The 3D Transformers Environment (TE3D) provides a graphical user interface for designing transformers and reactors using Cobham Technical Services' Opera-3D finite element electromagnetic simulation package.

Users are presented with simple dialog boxes and drop-down menus to define a new transformer or reactor design. After entering this data, the software creates a 3-D 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 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 can be modelled through the environment. Users can 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.

The TE3D environment offers fine control of the finite element analysis mesh size and distribution within each device to help balance speed with accuracy.

TE3D will also model a diverse range of reactor types, including three-phase three-leg, five-leg and both horizontal and vertical air core, and single-phase two-leg, three-leg and air core. Power systems designers will appreciate the benefits of using TE3D from the outset. By modelling the transformer or reactor, they can visualize the shape of stray flux and the areas with the highest local loss concentration. Design data can be changed in seconds, allowing “What if?” type scenarios to be investigated quickly, so that users can home-in on the optimal design solution to an application more efficiently.

Cobham Technical Services