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Partial Discharge / Corona

What's so important about Partial Discharge and Corona?

Bicron Gate Drive transformers are designed for Corona Free operation in IGBT systems with working voltage of 1200V or more, and with HIPOT up to 40KV. Ten different graduated size, pre-designed platforms are configured to exhibit corona free values from up to 2KV to up to 30KV, essentially based on power rating.

Magnetic devices operating at relatively low voltage levels can exhibit Corona . . . a localized discharge resulting from the gaseous ionizaton in an insulation system when the voltage exceeds a critical value. That critical value used to be assumed to be 1KV but now we know it can be exhibited at levels as low as 300V.

Partial discharge is considered as a discharge that does not complete the path between the cathode and anode of an insulation system. Corona is a further progression of Partial Discharge as voltage levels increase sufficiently to create a "Corona Bloom", posing a severe threat to the operation of both the magnetic device and the system.

Corona-free operation design is key to the outstanding performance and reliability of every Bicron IGBT gate drive transformer. For a complete performance overview, download the Bicron pdf

IGBT Gate Drive Transformer Selection Guide

. . . . listing VA Rating, Voltage Input, Voltage Output, HIPOT Level, Corona-Free Level, and BIL Value as well as overall transformer sizes for all ten starting platforms.

How does Bicron deal with Corona?

Through special design and manufacturing techniques:

  • Custom design matches your unique electrical characteristics for unequaled performance

Our high frequency engineering specialists analyze your circuitry using circuit design simulation and magnetic modeling to achieve a transformer design that optimally matches your circuit requirements

  • Bicron Gate Drive transformers are designed for Corona Free operation in IGBT systems with working voltage of 1200V or more, and with HIPOT up to 40KV.

45 years of inductive component manufacturing experience enable us to build specialized transformers which perform to spec in even the harshest electrical environments.

  • High Efficiency achieved through minimum need for compensation components

Electrical balance custom matched to your system through intelligent design lets us produce transformers with minimum need for additional tuning with added compensation components, reducing overall power losses and heat generation.

  • Each design rated to a specified Partial Discharge and Corona-free level verified by actual test.


Every transformer design carries a specific corona-free level specification (essentially, insulation health) which becomes a part of our manufacturing test specification. Components are tested using a statistical sampling technique or, optionally, may be 100% tested.

  • Design and manufacturing techniques safeguard against thermal instability

Thermal rise allowance conditions in the present day control systems are becoming more critical as smaller footprints are required to house more sophisticated and compact systems. Thermal rise can be controlled by enhancing the of the efficiency of the system at the same time as controlling the characteristics of the magnetic device.

Go to www.Bicron-Magnetics.com for full information about Bicron's long term Gate Drive Transformer solutions for high voltage IGBT Gate Drive power and how these solutions can increase your system reliability and efficiency . . .

. . . or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it us today, asking to start an engineering dialog directly related your specific Gate Drive power needs.