Power Supply Information for Beginners

Power supply is the tool that provides electrical energy to the electronic devices. Basically, it requires a source of electrical energy which converts it into the energy required by other electronic devices. Therefore, the tool is sometimes also called as the electric power converter. In general, it can be classified into three major groups, namely by function, by shape to mechanical and also by its conversion methods. 

Based on the function, power supply can be divided into regulated, unregulated and adjustable one. Regulated power supply is to maintain the stability of the voltage and amperage despite the change or variation in the load or power source (voltage and current input). Meanwhile, unregulated power supply is a voltage or electric current that can be changed when the load or the power source changes. For adjustable power supply, it is a voltage or currents that can be adjusted as needed by using knob mechanics.

Based on the shape, there is internal power supply (built-in power supply such as in your TV or radio). There is also a stand-alone power supply (such as the one for your laptop and smartphone). However, standalone tool with its voltage can be turned to suit our needs as well. Based on its conversion method, this tool can be divided into linear power supply which converts electrical voltage directly from the input. The other one is switching power supply that must convert the input voltage to the AC or DC pulse first. Moreover, this tool is also divided into several types, such as DC, AC, switch mode power supply, programmable power supply, uninterruptible power supply, and high voltage power supply. 

 For information, DC power supply provides a voltage or electric current in the form of DC (Direct Current) and it has a fixed polarity of positive and negative to load. AC power supply converts AC voltage level to another voltage level. Furthermore, switch-mode power supply directly rectifies and filters (filter) AC input voltage to obtain DC voltage. The DC voltage is then switched ON and OFF at a high frequency to high frequency circuit that generates AC current. It can pass through High Frequency Transformer. For programmable power supply, it can be controlled by remote control via the analog and digital interface. Meanwhile, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is the one with battery. If there is failure in the AC voltage source such as an electric shut down, then the battery will take over to supply the voltage because electrical/electronic are concerned. And the last, high voltage power supply generates high voltage up to hundreds or even thousands of volts for tools that require high voltage.

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