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Optimal operation of coreless PCB transformer-isolated gate drive circuits with wide switching frequency range

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3 Author(s)
Hui, S.Y. ; Dept. of Electron. Eng., City Polytech. of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong ; Tang, S.C. ; Chung, H.S.-H.

Gate drive circuits for power MOSFETs and insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) often require electrical isolation. Coreless printed circuit board (PCB) transformers have been shown to have desirable characteristics from a few hundreds of hertz to a few megahertz and can be used for both power and signal transfer at low-power level. At low operating frequency, the magnetizing inductance has such low impedance that the driving power requirement could become excessive. This paper describes the use of a coreless PCB transformer for isolated gate drive circuits over a wide-frequency range. Based on a resonance concept, the optimal operating condition that minimizes the power consumption of the gate drive circuits is developed and verified with experiments. The coreless PCB transformer demonstrated here confirms a fundamental concept that the size and volume of a magnetic core could approach zero and become zero if the operating frequency is sufficiently high. Coreless PCB transformers do not require the manual winding procedure and thus simplify the manufacturing process of transformer-isolated gate drive circuits and low-power converters. Their sizes can be much smaller than those of typical core-based pulse transformers. The electrical isolation of a PCB is much higher than that of an optocoupler

Published in:

Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 3 )