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National Grid electricity supply: Part 6.5 More on the uses of transformers

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INDEX for physics notes on National Grid power supply, use of transformers-calculations and environmental issues

6.5 More on the uses of transformers

Battery charging

Transformers are used to control the voltage that enters the battery during the charging process in order to prevent any damages that can occur to the internal battery components.

So, transformers are used in many devices in the home to convert the mains electricity p.d. of ~230 V down to a smaller safer voltage e.g. charging up your computer battery or mobile phone battery.


The laptop adapter for my website consists of the mains supply

plug and what is basically does what a transformer in the case, but its NOT a simple transformer, technically it is what is known as a 'switched-mode power supply.

Inside the adaptor 100-240 V AC (50/60 Hz)1.5 A mains supply and converts it to 19 V 3.16 A DC output.

Steel manufacturing

Steel manufacturing plants use high/low voltage transformers to provide a range of voltages for the manufacturing process - regulation of the current flowing. High currents are required for the melting and welding of steel, and lower current are required during the cooling process.


In chemical engineering and manufacturing processes, electrolysis is normally fuelled by the functioning of transformers to control both the p.d. and current flowing in e.g. electrolysis processes. Metals used for electroplating include copper, zinc, and aluminum and during the process, transformers provide a regulated electrical current to effect the chemical plating reaction.

National Grid system

The use of transformers in the National Grid system has already been described on this page.

Transformers enable the National Grid system to efficiently deliver electricity to all parts of a country.

The National Grid makes extensive use of step-up and step-down transformers.

Transformers come in all sizes in terms of physical size and power output e.g. from laptop computer charger to large step-up transformers at power stations of the National Grid electricity supply.

The small transformer converts the higher voltage supply to a lower one appropriate for domestic supply.

INDEX of notes on National Grid power supply & use of transformers

Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for National Grid electricity supply

Be able to describe and explain the uses of transformers e.g. in battery chargers for mobile phones, power supply to a computer, as wells as the many electrical machines used in industry.

picture to include laptop


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INDEX of notes on National Grid power supply & use of transformers