winding, which is equivalent to a single turn. They are fully insulated from the high operating voltage of the system and are usually bolted to the current carrying device.


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