The AC-DC power supply is an essential electronic device; however, there are thousands of power supply products available on the market. Taking this into account, a person needs to wonder which manufacturers to trust and which power supply to use for an application. Narrowing down the best product for an application and budget can be an overwhelming task with different considerations to take into account. This article will provide information on the points to take into account when choosing the right AC-DC power supply for your application.
Power supplies can range in price from $30 to $2,000 dependent on the power output of the device. The core function of any power supply is to regulate this output voltage and current; however, it takes an input power to regulate the power output so as to enforce constant voltage and current. In the case of AC-DC power supplies, the input power is converted from AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current).
The two basic types of AC-DC power supplies include the linear supply and the switching supply. The linear power supply will not output a voltage higher than the input source. Theoretically, linear power suppliers are driven by an 110 voltage wall outlet could only provide an output 110 volts; therefore, assuming that the device operates at 100% efficiency. Realistically, however, no power supply can provide 100% efficiency as power conversion will always result in energy loss through heat dissipation. This means that linear power supplies have an output that is less than the input voltage.
The switching power supply differs to linear supply in that it provides a step-down, step-up and inversion of the input voltage. This type of power supply is typically larger and noisier, but far more efficient.
Choosing the most effective AC-DC power supply for your application requires a definition of certain design specifications including the voltage range, the current range, the number of outputs, the programmability, and the power cleanliness. In summary, the higher the output and the lower the power cleanliness, the more costly the power supply will be. If the power supply has a higher voltage range with multiple outputs, it is likely that the cost will be greater as well.
This article introduced some basic features that need to be considered when looking for the ideal AC-DC power supply. Of course, it is always recommended that you consult the manufacturer and the specifications of the particular product before making a final purchase.