Leakage inductance is that property of an electrical transformer that causes a
winding to appear to have some self-inductance in series with the
mutually-coupled transformer windings. This is due to imperfect coupling of the
windings and creation of leakage flux which does not link with all the turns.
The leakage flux alternately stores and discharges magnetic energy with each
electrical cycle and thus effectively acts as an inductor in series in each of
the primary and secondary circuits.
Leakage inductance is primarily caused by the design of the core and the
windings. Voltage is dropped across the leakage reactance, resulting in poorer
supply regulation when the transformer is placed under load.