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Design Considerations to Build Reliable High-Voltage PCBs

Headshot of Amit Bahl

Amit Bahl

Sierra Circuits

A webinar to design reliable high-voltage PCBs

High-voltage PCBs have operating voltage levels above 100V. Designing these circuit boards requires an understanding of international safety standards such as IPC 2221B and IEC 60950-1. These documents set benchmarks for material selection, conductor spacing, and cleanliness requirements. It is essential to adhere to creepage and clearance rules to prevent arcing between two conductive elements.

Based on the operating frequency and environment, you should select materials with a high comparative tracking index (CTI) that can withstand large voltages. High resin prepregs offer the best dielectric properties and using heavy copper layers (3 to 5 oz) can enhance the thermal and mechanical strength of your board. Always incorporate components that are rated for high power with high breakdown voltages and derate them for a longer life.

The electric field can be evenly distributed across the layout by isolating the high-voltage components from the low-voltage ones. Employing curved traces, elliptical pads, short interconnects, and maintaining sufficient conductor spacing from edges are some of the best high-voltage design practices. Adding isolation slots and v-grooves can help you increase creepage and clearances. EMI can be controlled by minimizing ground loops and stitching vias to the ground plane. Adopting galvanic isolation and ESD protection ensures the safe operation of your board. These boards are found in power supplies, inverters, motor drives, robotics, electric vehicles, lighting, and HVAC systems. Utilizing correct insulation standard and maintaining cleanliness by using pollution control methods are also important aspects of high-voltage board design.

In this webinar, our PCB design and manufacturing experts will take you through the best layout design practices to build reliable high-voltage boards.


What you’ll learn:

  • Operating voltages and applications of high-voltage PCBs
  • Clearance and creepage standards to prevent arcing in your designs
  • Choosing dielectric materials and components for high-voltage boards
  • Surface finish requirements
  • Best layout design guidelines for a reliable product
  • Grounding techniques to reduce EMI and ensure safety


Presented by Amit Bahl

Amit has been in the PCB industry for 20+ years. He is the Chief Revenue Officer at Sierra Circuits. His passion is to empower tech companies to achieve their visions and change the world. Rockets going into space, self-driving cars taking up the streets, cancer-fighting medical devices, protecting the country, he’s ready to build any circuit board!

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