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Reducing the Weight and Cost of a Conventional Power Transformer

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Power transformers in DC power supplies with capacitor input filters are poorly utilized due to the low duty cycle of the current pulses. By switching the primary voltage on during periods of current flow, there is much less flux change in the core, and the transformer can be redesigned to have less weight and cost. The problem is analyzed and several schemes are evaluated. A simple triac switch allows about a factor of two increase in transformer efficiency, while a more complex switch can potentially reduce the weight by even a larger factor.

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