Power Transformers Versus Distribution Transformers


Power transformers are high voltage transformers that are installed at various power stations for power generation and transmission. They could either be step-up or step-down, depending upon whether your application requires to increase or decrease the incoming power. Distribution transformers are, on the other hand, those transformers that step down the voltage and current level of a transmission line, according to the level already set.

Other than the basic difference between the two, there are also many other differences between the two types of transformers. Both the transformers have their own networks to be used, installation settings, low or high voltage settings, design criteria, current losses, and operating conditions. Let us take a look.


Power transformers are used in high step-up and step-down applications where the transmission network accepts only higher voltages for different load settings like 400 kV, 200 kV, 110 kV, 66 kV, and 33kV. Distribution transformers are used in lower voltage distribution networks like 11kV, 6.6 kV, 3.3 kV, 440V, and 230V, which are compatible for end user connectivity.


Power transformers are larger in size than distribution transformers due to the heavy loads they have to carry without heating, so that the components are kept cool.


Power transformers have just one primary and one secondary setups with one input and output pin. Conversely, distribution transformers have one primary and a tapped secondary, but could have multiple secondaries.


Different transformers use different windings. Power transformers’ primary windings are always connected in star, and secondary windings in delta connections. But, in distribution transformers, it is completely the opposite.

Load resistance

Power transformers operate at nearly full load capacity due to the heavy current utilization required, while distribution transformers operate at lighter loads as they are used only for domestic purposes.


Used for commercial purposes, power transformers are designed for maximum efficiency at 100% load settings. On the other hand, distribution transformers can perform effectively only at a maximum of 60-70% load.

Voltage fluctuation

Power transformers give constant power supply, free of disturbance and value, so they have the least fluctuations. Distribution transformers may have regular load fluctuations as they are used in domestic applications.


Power transformers have immense electric resonance, with a high flux density and magnetic propulsion. Distribution transformers are much lower in all these aspects.

Metal loss

Power transformers incur copper and iron losses throughout the day due to heavy current being continuously passed through the transformer. But, in distribution transformers, only iron losses take place throughout the day, while copper losses are based on the load cycle.

With all these differences in mind, it is now up to you which transformer you use. Although commercial applications call only for power transformers, domestic applications give you a choice. When you have high voltage applications that require 100% efficiency at full loads and constant power supply with the least fluctuations, it is power transformers you are looking for. For any other requirements, distribution transformers may do. For the best power transformer in India, you can get in touch with Miracle Electronics, where you can get RoHS and REACH compliant power transformers that are available with CE and UL marks on request.

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