Minimum space between tracks

Discussion in 'Automotive Electronics' started by Marsino, May 17, 2019.

  1. Marsino

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 17, 2019
    I am designing a planar transformer for a dc dc converter. But I have a doubt about the trace spacing for the primary side. I have a Vin max of 150V, 14 turns and the insulator material is FR4.
    What is the minimum space between two tracks (the “s” parameter in the image below), in order to prevent arches or breakdowns?
    WhatsApp Image 2019-05-18 at 04.07.06.jpeg
  2. oz93666

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2010
    The voltage difference between two adjacent tracks will not be the whole 150V , lets say 30V at most ..

    Air breaks down at 3kv/mm so a hundredth of a mm should be breakdown point , make gap a tenth mm to be safe ....
    Last edited: May 18, 2019 at 2:08 AM
  3. Marsino

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 17, 2019
    Thank you for your information, but there is a précisé formula which can i use to determine the space trace to trace?
  4. SLK001

    Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    Well, the PCB house capabilities are what reign supreme here. It doesn't matter what value you come up with if the PCB house can't fabricate it.

    I can't imagine that your efficiency with this type of transformer will be very high. Just how much power do you want to transform? There is a reason why most transformers use iron in their cores.

    Since E fields will concentrate at sharp points, I recommend that you round your corners. The optimum coil form would be a true circular spiral.

    The dielectric strength of air is ~26kV per inch. Put humidity and dirt in the equation and it starts dropping rapidly. If you are putting in 150V, you need to design for 300V minimum. However, since you didn't put in your schematic or layout in your post, that's about all we can say about your question.
  5. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Electrical field strength is inversely related to the radius of curvature. In other words, electrical breakdown will occur at sharp corners.

    Remove those 90-degree bends.
    narkeleptk likes this.
  6. AnalogKid

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 1, 2013
    Assuming the voltage gradient is constant throughout the inductor, then the peak voltage across it divided by the overall length gives you the gradient. With this, you can calculate the voltage between any two points in the winding based on the trace distance between them. Now that you have the voltage difference at any adjacent points, refer to UL1950 (60950) rules for creepage and clearance distances. The reason for those rules does not apply to your application, but they are well documented as guidelines for conductor spacing.

    A real switching power magnetics guy probably has a better method, but this is should be a good starting point. Also, Signal Transformer has app notes on planar transformer design that might get into this.