Variable inductors have a simple structure that consists of only magnetic core and primary dc and secondary ac windings, but can control effective inductance of the secondary ac winding by the primary dc current due to magnetic saturation effect. Hence, the variable inductors can be applied as a var compensator in electric power systems. In a previous paper, a lap-winding type three-phase variable inductor, which has the primary dc and secondary ac windings concentrically arranged on the same leg, was presented. It has a good controllability and low distortion current. This paper describes size and weight reduction of the lap-winding type three-phase variable inductor by focusing on the leg width. First, an initial design method of the leg width considering the influence of the dc-biased magnetization is presented. Next, a detailed design of the leg width for the size and weight reduction of the proposed variable inductor is described. Finally, characteristics of the size- and weight-reduced variable inductor were compared to those of the previous variable inductor. It is demonstrated that the core diameter is reduced by about 6% and the weight is decreased by about 50% in comparison with the previous variable inductor.
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