In many different applications, it is essential to be able to separate the power source from the device it powers. This is typical to prevent the possibility of an electric shock from a power source that could damage equipment.
It can also be used to eliminate a source of electromagnetic interference or electrical “noise” when the device or system is very sensitive and may not be possible to fully shield to the levels required. There may also be a requirement to prevent two electrical circuits from being directly connected to prevent possible damage.
In all of these cases, the use of isolation transformers serves the blocking function. They are used on AC (alternating current) power sources to block any possible transmission of DC (direct current) power or signal.
How They Work
In a very simplified form, the isolation transformers use a one to one ratio between the primary and secondary windings. The windings are separated by insulation, preventing any contact between the windings.
These are different in functioning that traditional types of transformers in that they are not used to create the step up or the step down in power that is the function of many transformers.
There are many different uses for isolation transformers in testing as well as in the operation of various devices and equipment. In almost all types of electronics testing this the transformer that will be used as there is no risk of electronic shock in touching the equipment and also creating a ground.
The same type of practice and safety makes these an ideal transformer type where grounding of the device is not a possibility. This may occur because of the location of the device or due to problems with the grounding of a device when it is being used.
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