Hysteresis is a phenomenon observed in magnetic materials where the relationship between magnetic flux density (B) and the magnetic field strength (H) is not entirely reversible. In other words, when a magnetic material is subjected to an alternating magnetic field, its magnetization lags behind the changes in the applied field. This lagging effect leads to the formation of a hysteresis loop on a magnetization curve, which depicts the material's magnetic behavior.
The hysteresis loop is a closed curve that shows the relationship between the magnetic induction (B) and the magnetic field strength (H) during a complete cycle of magnetization and demagnetization. The loop's shape and area depend on the characteristics of the magnetic material and the maximum magnetic field it is exposed to.
Relevance in Transformer Cores:
In transformers, hysteresis plays a crucial role in determining the efficiency and performance of the device. Transformers are essential electrical devices that transfer electrical energy between circuits through electromagnetic induction. They typically consist of two coils, primary and secondary, wound around a common magnetic core made of ferromagnetic material (such as iron or certain alloys).
When an alternating current (AC) flows through the primary coil, it creates a changing magnetic field in the core due to the varying current. This changing magnetic field induces a voltage in the secondary coil, allowing energy transfer from the primary to the secondary circuit.
The hysteresis phenomenon becomes relevant in transformer cores because the magnetic material's properties have a direct impact on the transformer's efficiency. During each AC cycle, the magnetic core undergoes repeated cycles of magnetization and demagnetization, following the hysteresis loop. Some of the energy supplied to the core during magnetization is converted into heat, which results in energy losses and reduces the overall efficiency of the transformer.
To minimize hysteresis losses and improve transformer efficiency, transformer manufacturers carefully select the core material. They use materials with lower hysteresis loop areas, also known as low hysteresis loss materials. These materials have narrower hysteresis loops, meaning they experience smaller energy losses during each cycle of magnetization and demagnetization. Common materials used for transformer cores include silicon steel and certain types of amorphous metals, as they exhibit lower hysteresis losses.
In summary, hysteresis is an important consideration in magnetic materials used for transformer cores. Selecting materials with lower hysteresis losses helps enhance the transformer's efficiency and reduces energy wastage during the energy conversion process. This, in turn, contributes to the overall performance and reliability of the transformer in various electrical power applications.