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Frequently Asked Questions

This section is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a design tool or to generate technical specifications. For further details, please contact CTI and discuss with a representative for clarification. Search for terms or questions by entering words or phrases in the text box and clicking Search, by selecting a category from the drop-down list and clicking Show. Then simply click on the linked term or question below.

Question: What is a Zigzag Transformer?

Answer: A zigzag transformer is used in connection with 3 phase and is made up of 6 coils connected in a "Y" manner. Each leg of the "Y" is made up of a coil on a different phase leg of the transformer. The neutral formed by the zigzag connection is very stable. Therefore, this type of transformer, or in some cases an auto transformer, lends itself very well for establishing a neutral for an ungrounded 3 phase system. Many times this type of transformer or auto transformer, lends itself very well for establishing a neutral for an ungrounded 3 phase system. Many times this type of transformer or auto transformer will carry a fairly large rating, yet physically be relatively small. This particularly applies in connection with grounding applications. The reason for this small size in relation to the nameplate KVA rating is due to the fact that many types of grounding auto transformers are rated for 2 seconds. This is based on the time to operate an overcurrent protection device such as a breaker. Zigzag transformers used to be employed to enable size reductions in drive motor systems due to the stable wave form they present. Other means are now more common, such as 6 phase star.

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