What are Push Pull Transformers?

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Editorial Team - everything PE

Jun 25, 2024

A push-pull transformer is a type of transformer used in push-pull converter circuits that is employed in various power electronics applications such as power supplies, audio amplifiers, and radio frequency (RF) circuits. The primary function of a push-pull transformer is to convert DC to AC and vice versa while providing electrical isolation and impedance matching.

Working Principle

The push-pull transformer operates as part of a push-pull converter circuit. The converter circuit includes a pair of switches (transistors or MOSFETs) that alternately conduct and drive the primary windings.

When one transistor (Q1) is turned on, current flows through the first half of the primary winding, creating a magnetic field in the core. When Q1 turns off and the other transistor (Q2) turns on, current flows through the second half of the primary winding in the opposite direction, creating an opposing magnetic field. The alternating current in the primary windings generates an alternating magnetic field in the core, which induces a voltage in the secondary windings. The induced voltage in the secondary windings is determined by the turns ratio between the primary and secondary windings. If a center tap is used on the secondary winding, it provides a dual polarity output which is useful for certain applications.

Advantages of Push Pull Transformers

  • Efficiency: Push-pull transformers are highly efficient, especially at high power levels, due to the balanced nature of the push-pull circuit.
  • Symmetrical Operation: They provide balanced operation, reducing harmonic distortion and improving overall performance.
  • Versatility: These transformers can be designed for a wide range of power levels and frequencies, making them suitable for various applications.
  • Reduced Core Saturation: The alternating nature of the primary winding currents helps prevent core saturation, improving reliability and performance.


Push-pull transformers are widely used in switched-mode power supplies (SMPS) for converting DC to AC and vice versa, providing isolation and voltage transformation. They are employed in push-pull audio amplifier circuits to convert low-level input signals to higher-power output signals, ensuring efficient amplification with reduced distortion. These transformers are utilized in RF power amplifiers and signal generators to efficiently convert and match impedance at high frequencies. Push-pull transformers are integral to DC-AC inverters, helping convert DC power from batteries or solar panels into AC power for grid-tied or off-grid applications.

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