Coupled inductors are a versatile electrical component that can serve several purposes within electrical circuits. As well as transferring electrical current, coupled inductors can also store energy within their magnetic field, help to control the flow of electrical current and even wholly cancel current if required. The flexibility of coupled inductors mean they have several potential positions within an electrical circuit.
What is a coupled inductor?
Coupled inductors have two, or more, windings on a core, transferring energy from one winding to another via the core. Coupled inductors come in a variety of sizes and current ratings and are typically magnetically shielded to ensure low electromagnetic interference.
What are the common applications for coupled inductors?
Coupled inductors are often purpose designed and manufactured. Their most common application is as voltage regulators in power conversion circuits. Coupled inductors can be connected to circuits in several ways depending on what is required and are used instead of single inductors where current cancelling functions are needed.
What is the difference between a coupled inductor and a transformer?
Coupled inductors and transformers share many characteristics, perform similar functions, and often don’t look noticeably different, with the name used typically depending on the intended application of the component. The main difference is that a coupled inductor has a larger space between the coils and core, which is where energy is stored in the magnetic field.
How do I choose a coupled inductor?
The coupled inductor you need will depend on the application and circuit it’s to be used in. If you’re swapping an existing coupled inductor it is recommended you swap it like for like.