Copper vs aluminum transformers

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malachi constant

Senior Member
Location
Minneapolis
I have a "non-critical" application for a transformer - i.e. not a hospital, mission-critical type application.
I normally spec aluminum coil transformers. My understanding of aluminum coil is performance is the same, cost is less, footprint and weight is a little bigger.
The engineer who proceeded me specified a copper transformer, and the electrician is asking if he can get away with an aluminum. I see no reason why not, assuming he provides a reasonable credit and that it physically fits in the space.

Am I missing something? Are there any applications where you would hesitate to use an aluminum coil transformer?
 

JoeStillman

Senior Member
Location
West Chester, PA
Copper and aluminum perform equally well in a chrono-synclastic infundibulum.

The manufacturer can provide you with loss data. I would expect them to be roughly equal. Even with higher losses though, the first-cost savings of the aluminum transformer could make it the winner. To really decide what's best, you need to do a life-cycle cost analysis. You'll need the loss data and an estimate of the kWH of the load, plus your electricity rate.
 
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buzzbar

Senior Member
Location
Olympia, WA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Another reason to choose copper is because it's less prone to corrosion. If the transformer is in a corrosive environment, such as salt water, aluminum would be a bad choice.
 
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