isolation transformer - automotive

With the proliferation of high voltage battery packs in automotive and energy storage applications the demand for compact,  high isolation voltage transformers is growing exponentially. These devices, traditionally used to isolate signals between low voltage and high voltage circuits and provide voltage to gate drive and IGBT circuits, are now one of the critical devices keeping high voltage systems isolated and safe. The wide variety of electric transportation systems and electric charging, along with the equally varied energy storage systems such as solar and wind battery backup, creates an equally varied set of electrical, mechanical and safety specifications for these low power isolation transformers. Pulse Electronics has developed, in conjunction with our end-customers and 3rd party power IC partners, multiple catalog platforms to meet the industries need.

To select the appropriate transformer is it necessary to understand the end-application safety specifications, mechanical constraints and the electrical requirements. From a customer standpoint the mechanical constraints are the most obvious and will be dictated by the end-product dimensions and may define the maximum transformer height/length/width. The electrical requirements of the transformer will depend on the selected switching topology (push-pull, h-bridge, f-bridge, flyback), the input and output voltages, switching frequency and output power. In general, these electrical requirements are well understood and with a wide range of topologies, volt-usec ratings, package sizes and turns ratios a catalog solution from Pulse is is readily available. Often, it is the safety specifications which cause customers the most confusion as there are often multiple standards in play (IEC61558-1, IEC61558-2, IEC6064-1, IEC62368-1) and unfamiliar terminology (working voltages, insulation levels, creepage and clearance distances). Fortunately, Pulse datasheets detail the conformance of each platform in terms of the relevant standard, insulation levels, isolation voltages and applicable safety distances. Pulse also has experienced safety engineers on staff and we are able to assist with any questions.

Our new low power isolation transformer overview provides easy access to all of our commercial and automotive grade catalog surface mount options. Modifications to catalog parts can be made by contacting us here

“Our offering of low power, high isolation voltage transformers continues to expand.  Our experienced team of engineers is able to develop the most compact platforms while still meeting stringent safety requirements"

John Gallagher | Power PBU, Pulse Electronics

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Topics: Gate Drive Transformers, Product Updates
Originally published . Updated April 7, 2020.
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