The autotransformer is both the most simple and the most fascinating of the connections involving two windings. It is used quite extensively in bulk power transmission systems because of its ability to multiply the effective KVA capacity of a transformer.

Autotransformers are also used on radial distribution feeder circuits as voltage regulators. The connection is shown below:

The boosting autotransformer connection. The output terminals operateat a higher voltage than the input terminals.

The autotransformer shown above is connected as a boosting autotransformer because the series winding boosts the output voltage. Care must be exercised when discussing ‘‘primary’’ and ‘‘secondary’’ voltages in relationship to windings in an autotransformer.

In two-winding transformers, the primary voltage is associated with the primary winding, the secondary voltage is associated with the secondary winding, and the primary voltage is normally considered to be greater than the secondary voltage.

In the case of a boosting autotransformer, however, the primary (or high) voltage is associated with the series winding, and the secondary (or low) voltage is associated with the common winding; but the voltage across the common winding is higher than across the series winding.

The other possible connection for an autotransformer is shown below:

The bucking autotransformer connection. The output terminals operateat a lower voltage than the input terminals.

The autotransformer shown is connected as a bucking autotransformer because the series winding bucks, or opposes, the output voltage. The key feature of an autotransformer is that the KVA throughput of the transformer, i.e., its capacity, is different than the KVA transformed by the common and series windings. The common and series windings are wound on the same core leg.

1. The volts per turn in the common winding equal the volts per turn in the series winding. The common winding voltage divided by the series winding voltage is equal to the number of turns in the common winding divided by the number of turns in the series winding.

2. The sum of the ampere-turns of the common winding plus the ampere- turns of the series winding equal the magnetizing ampereturns.

The magnetizing ampere-turn are practically zero, so the magnitude of the ampere-turns in the common winding is approximately equal to magnitude of the ampere-turns in the series winding. The series winding current divided by the common winding current is equal to the number of turns in the common winding divided by the number of turns in the series winding.

3. The KVA transformed in the series winding equals the KVA transformed in the common winding. The capacity multiplication effect stems from the fact that the metallic connection between the input and output circuits allows part of the KVA to flow though the connection and bypass the transformation.

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