Protecting Equipment with Programmable DC Power Supplies
Programmable DC power supplies enable users or automation to adjust output voltages with remote control. The controls are either in the form of a keypad or rotary switch, which helps prevent overheating from an excessive voltage or current. Here are some important facts to remember about these power supplies that regulate voltage and current.
Main Components of Programmable DC Power Supplies
The basic components of programmable DC power supplies are a processor and a current shunt, along with meters and programming. A shunt is a device that minimizes resistance for electric current so that it can flow more effectively within the circuit. The shunt plays a significant role in protecting equipment from overheating.
Some programmable DC power supply models have other safety features to prevent short circuits and excess heat, voltage, or current. Ideally, it also includes USB compatibility, a built-in voltmeter, wattmeter, memory storage, and an LCD.
Electromotive force is the battery power that generates voltage to make current flow. Current is a calculation of volts divided by resistance. Using proper current measurement is crucial for electronic safety.
Constant Voltage and Constant Current
A programmable DC power supply is needed for applications that require constant current. In some cases, it may also be useful for testing constant voltage. An electronic load or multiple loads connect with the power supply. Switching the output on or off is independent of the load supply if multiple tests are needed to be conducted at once.
Constant voltage applications include testing DC-DC conversion from one voltage to another and testing automotive parts. Constant current applications include thermal testing on semiconductors and electromagnetic field generation.
The easiest programmable power supply which can be used for testing is a unit that provides controls for both voltage and current. Some models have a fine-tuning control and a lock feature that locks voltage or current at specific levels. You can get more precise readings when the unit allows you to set minimum and maximum output levels.
Understanding Voltage Drops
As a battery converts chemical energy to DC voltage across the two terminals, a resistor provides an opposing force to the current flowing through it. This resistance, which consumes energy, causes a voltage drop, which is measured in the amount of work per unit charge.
A resistor, just like a capacitor or inductor, functions as a load, which is a circuit device that uses up energy. The difference is capacitors and inductors can also operate as energy sources.
Testing the voltage or current in electronic equipment can be achieved with a programmable DC power supply. It is essential to gear for protecting valuable equipment and is mainly used by engineers and technicians for equipment testing, calibration, or certification.