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Short circuit test

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Title: Short circuit test  
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Subject: Open-circuit test, Transformer, Index of electrical engineering articles
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Short circuit test

The purpose of a short-circuit test is to determine the series branch parameters of the equivalent circuit of a real transformer.

Circuit diagram for short-circuit test


The test is conducted on the high-voltage (HV) side of the transformer where the low-voltage (LV) side or the secondary is short circuited. The supply voltage required to circulate rated current through the transformer is usually very small and is of the order of a few percent of the nominal voltage and this 5% voltage is applied across primary. The core losses are very small because applied voltage is only a few percentage of the nominal voltage and hence can be neglected. Thus the wattmeter reading measures only the full load copper loss.


To conduct a short-circuit test on power transformer:

  • Isolate the power transformer from service.
  • Remove HV/LV jumps and disconnect neutral from earth/ground.
  • Short LV phases and connect these short circuited terminals to neutral
  • Energise HV side by LV supply.
  • Measure current in neutral, HV voltage and HV line currents.
  • Wattmeter indicate total cu loss of the transformer


\mathbf{W} is the full-load copper loss
\mathbf{V_1} is the applied voltage
\mathbf{I_1} is the rated current
\mathbf{R_{01}} is the resistance as viewed from the primary
\mathbf{Z_{01}} is the total impedance as viewed from the primary
\mathbf{X_{01}} is the reactance as viewed from the primary
\mathbf{W} = {\mathbf{I_1}}^2 \mathbf{R_{01}}
\mathbf{R_{01}} = \frac {\mathbf{W}} {\mathbf{I_1}^2}
\mathbf{Z_{01}} = \frac {\mathbf{V_1}} {\mathbf{I_1}}
{\mathbf{X_{01}}} = \sqrt {\mathbf{Z_{01}}^2 - \mathbf{R_{01}}^2}

Fault withstand

A short-circuit test for determination of transformer impedance and losses is carried out with relatively low power applied to the transformer, and with winding currents of the same magnitude as in operation. A different form of short-circuit testing is done to assess the mechanical strength of the transformer windings, and their ability to withstand the high forces produced if an energized transformer experiences a short-circuit fault. Currents during such events can be several times the normal rated current. The resultant forces can distort the windings or break internal connections. For large utility-scale power transformers, high-power test laboratories such as the one operated by KEMA at Arnhem, Holland, and CESI Italy have facilities to apply the very high power levels representative of a fault on an interconnected grid system.

See also

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