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2013 IEEE 7th International Power Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEOCO2013), Langkawi, Malaysia.

3-4 June 2013

Experimental Stuudy on the Impact of Haarmonics

on Transformer
T.L.G. Sohh, D.M. Said, N. Ahmad, K.M. Nor, F. Salim

era the frequent use of direct curren

nt power supply to the load
Abstract- Impacts of harmonics on step-dow
wn transformer are at end-user equipment, this invo olved used of rectifiers.
presented in this paper. Transformer failure h
had been reported Whenever, there are loads connected d with the power supply in
due to harmonic current causing excessive winnding temperature the end-user equipment will result in current distortion [1].
rise. Excessive temperature rise of transfoormer is due to Voltage distortion and current distoortion draw by these loads
harmonic effect result in higher power lloss than normal are the one of the power quality issues on transformer.
operating mode. An experimental setup is propposed which allow
for observation of harmonics. This research focuses on the
Failures in transformers under no ormal operating condition
transformer losses under nonlinear load with h different power with high levels of harmonic curren nts have been reported [2].
consumption. Moreover, the trends of Total Haarmonic Distortion Nonsinusoidal currents draw by y nonlinear load cause
(THD) with nonlinear load are reported. excessive loss and heating [3] in transformer.
t Transformers
are usually designed for utilizing at rated frequency and rated
Index Termsharmonic, transformer lossees, nonlinear load, apparent power. Nowadays with the present of nonlinear load,
efficiency transformer leads to higher losses due
d to harmonic distortion
which can cause excessive windiing losses and abnormal
NOMENCLATURE temperature rise [4].
Transformer losses can be resolv ved into no-load and load
Req Equivalent winding resistance losses. No-load loss occurs from thee voltage excitation of the
Xeq Equivalent leakage reactance core and magnetic hysteresis and eddy currents. Load loss
Rc Core loss resistance arises mainly from the resistance losses in the conducting
Xm Magnetizing reactance material of the windings [5].
PLL Total load losses Many works like derating [6]-[10 0] and modeling [11]-[15]
IR RMS sinusoidal AC current had been done by researches to loo ok into the power quality
PEC-R Total winding eddy current loss w with sinusoidal issue on transformer cause by thesee nonlinear loads. Derating
AC current is the intentional reduction in load capacity of a transformer
POSL-R Other stray loss with sinusoidal ACC current under nonsinusoidal operation [8].
Pth Total harmonic losses In this paper, harmonic data on step-down transformer have
h Harmonic order been measured. This work also prov vides experimental study of
FHL Harmonic loss factor for winding eddy current effect on harmonic current toward ds single phase dry type
FHL-STR Harmonic loss factor for other strayy losses transformer losses.
This paper is organized as follow:: transformer losses study
I. INTRODUCTION in section II, experimental setup in section III, result and
discussion in section IV and conclussion in section V.
Transformers are one of the most imporrtant components
from generating station to end-user equipm ment; transformers
play an important role in minimizing the lossses throughout the
stage by stepping up and stepping down thee voltage. In end- The equivalent circuit of the experrimental transformer is
user equipment, transformer is use to regulatee the voltage from shown in Fig. 1.
240V ac to the required output voltage.
Common sources of harmonics in induustrial sector are Req Xeq Rs Xs
rectifiers, dc motor drives and electrical ballaast. In this modern
Rc Xm
This work was supported by the Malaysian Ministryy of Higher Education
and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia through Fundameental Research Grant
Scheme (FRGS) vot 4F112.
T. L. G. Soh is a full-time Master research student at Centre of Electrical
Energy Systems (CEES), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. (e-mail: Fig. 1. Single phase transformer equ
uivalent circuit
D.M. Said is a Senior Lecturer with Centre of Electrical Energy Systems
(CEES), Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
Johor Bahru, Malaysia. (e-mail: dalila@fke.utm.my) Transformer losses are obtained by
b calculating the sum of
N. Ahmad, K.M. Nor and F. Salim are with Universiti Teknologi no-load losses and load loss. Eq. (1) shown the load loss

978-1-4673-5074-7/13/$31.00 2013 IEEE 686

2013 IEEE 7th International Power Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEOCO2013), Langkawi, Malaysia. 3-4 June 2013

without including the effect of harmonicc current on the NTAL SETUP

transformer load loss.
In this experimental study, shelll type dry transformer is
PLL = I R2 Req + PEC R + POSL R (1) used. The parameters of the expeerimental transformer are
given in Table I.


As harmonic current flow into the transform mer, magnitude of
the overall current will increase. Since losses is production of Rating value
current and resistance. There are two types oof effects that can Apparent power (VA) 12
cause increase in winding eddy current lossees; skin effect and Primary voltage (V) 240
the proximity effect. Stray loss caused by eleectromagnetic flux Secondary voltage (V) 12
in the winding, core, and core clamps, magnetic shield, Rated secondary current (A) 1
enclosure or tanks wall. The total harmoonic loss can be
calculated using Eq. (2) as follow: Dimension of the core
Height (mm) 50
h = max

I 2 Width (mm) 21
Pth = h Req + PEC R FHL + POSL R FHHL STR (2)
Length (mm) 58

The experimental setup used forr evaluating the harmonic

The harmonic loss factor for winding eddy current and other impact on transformer loss is sho own in Fig.2. The block
stray losses are shown in Eq. (3) and Eq. (4) rrespectively. diagram of the experimental setup is shown in Fig. 3.
An experimental dry type single phase transformer was
supplied from single phase supply y via normal house hold
h = max
Ih 2 usage switch socket outlet with 240 V 50Hz.
h The voltage across the primary sides and secondary of the
h =1 I1 experimental transformer was captu ured using two set of test
FHL = 2
(3) lead with alligator clips in each sidee respectively for live and
h = max
Ih neutral. Fluke i5s current clamp is used for capturing current
through primary side and secondary y side of the transformer.
h =1 I1 Four set of current clamp was used with
w two set at each side of
the transformer. Two set of Fluke 43 35 Power Quality Analyzer
was used to measure primary side and secondary side of the
2 power consumption, Total Harmon nic Distortion (THD) and
h = max
I h 0.8
amplitude of each harmonics.
h =1 I1
h = max
h =1 I1 435 240 V ac
From the above equation, it can be concludded that harmonic Fluke
current will increase total losses of transform
mer. No-load loss Test lead with i5s
is due to the induced voltage in core. Load losses can be alligator clip
Mini metal USB
categorized into ohmic loss, eddy current losss, and other stray
desk fan
loss. Experimental
5 volt s dc
OutputPower regulator circuit
Efficiency = 100% (5)
InputPower USB 4 port hub

Efficiency is ratio of measured output powwer of secondary

side of transformer to measured input poweer of primary side
of transformer in percentage as shown in Eq. (5). Fig. 2. Experimental setup
In following section, experimental setup aand measurement
were done over the experimental transformerr and results were

2013 IEEE 7th International Power Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEOCO2013), Langkawi, Malaysia. 3-4 June 2013

L Load +5 V

5 V dc regulator

USB 4 port hub


E R1
Switch 0V
outlet Current Voltage
240V ac Fluke (b)
50Hz Voltage Fluke Fluke
435 Fig. 4. Schematic diagram
435 435 C
a. 5 V regulator circuit b. 5 V output
Fig. 3. Block diagram of the experimental settup


In order to validate the effect of total haarmonic distortion
current towards the efficiency of transformeer, five cases with
different type of load were applied in this worrk.

Case 1: Nonlinear power supply with lighht emitting diode

The experimental transformer was useed to step-down Fig. 5. Harmonic spectrum in case 1
voltage from 240 V ac to 12 V ac. A simple voltage regulator
circuit was used to regulate secondary outpput voltage of the Case 2 and Case 3: Connection of fan
f type USB load to USB
transformer 12 V ac to 5 V dc. The schem matic diagram for hub
typical 5 V dc supply is as shown in Fig. 4. Fan type USB load was connecteed to the USB hubs. Mini
After connection of the resistor and light emitting diode to metal USB desk fan was connected as load in case 2. For case
the output of the 5 V dc supply, harmonic spectra of the 3, only USB fan type cooling pad was
w connected as load. As
current was captured as shown in Fig. 5. can be seen in Fig. 6, THD of both case 2 and 3 are
D1, D2, D3 and D4 is represent for the diodee, C1, C2 and C3 is approximately the same with a differrent of 1.1% only.
represent for the capacitor in Fig. 4 (a). R1 iss represent for the
resistor, LED is represented for the light em mitting diode and
Universal Serial Bus (USB) 4 port hub is uused for supplied
power to the USB device only which does not involved any
signal transmission for this experimental settup application in
Fig. 4 (b).
For case 1, arrangement of experimental seetup was shown in
Fig. 4 (b) without any USB device connecteed to USB 4 port
hub. The 240 V ac 50 Hz power supply wass switched on and
the reading were taken as shown in Table II.
5 V dc regulaator (a)
240 V ac

12 V ac

D1 D3
D2 5V

C1 C2 C3

(a) Fig. 6. Harmonic spectrum
a. Case 2 b. Case 3

2013 IEEE 7th International Power Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEOCO2013), Langkawi, Malaysia. 3-4 June 2013


current (A)

current (A)
power (W)

power (W)

Power loss


THD (%)

THD (%)
Load type










1 Resistor with LED 1.5 0.3 1.2 20.00 244 13.80 0.011 0.036 150.3 1.5
Rectifier bridge and dc
power regulator with

2 Mini metal USB 5.8 4.3 1.5 74.14 244 13.08 0.028 0.405 72.0 6.0
desk fan
3 USB fan type 5.8 4.3 1.5 74.14 243 13.01 0.028 0.410 73.1 6.1
cooling pad
4 USB mini Vacuum 9.1 7.0 2.1 76.92 242 12.45 0.042 0.665 58.8 8.7

5 Load combination 11.7 9.1 2.6 77.78 242 12.05 0.053 0.886 50.2 10.3
of case 3 and 4

The main contribution of THD is third harmonic current as 77.78%, but THD of the current decreased from 150.3% to
can be observed from Fig. 5 and Fig. 6 respectively. The THD 50.2%.
in case 1 was 150.3% with the highest contribution of this
value from third harmonic current of 94.9%. For case 2 and 3,
third harmonic current was 66.8% and 67.6% respectively.

Case 4: Connection of USB mini vacuum as load to USB hub

The experimental results were analyzed to determine effect
of harmonic impact on transformer losses and main
contribution of harmonic order on THD. USB mini vacuum
was connected to the USB hub in order to have a variation of
load with different of power consumption compare with other
Fig. 8. Harmonic spectrum in case 5

Efficiency (%)

Fig. 7. Harmonic spectrum in case 4 0
40 90 140
Case 5: Connection of Combination loads of USB cooling pad
and USB mini vacuum to USB hub Current THD (%)
In case 5, load combination was applied to increase the
power consumption of the load and to observe the THD effect Fig. 9. Efficiency versus current THD
on combination of two individual load with THD current of
73.1% and 58.8% respectively when they operating alone. In V. CONCLUSION
this case, the THD current drop to 50.2% instead of
increasing. In this work, a practical engineering study and analysis has
The magnitude of the current harmonic spectra was as been applied for obtain the active power losses windings under
shown in Fig. 8. Magnitude of 5th order and 7th order current nonlinear load conditions. The objective of the experimental
harmonic component had been decreased significantly as setup was to measure the distortion of harmonic current and
compare to other cases, but third harmonic component values calculate efficiency of the transformer under nonlinear load.
still maintain at high value in Fig. 8. The transformer efficiency increased with value of total
As can be observed in Table II and Fig. 9, the efficiency of harmonic distortion decreased. Nonsinusoidal voltage on the
the transformer from case 1 to case 5 increased from 20% to transformers performance is the generation of extra losses in
the core. In this work, effect of total harmonic distortion

2013 IEEE 7th International Power Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEOCO2013), Langkawi, Malaysia. 3-4 June 2013

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