Pulse Transformers – Working Principles and How They Affect Circuit Performance Explained

Many high-power applications demand strong and fast electrical pulses for their load circuits. Traditional step-up and step-down transformers fail to meet these pulse requirements which is where pulse transformers prove to be helpful. These transformers are widely used across industries thanks to their compact size and ability to deliver exceptional stability in power-hungry scenarios. Is that all they can do? Obviously not. Are you intrigued to know how pulse transformers function and how they affect the electronic circuit performance? If yes, continue to read this post.

pulse transformers

Pulse Transformers Function Explained 

The working of pulse transformers is based on the principle of electromagnetic induction. A transformer consists of two coils wound around a magnetic core. The primary coil is linked to the input circuit, while the secondary coil is connected to the output circuit. When an electrical signal is applied to the primary coil, a magnetic field develops around the core, producing voltage in the secondary coil. The amplitude and duration of the voltage induced in the secondary coil are influenced by factors such as the number of turns in the primary and secondary coils, the type of core material used, and the pulse frequency.

Pulse transformers are designed to operate in a wide frequency range, typically from a few kilohertz to several megahertz. Also, they can handle short-duration pulses ranging from a few nanoseconds to a few microseconds. The core material is selected based on the frequency range and the maximum voltage the transformer will receive. The core material can be ferrite, powdered iron, or laminated iron. 

Factors That Affect the Performance of Pulse Transformers

The performance of a pulse transformer can have a significant impact on the overall performance of the electronic circuit. The following factors can affect the performance of a pulse transformer:

  • Inductance: The inductance of the pulse transformer determines the amount of energy that can be transferred between the primary and secondary coils. Higher inductance allows for higher energy transfer, but it also increases the pulse’s rise time.
  • Bandwidth: The circuit’s bandwidth is the range of frequencies over which it can operate. The bandwidth of a pulse transformer is determined by its inductance, capacitance, and resistance.
  • Rise time: The rise time of the pulse is the time it takes for the pulse to go from zero to its maximum amplitude. A longer rise time can cause signal distortion and reduce the circuit bandwidth.
  • Leakage inductance: Leakage inductance is the inductance of the transformer that is not coupled to the secondary coil. Leakage inductance can cause voltage spikes and signal distortion.
  • Coupling coefficient: The coupling coefficient measures the amount of energy transferred from the primary to the secondary coil. A higher coupling coefficient allows for higher energy transfer but also reduces the galvanic isolation between the circuits.
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Pulse transformers are a critical component in many electronic circuits, especially in high-voltage applications with short-duration pulses. Gaining in-depth knowledge about these transformers is always beneficial if your next application demands them. However, it is also important to source them from a prominent supplier in the industry like Custom Coils. With vast years of experienced and skilled employees, the company provides pulse transformers with custom specifications. Contact them to discuss your pulse transformer requirements.