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Southern Manufacturing

Farnborough, Hants(GU14 6TQ)

20/04/2021 - 22/04/2021

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the (more)

PPMA Show 2021

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

28/09/2021 - 30/09/2021

PPMA Show 2021 will be the UK’s largest ever event dedicated to state-of-the-art processing and (more)

Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

Join us in our 12th and most important edition to date, as we invite engineers and management from all (more)

Specifying the right power supply

Specifying a power supply for an industrial application is often a decision product designers pay scant attention to, sometimes even making the classic mistake of making the power supply fit the space rather than the application. The prices of power supplies with the same basic specifications vary greatly because there are many areas where power supply manufacturers can cut the cost of their products without affecting the basic rating, such as with lower grade components. But using power supplies in the wrong application to save cost is unlikely to prove an economical choice in the long term. The cost of a single in-service failure will almost certainly outweigh, by a large factor, any savings in the purchase price. Another key area to look at is the EMC performance of the power supply. The requirements imposed by the electricity supply companies relating to the EMC performance of industrial installations are becoming more and more stringent, so this is a very important factor to consider in relation to power supplies. Of particular concern is the generation of harmonics. A partial solution is the addition of filters, either within the power supply or fitted externally. However, filters always take up space and increase costs. A better solution is to design the switching arrangement so that it inherently minimises harmonic generation. Even in these energy conscious days, cutting a few watts from the losses by choosing a more efficient power supply may not seem hugely important. There is, however, another angle to consider - those lost watts don't disappear, they're converted to heat, and heat is a particular problem in many of today's very compact industrial control panels. Selecting an efficient power supply, therefore, not only provides a small but useful reduction in running costs, it also eases thermal management requirements for the system in which it is used. Another important consideration is hold-up time. This is the amount of time in milliseconds that a PSU can hold output at the correct voltage after a loss of input power. This allows equipment to carry on running, despite a brief interruption in AC power, and the higher the figure the better. As an example, a 40ms hold up time may sound inconsequential, but it can be the critical difference in some applications in maintaining essential power before switching over to a UPS.

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