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A new 15-kVA, 230-230 V, high-temperature superconducting (HTS), partial-core transformer has been designed, built, and tested. The transformer utilizes a unique core design termed partial core, consisting of a central laminated slug of core steel only. The windings are layer wound with first-generation Bi2223 HTS. A model was developed to predict the performance of the transformer as well as the ac losses of the HTS and is presented in this paper. Part 2 of this paper presents the construction details and experimental results.