Int J Performability Eng ›› 2021, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (5): 451-463.doi: 10.23940/ijpe.21.05.p5.451463

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Transient Finite Element Method for Computing and Analyzing the Effect of Harmonics on Hysteresis and Eddy Current Loss of Distribution Transformer

Vibhutia,*, Deepika Bhallab, and Genius Waliaa   

  1. a Guru Kashi University, Talwandi Sabo, 151302, India;
    b IK Gujral Punjab University, Kapurthala, 155603, India
  • Contact: *E-mail address:

Abstract: Distribution transformers need to be designed for low no-load loss. Wrong estimations of no-load losses can have a tremendous impact on the ownership cost. The utility relies on the estimated no-load loss that are provided by transformer manufactures along with the design based on the data sheets of the core material. Finally, the verification is done by the test results. By performing the conventional open-circuit test, total no-load loss is found, and the separation of these losses is not done. There is an approximation that hysteresis loss and eddy current loss equally contribute to the total no-load loss. Also, the loss testing is done on different frequencies or temperatures after the transformer is ready, which comes at a heavy cost. The assessment of the no-load losses with harmonic content is not practically possible. In this work a 315kVA distribution transformer design is developed in 3-D CAD and the no-load losses are estimated by the finite element method (FEM). The performance of the simulation by FEM is verified by the test results on the actual transformer. The effects from the change in thickness of the laminations on the no-load loss is verified with the available theory. The instantaneous value of core loss is analyzed for fundamental and content of harmonics. The effect of percentage content of a harmonic component in the voltage on the no-load loss is analyzed for an odd and even harmonic. The transient finite element method is proposed to separate the hysteresis and eddy current loss, as well as evaluate the effect of harmonics on the loss performance. A simulation-based design improvement for lower total cost of ownership is proposed. The utility can alter the design for the best characteristic of a system where harmonics are inevitable. This can result in the choice of magnetic material, which is a trade-off between material, the cost of operation and predict performance, so as to have reasonable total cost of ownership (TCO).

Key words: distribution transformer, eddy current loss, finite element method, hysteresis loss, no-load loss, transient