Power Electronics

Transformer and AC Line Reactor Finite Element Design Software

The development of new generations of transformers and line reactors is radically simplified and accelerated by a powerful new automated software toolbox from the Vector Fields Software product line of Cobham Technical Services.

A new 3D Transformers Environment (TE3D) provides a graphical user interface for rapidly designing transformers and reactors using Cobham's renowned Opera-3d finite element electromagnetic simulation package. TE3D makes it extremely simple for users to employ advanced and precise finite-element analysis simulation to evaluate design ideas. The software will prove popular with both new and experienced transformer engineers, as 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 design. After entering this data - which typically takes just a few minutes - the software automatically creates a three-dimensional 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 allows a very wide variety of common transformer types to be created, including three-phase, three- and five-leg core, and single-phase two- and three-leg core. The software accommodates both 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 are also offered the option to modify the device and circuits following the initial build to enable precise matching of their designs, and the analysis options available within the environment can be used to analyze devices not constructed within it.

The simulation analysis phase is also automated. User options include performing open-circuit, short-circuit and inrush current tests on transformers, and mutual inductance tests on reactors. Once an analysis has been completed, the TE3D environment automatically sends the results to the Opera Manager to be solved. In the case of the inrush current test, for example, the calculated results include the Lorentz forces on the primary and secondary windings, eddy currents in any support structures, iron losses in the transformer core, and transformer efficiency. All 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 Analysis (FEA) mesh size and distribution within each device, which can be specified by the user before or after the model has been built, to help balance speed with accuracy. The standard Modeler mesh tolerances are converted automatically when any changes are made to length units.

Cobham Technical Services
Part Number: TE3D

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