Difference between Step-up and Step-down transformer

The main key difference between step up and step down transformer is, step-up transformer raises the output voltage whereas the step-down transformer reduces the output current. Here this article gives information about the main key difference between step up and steps down transformer are listed below.

Definition of a step-down transformer:


A step-down transformer reduces the output voltage or in other words, converts high voltage, low current power into voltage, high current power. Our power circuit carries voltage from 230-110 v but the doorbell requires only 16v. Therefore the step-down transformer should be used to reduce the voltage from around 110v or the voltage from 220v to 16v. 

Definition of step-up transformer:


When the voltage is raised on the output side, That time the transformer is called the step-up transformer. In this transformer, the number of turns in the secondary winding is always greater than the turns in the primary winding because a high voltage is developed on the secondary side of a transformer. 

The main key difference between step up and step down transformer are listed below:


  • In Step-up transformer, the low voltage winding is the primary winding and high voltage winding is the secondary winding, while in step down transformer low voltage winding is the secondary winding.
  • When the output voltage is greater than its input voltage, it called a step-up transformer, while the step-down transformer output voltage is less. 
  • Step-up transformer extends the voltage from 220v-11kv or above, whereas step down transformer the voltage from 440-220v, 220-110v or 110-24v, 20v, 10v etc. 
  • In a step-up transformer, high voltage winding is the secondary winding, while the step-down transformer high voltage winding is primary winding.
  • In step-up current is low on the secondary winding, while in step down transformer current is high on the secondary winding. 
  • In step-up transformer mainly used in power plant, x-ray, machine, microwave, etc while in step down transformer mainly used in the doorbell, voltage converter, etc. 
  • In step-up transformer, the primary winding is made up of thick insulated copper wire and the secondary is made up of thin insulated copper wire while in step down transformer the output current is high so the thick insulated copper wire is used for making secondary winding. 
  • In a step-up transformer, the current and magnetic field is less developed in the secondary winding, and it is highly developed in the primary wiring. but in step down transformer voltage is low on secondary end thus the current and magnetic field high.
Explore more information:

  1. Difference between star delta connection
  2. Difference between a power transformer and distribution transformer 

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