- Sensors Journal
- November 2021
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- The present work evaluates, both experimentally and numerically, the heat transfer characteristics of a 5 kW three-phase transformer built from laminated steel sheets. The transformer is operated at different powers, and its temperature distribution is monitored using 108 thermocouples. The experimental measurements are used firstly to determine the heat dissipated at the core and the windings of the transformer. This information is used as an input for a finite element numerical model, which evaluates the heat transfer characteristics of the transformer. The model proposed in this work simply solves the diffusion equation inside the transformer, accounting for the anisotropic thermal conductivity of the different components of the transformer, together with well-known correlations at its boundaries. The results reveal that the proposed numerical model can correctly reproduce the maximum temperature, the temperature distribution, and the time-evolution of the temperature at specific points of the transformer measured during the experimental campaign. These results are of great use for the subsequent development of transformers of the same type in lab-scale or industrial-scale size and reveal the applicability of simplified numerical models to accurately predict the heat transfer characteristics of this kind of transformers.
- heat transfer; modeling; simulation; transformer