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Power Supply Management-Types, Usage and Characteristics
Power that is used by electrical equipment, our home appliances and portable electronics devices often requires regulation to avoid any chances of damaging internal components of these devices. Grid power is not safe enough to power devices directly even after it’s converted to DC. This is because most of the devices today are so sensitive to any form of variation in the power provided to them.
Another issue is devices that have multiple systems inside them need a way of regulating power to make sure every system gets the right amount of power it needs. If we consider a personal computer, its GPU and its CPU do not need the same amount of power. Each device should be supplied with the right amount of power to make sure it efficiently does whatever it is supposed to do. The power regulation role is done by a power supply management system
In this article, I am going to briefly share with you the basic things you need to know about power supply management.
What are the types of power supply management?
There are three major types of power supplies used in electronic devices and other equipment. The scale and design of power supplies may vary but the principle of operation remains the same as long as it is of the same type. Here are the types
1.Unregulated power supply management
This is the simplest form of power supply management system that uses a rectifier, transformer and low pass filter to get the job done. This type of power supply is not appropriate for devices and equipment that are highly sensitive to power variations. This is because with this power supply, a change in the input voltage will lead to a proportional change in the output voltage. This is not ideal for most devices today that need power that is almost 100% stable.
2.Linear regulated power supply systems
This is the type of power supply that maintains a certain amount of voltage at the output no matter the voltage it receives at its input. For instance, if it was designed to output 20V and the input it gets is 21V, it will drop the extra 1V power and dissipate it in form of heat. However, this system only works when the voltage at the input is higher than that at the output.
It doesn’t have the capacity to add up the difference in voltage if the voltage at the input is less than the required voltage. Another problem is that even the voltage that is dropped is also dissipated in form of heat which makes this system so inefficient because the heat in this case is undesirable energy.
3.Switching power supply management systems
This is like a hybrid of the linear and the unregulated systems. This system was aimed at taking advantage of the linear and unregulated power supply systems and merging them into one. This type of power supply management system stabilizes the power in 3 phases. The first phase is to convert the incoming Ac current into Dc using an inverter. This DC power is then reconverted into high frequency square wave Ac using transistors that are operated as on and off switches. The third stage is stepping up or down this Ac with a lightweight transformer and then rectifying it to DC power. This DC power is then filtered and sent to the output to be used by the target device.
What is power supply management used for?
Power supply management has three basic roles that include the following;
1.Converting AC power to DC
All components in electronic devices use DC power, so the AC power that comes from the wall socket has to be converted into properly filtered DC power. Power supply systems are able to do this process using transformers, inverters and transistors
2.Regulate power that each electronic device part needs
The power needed by RAM in computer is not the same that the hard drive will need. So, the power supply of a pc is designed to know how much power each device needs and supply it with exactly that. That is why when the power supply becomes faulty, most of the other components of the electronics device get damaged since they are not getting the right amount of power.
3.To supply power to the cooling system of the device
Most electronics generate lots of heat that has to be regularly dissipated out for the device to operate normally. The cooling systems that consist of fans and other components all need power to do the cooling. And this power is provided by the power supply management system. The power supplied to the cooling system also depends on how much cooling is needed at the moment. This means the more the heat generated by the device, the more the power needed for cooling.
What are the characteristics of power supply management?
The efficiency of a power supply is basically the percentage of the input power that reaches the target device from the output of the power supply. More efficient power supply management systems produce less heat compared to the efficient ones. Efficient power supply system also experiences less electrical losses in the process of stabilizing the power. The less the efficiency of a power supply, the more the cooling is required to keep it within the required temperature.
The operating temperature of a power supply depends on the heat losses experienced in the power supply. The more the losses, the higher the operating temperature of the power supply is.
A reliable power supply is one that will effectively convert Ac to Dc and also supply the required power to wherever it is needed.