ELi5: What is the advantage of high volts vs high amps?

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So, the purpose of a transformer is to trade volts for amps.

Is there an advantage to one or the other? Why would you want to change it?

My understanding is that a transformer is like of like a torque converter. So does this mean that a high voltage application would be like a high electrical leverage, and a high amps would be more for a high speed/rate of flow application?

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>So, the purpose of a transformer is to trade volts for amps.

>Is there an advantage to one or the other? Why would you want to change it?

>My understanding is that a transformer is like of like a torque converter. So does this mean that a high voltage application would be like a high electrical leverage, and a high amps would be more for a high speed/rate of flow application?

Whenever a current passes through a conductor, the conductor heats up depending on (and *only on*) its resistance and on the amount of current. That heat is energy loss (unless the conductor is a deliberate heating element like in a toaster) since it can no longer be used for the original purpose of the circuit/device and contributes to its inefficiency.
You obviously want to lose as little energy to resistive heating as possible, so whenever you transport electricity over large distances it is best to have only a **tiny** amount of current at an enormous voltage, otherwise all those cables would simply be very expensive radiators for birds.

High voltage losses are from radiation. High current losses are from heating the wire. So far it has been easier to minimize the radiation losses from high voltage than to minimize the heat losses from high current. We move to the next voltage level when the engineers figure out how to keep the loss at an acceptable minimum.

When room temperature super conductors are found then the push for higher voltages will cease and voltages will come back down to minimize transformer and high voltage losses.