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Specialist Technical Services and Software

Power transformer design site demonstrates benefits of software automation

Provides detailed introduction to virtual design using finite element analysis


A new website to help engineers accelerate and improve the design of electrical power transformers and AC line reactors has been launched by Cobham Technical Services.


Designed to be a useful resource for engineers seeking to optimise the performance of power transformers or reactors the new website - - provides clear insight into the benefits of automating the design process using finite element modelling, simulation and analysis by means of an on-demand detailed technical audio visual presentation.


'Introduction to Transformer Design' demonstrates the virtual design process. It explores the Opera design software to illustrate how finite element analysis (FEA) techniques enable conceptual designs of power transformers and reactors to be created, analysed and optimised easily. By allowing users to prove designs before building physical prototypes, this approach reduces production costs and shortens time-to-market significantly - and provides a simple means of fine-tuning design ideas to meet specific goals such as higher efficiency or reduction of materials.


Subjects covered include the definition of model geometry, finite element shapes, mesh density and material type, as well as transformer or reactor configuration, containment and winding layout. Open-circuit, short-circuit, inrush current and mutual inductance tests are described in detail, together with results analysis options. The presentation also highlights how it's possible to extensively automate the design-analyse-optimise process.


The presentation includes benchmark results on an internationally agreed family of problems defined to test the accuracy of simulation software in modelling transformers. Structural and thermal analysis capabilities are also covered briefly, showing how the electromagnetic FEA tool can encompass every aspect of transformer design and qualification. For engineers wishing to gain a more in-depth appreciation of multiphysics simulation, the website provides a link to a further detailed presentation.


The website also provides a dynamic overview of the low-frequency electromagnetic design automation software package Opera, as well as a wealth of information about finite element application areas and capabilities. Cobham is also further populating the site with technical papers and application notes on transformer design and optimisation.

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