How to Calculate Transformer Load

Use smaller transfromers for a smaller load.
••• transformateur électrique image by Lounatiq from

A transformer changes alternating current (AC) voltage from one level to another for power companies, appliances and chargers. But the size of a transformer has little to do with the voltage, and everything to do with the amount of electricity it provides. Electricians and technicians refer to the equipment a transformer powers as its load, be it machinery, appliances or electronic components. The load can be measured in amps, watts or volt/amps. To calculate load, you must understand certain electrical terms and formulas.

    The load for a power company transformer is the entire building it feeds.
    ••• Power Pole and Rainbow image by Scott Griessel from

    Inventory all the equipment the transformer powers. Make a list of the components, lights, appliances or machinery that the transformer will operate. Add the amount of current, watts or volt/amps that each draws. There should be a tag or label on all equipment telling the amount of current or power it draws.

    The load for a substation transfromer is the entire area it feeds.
    ••• High Voltage Transformer image by Andrzej Thiel from

    Convert the power to equivalent values. Arrange the values into two columns on the list. Label the first “current” and the second “watts” or “volt/amps.” Use the formula power equals volts times amps, or (P=IE) t, make conversions.

    Add up the total current in amps for the first column and the watts or volt/amps in the second column. The sums equal the transformer load expressed in the three terms.

    Things You'll Need

    • Pen or pencil
    • Notepad


    • The prefix “milli” means thousandths and “kilo” means thousands. For example, 50 milliamps equals .05 amps, 10 KW means 10,000 watts and 5 KVA means 5,000 volt/amps. Volt/amps and watts actually mean the same thing because wattage equals volts times amps.


    • Don’t add watts to kilowatts without converting to equivalent values. For example, 10 KW plus 100 watts equals 10.1 KW or 10,100 watts. Don’t add amps to watts. Make the conversions first, and only add amps to amps and watts to watts.

Related Articles

How Can I Estimate the Weight of a Transformer?
How to Calculate 30 KW to Amps
How to Size a Capacitor to an Electric Motor
How to Calculate Transformer Primary Current
How to Calculate Voltage Regulation
How to Regulate DC Power With Resistors
How to Calculate Battery Voltage
How Can I Estimate the Weight of a Transformer?
How to Calculate KVA to MVA
How to Calculate Power Rating
How to Calculate the Efficiency of an Electrical Generator
How to Calculate DC Voltage
How it Works: Voltage Relay
Energizer Watt-Hour Battery Specs
How to Size a Transformer KVA
How to Figure kW Rating of a 3 Phase Electric Motor
How to Calculate Three Phase Amps From Megawatts
How to Convert mW to mA
How to Convert 240 Single Phase to 480 3 Phase
How to Calculate Load Current

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!