Developing new generations of transformers and line reactors is said to simplify and accelerate thanks to a software toolbox from the Vector Fields Software product line of Cobham Technical Services. A 3D Transformer Environment (TE3D) provides a graphical user interface for quickly designing transformers and reactors using Cobham’s Opera-3D finite element, electromagnetic simulation package. TE3D makes it simple for users to employ advanced and precise finite-element analysis to evaluate design ideas. The software will find favor with new and experienced transformer engineers, because it demystifies the process of entering design data for industry standard transformer designs and interpreting results.
Users are presented with simple dialog boxes and drop-down menus to define a new transformer or reactor. After entering data, typically just a few minutes, the software creates a 3D finite-element model of a reactor or transformer, together with independent drive and load circuits within the circuit editor for subsequent simulation and analysis.
The software generates a wide variety of common transformers, including three-phase, three, and five-leg core, and single-phase, two and three-leg core. The software accommodates racetrack and solenoid type single and multiple layer windings, and most of the commonly used winding connections specified in the international IEC 60076-1 standard for power transformers. All aspects of transformer design –such as lamination configuration, core clamping structures, steel support plates and clamp bolts – can be modeled through the environment, including multiple air gaps and placement of the core inside a conductive tank. Users have the option to modify the device and circuits following the initial build for precise matching of their designs. Analysis options can analyze devices not constructed within it.
The simulation-analysis phase is also automated. Options include performing open-circuit, short-circuit, and inrush current tests on transformers, and mutual inductance tests on reactors. After completing an analysis, the TE3D environment sends results to Opera Manager for solving. For an inrush-current test, for example, calculated results include Lorentz forces on the primary and secondary windings, eddy currents in support structures, iron losses in the transformer core, and transformer efficiency. Results can be displayed graphically, presenting users with a clear and unambiguous portrayal of design changes.
The TE3D environment offers fine control of the finite-element mesh size and distribution within each device, which can be specified by users before or after building the model, to help balance speed with accuracy. The standard Modeler mesh tolerances are converted when changes are made to length units.
The software also models a range of reactors, including three-phase three leg, five leg, horizontal and vertical air core, and single-phase two leg, three leg, and air core. Modeling the transformer or reactor lets users visualize the shape of stray flux and areas with the highest local loss concentration. Design data can be changed in seconds, allowing quickly investigating ‘What-if?’ scenarios, so users can home-in on the optimal design solution to an application more efficiently.
To support design optimization, TE3D is also fully integrated with Opera-3D’s Optimizer. This further accelerates design by selecting and managing a comprehensive family of goal-seeking algorithms . This is ideal for designers looking to move performance characteristics, such as efficiency, to new levels, as even a small improvement can bring significant long-term economic and environmental benefits. A reduction of electrical losses involves a huge number of design trade-offs, which can take considerable time to evaluate. By supporting multiple design goals, even when they compete with one another, the Optimizer minimizes the number of simulation runs needed and provides an efficient path to design optimization.
Cobham Technical Services
Filed Under: News, Transformers, Turbines