Combining High-power Pulse Generators With Other Electrical Components

Many automated electrical circuits need the use of trigger transformers. They are frequently employed in ignition systems, flash photography and strobe lighting to produce high-voltage pulses. In this article, users will learn what a pulse or ignition transformer is, how it operates, and some common applications in which one would employ it.

Introduction to A Ferrite-Cored Transformer 

High-voltage pulses can be generated with the help of a ferrite-cored transformer. It is also known as an ignition transformer or pulse transformer. It has a secondary and primary coil of wire looped together around a magnetic core.

The secondary coil is often constructed from thinner wire and has higher turns than the primary coil. In addition, the primary coil receives a lower voltage input while producing a significantly higher voltage output in the secondary coil.

When electricity is registered to the primary coil, a magnetic field is produced around the core. The voltage induced in the secondary coil by the primary coil’s magnetic field is often substantially higher. Ferrite-cored transformers activate a spark gap with the voltage created in the secondary coil.

How Do Pulse Transformers Work?

Electromagnetic induction is the basis for the operation of trigger transformers. Changes in the magnetic field throughout the core are produced by applying a voltage to the primary coil. The rate of voltage induction in the secondary coil is proportional to the magnetic field’s rate of change. Furthermore, the secondary coil’s voltage is dependent on the transformer’s turn ratio. The turns ratio compares the secondary coil’s number of turns and the primary coil’s number of bends.

The voltage produced in the secondary coil is sensitive to the amplitude and frequency of the voltage delivered to the primary coil, and the turn ratio—the voltage produced by the secondary coil—increases as the frequency and amplitude upsurge.

Common Applications

There are several uses for ignition transformers, which generate high-voltage pulses because of their mechanism. Common uses include the following:

1. Ignition Systems

The ignition transformer is a frequent component of ignition systems for internal combustion engines. That is because they produce the high-voltage pulse used to set fire to the fuel inside the boiler. The ignition transformer produces a high-voltage pulse, which ionizes the air and fuel mixture to ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber.

2. Strobe Lights

Photography, stage performances, and even emergencies can benefit from employing strobe lights. A high-voltage surge is produced by the ignition transformers and used to power the strobe lights flash tube. The high-voltage pulse ionizes gas inside the flash tube, creating an intense burst of light.

3. Flash Photography

Ignition transformers are employed during flash photography to power the camera’s flash tube. To create a dazzling flash of light, the secondary coil of the trigger transformers must generate a voltage of several thousand volts. When the shutter is released, the pulse transformer sends a high-voltage pulse through the flash tube, ionizing the gas inside and creating a dazzling flash of light.

Among other applications, pulse generators rely on pulse transformers to produce high-voltage pulses for testing and research. High-voltage pulses generated by pulse generators are used in various scientific and industrial applications.

Concerns About Safety

Safety measures must be taken when dealing with pulse transformers. If safeguards are not taken, the high-voltage pulses produced by pulse transformers can cause significant injury or death. When dealing with pulse transformers, it is crucial to utilize the proper safety gear and insulation. One must protect themselves from electric shock and other dangers by wearing goggles, gloves, and other safety gear.

When working with pulse transformers, observing correct circuitry and wiring practices is crucial. High-voltage pulses produce electromagnetic interference (EMI) and can disrupt other electronic devices and circuits. Direct and short wiring and circuits are preferable to reduce EMI interference.


Through the process of electromagnetic induction, secondary coils in trigger transformers are subjected to high voltages as the primary coil’s magnetic field fluctuates. Workers with ignition transformers must observe all safety protocols to avoid serious injury or death. To ensure the transformer serves its purpose well and efficiently, its designers must consider things like the core winding methods and material. Ignition transformers are essential for producing high-voltage pulses in many electronic and electrical systems.

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