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ONYX K-factor Transformers

Harmonic currents generated by nonlinear loads can cause problems in the power system. Transformers are particularly vulnerable to overheating and premature failure. To protect against transformer overheating caused by harmonics, designers can specify derated equipment, i.e., oversized transformers that will run at a fracton of their rated capacity, or K-factor transformers spedfically designed to accommodate harmonic currents. K-factor transformers are preferred because they have additional thermal capacity of known limits, design features that minimize harmonic current losses, and neutral and terminal connections sized at 200% of normal. K-factor transformers allow operation up to nameplate capacity without derating

Technical Details

Transformers directly supplying single-phase power supplies may require deratings of 30% to 40% to avoid overheating.
Underwriters laboratory (UL) recognized the potential safety
hazards associated with using standard transformers with nonlinear loads and developed a rating system to indicate the capability of a transformer to handle harmonic loads. The ratings are described in UL1561   and are known as transformer K-Factors. KFactor
is a weighting of the harmonic load currents according to their effects on transformer heating, as derived from ANSI/IEEE C57.110. A K-Factor of 1.0 indicates a linear load (no harmonics). The higher the K-Factor, the greater the harmonic heating effects

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