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When a Buck-Boost transformer is connected as an autotransformer, what is the procedure for determining the current rating of the over-current protective device, such as the fuse or circuit breaker?

The NEC Article 450-4 outlines over-current protection for autotransformers. It is reproduced as follows: “NEC 450-4 – Autotransformers 600 Volts, Nominal, or Less

(a) Over-current Protection. Each autotransformer 600 volts nominal, or less shall be protected by an individual over-current device installed in series with each ungrounded input conductor. Such over-current device shall be rated or set at not more than 125 percent of the rated full load input current of the autotransformer. An over-current device shall not be installed in series with the shunt winding.

Exception: Where the rated input current of an auto transformer is 9 amperes or more and 125 percent of this current does not correspond to a standard rating of a fuse or non-adjustable circuit breaker; the next higher standard rating described in our section shall be permitted. When the rated input current is less than 9 amperes, an over-current device rated or set at not more than 167 percent of the input current shall be permitted.

(b) Transformer Field-Connected as an Autotransformer. A transformer field-connected as autotransformers shall be identified for use at elevated voltage.”

Example: A 1kVA transformer, Catalog No. Q1C0ERCB, is rated 120 x 240 to 12 x 24 volts. It is to be connected as an autotransformer to raise 208 to 230 volts single-phase. When connected as an autotransformer in this application, the kVA rating is increased to 9.58 kVA, or 9,580 VA. This is the rating to be used for determining the full load input current and the corresponding size of the over-current protection device, either a fuse or breaker.

Full load input amps = 9,580 Volt Amps = 46 Amp, 208 Volts.

When the full load current is greater than 9 amps, the over-current protection device (usually a fuse or nonadjustable breaker).  Current rating can be up to 125 percent of the full load rating of the autotransformer input current.

Max. current rating of the over-current device = 46 amps x 125% = 57.5 amps.

The National Electrical Code, Article 450-4 (a) Exception, permits the use of the next higher standard ampere rating of the over-current device. This is shown in Article 240-6 of the N.E.C.

Max. size of the fuse or circuit breaker = 60 amps.

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