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Modular, Configurable Power Supplies – A Wise Systems Design Choice

Xcite power supplyAs industrial and medical electronics systems become more complex, so does the need to provide a range of DC voltages to power these subsystems; each subsystem requires a power source that must adhere to specific standards and regulations, depending upon their individual applications.

The Traditional Design Approach

Traditionally, the power supply has been somewhat of a stepchild in electronics systems’ design and development. The use of multiple power sources to support bench development will often satisfy an immediate need, but problems can often be introduced when following this approach.

As a systems design project nears completion, engineers are often faced with a dilemma. They have to transform a variety of power sources into an integrated power supply and fit it into the system, taking into account space, weight, and thermal considerations.

A host of other design considerations must be taken into account as well, including:

Energy Efficiency and Reliability

–  where the system developer is often confronted with a variety of energy-efficiency standards and regulations imposed by various agencies.

Safety Approvals

– where the system developer must take into account often stringent safety standards, such as standards for patient safety when medical power supplies are involved.

EMI/RFI Emissions

– EMI and RFI emission from power supplies must often be stringently controlled to avoid interference with proximate devices, or to protect the power supply itself.

Power Line Variations, Transients and Isolation

– For many applications, AC/DC power supplies must be protected against power line variations and voltage transients. Power supply design must accommodate brief interruptions of input power and/or out of range source voltages, and address issues like current leakage, dielectric testing, clearances, and patient protection.

Transitioning from Bench Development to Production

Solutions to these issues include in-house design, custom design, and using off-the-shelf supplies. Problems associated with these solutions include a lack of power system design expertise, costs of non-recurring engineering expenses, or the costs involved in integrating multiple units.

A Better Solution – Designing with Modular, Configurable Power Supplies

Applying modular, configurable power supplies to the design effort presents a design team with significant advantages. Modular design is nearly always a smart systems approach, and the ability to configure and adjust power supply outputs as the design effort proceeds, means that when the design is complete, the subsystem providing system power is also complete. It does not have to be designed from scratch.

Furthermore, whenever system changes are required, which tend to be inevitable, any required power supply changes are easier to implement; often at minimal cost. Compliance with energy-efficiency, safety, and RFI/EMI standards will have already been met, as have the requirements for system power and power supply reliability. Click here to find out more about this modular, configurable power supply approach, and the Excelsys Ultimod Series and UX4 and UX6 powerPac solutions.

Excelsys Technologies has been a leader in power supply design and manufacturing for more than 20 years, providing high power-density, high-efficiency power supplies for industrial, medical, lighting, commercial, and military clients.

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