Choosing the Right Power Supply

A power supply is a system that provides electricity to electrical devices. This system ensures that the power supply to devices corresponds with their needs regardless of the parameters of the electrical network.

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  • What are the different types of power supply?

    MTM POWER power supply

    MTM POWER power supply

    There are 4 different types of power supply to meet the needs of different networks and devices.

    AC/DC power supply: this is the power supply we use for everyday devices such as cell phone chargers. The power supply converts AC power from the grid into DC power and changes the voltage of the power to suit the needs of the devices.

    DC/DC power supply: this is the power supply used in electronics. It modifies the voltage of the current and can change the shape of the wave if necessary.

    AC/AC power supply: this is used in some very specific applications such as in some audio amplifiers. It can lower the voltage of the network.

    Laboratory power supply: this can vary different current parameters to test equipment.

  • What are the different power supply technologies?

    There are 2 types of power supply technology:

    • Linear power supply
    • Switching power supply
    COMELIT linear power supply

    COMELIT linear power supply

    Linear power supply

    This type of power supply provides one or more stabilized and constant DC voltages despite the fluctuations of the network. 

    This system consists of a transformer, a rectifier, a filter and a regulator.

    The transformer reduces the amplitude of the power grid voltage, the rectifier converts the AC voltage into a DC voltage, the filter stores the energy in order to smooth the output voltage of the rectifier while the regulator stabilizes and regulates the output voltage. 

    Linear power supply can deliver from a few watts up to several hundred watts.

    • Applications: this type of power supply is suitable for audio equipment and laboratory power supplies.
    • Advantages: this type of power supply is easy to set up, offers good stability and allows good temperature resistance.
    • Disadvantages: this type of power supply offers poor performance and generates energy losses. Linear power supply is also heavy due to its voluminous structure.
    JVL switching power supply

    JVL switching power supply

    Switching power supply

    With this type of power supply, the electrical regulation is ensured by power electronic components such as transistors, used in switching. Unlike linear power supply, switching power supply allows instantaneous power transmission.

    Switching power supplies have been developed since the 1980s to overcome the drawbacks of linear power supplies (high weight and low efficiency). 

    • Applications: this type of power supply is suitable for “consumer” electronic devices such as computers, televisions, phone chargers, etc.
    • Advantages: this type of power supply has very good performance. Because the size of the transformer is small, the weight and volume of the entire system are reduced.
    • Disadvantages: this type of power supply generates harmonic noise and residual waves remain.

    Different power supply technology

    Linear power supply

    Switching power supply

  • What are the different components of a power supply?

    The function of a power supply is to deliver a stable voltage whatever the value of the input current. To do this, there are different components: the filter, the stabilizer and the regulator.

    The filter

    The filter makes the output voltage from the rectifier as continuous as possible. Its main component is a capacitor, the value of which is often high, around several microfarads (µF).

    The stabilizer

    The stabilizer fixes the output voltage at a given value, this output voltage does not follow the evolution of the input voltage. A structure composed of a zener diode associated with a ballast transistor absorbs the variations in charges.

    The regulator

    The regulator sets the output voltage at a given value but, unlike the stabilizer, it follows its evolution. If the output voltage decreases, then the regulator changes its parameters to compensate for this decrease. This structure is carried out either by a regulator or by a structure associated with a ballast transistor.

    The components of a power supply

    The filter

    The stabilizer

    The regulator

  • What do you have to avoid?

    In order to protect your installations, you will need to: 

    • Ensure heat dissipation
    • Implement surge protection

    In a case of overheating, a lightning strike or any other problem on the network, the whole installation can be endangered and generate fires. For safety reasons, be sure to calculate the maximum power needed to supply your equipment. You will also need fuses and circuit breakers to protect your entire installation 

    Don’t forget:

    Heat dissipation

    Surge protection

  • What are the different ways a power supply can be assembled?

    Different assemblages are available for your power supply: 

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