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ABB CRC, SWEDEN

FROM SPREADSHEETS TO MULTIPHYSICS
APPLICATIONS, ABB CONTINUES TO POWER UP
THE TRANSFORMER INDUSTRY

Companies developing new and improved power transformer equipment incur costs for prototyping
and testing as they work to reduce transformer hum. At ABB, a team of engineers develops multiphysics
simulations and custom-built applications to offer insight into their designs.

by LEXI CARVER                                   Among this equipment are power              But transformers come with noise,
                                              transformers for increasing and             often manifested as a faint humming
F or everything from cooking                  decreasing voltage levels in power lines    or buzzing that can be heard when
            to charging our phones, we        that carry alternating current (see Figure  walking nearby. Although it is
            rely every day on the electrical  1). Power transfer with higher voltages     impossible to completely silence them,
            grid that powers buildings like   results in lower losses and so is more      regulations require adherence to safe
homes, businesses, and schools. This          desirable for transporting power long       sound levels, and good product design
complex network includes stations             distances. However, such high voltage       can minimize these acoustic effects.
generating electric power, high-voltage       levels would pose a safety hazard at
transmission lines that carry electricity     either end of the lines, so transformers       One of the biggest manufacturers
across large distances, distribution lines    are used to increase voltage levels at the  of transformers used around the
that deliver power to individual homes        power feed-in point and decrease them       world, ABB (headquartered in Zürich,
and neighborhoods, and the related            close to neighborhoods and buildings.       Switzerland), has used numerical
hardware used for power ow control                                                        analyses and computational applications
and protection.

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