Power Supply Types – Learning the Characteristics and Functions of Each


When one hears the term power supply, he will simply conclude that it is an electrical power source. With the use of certain forms of equipment, electrical energy as well as other forms of energy is successfully transferred into an output. The definition and function of this product makes it more closely linked to supplies or gadgets that require electrical energy.

Electrical power is one of the terms crucial to power supply. It is the distribution system that converts electrical power from one form to another. This may include a list of sources including batteries, chemical fuel cells, solar power, alternators and generators and other types of energy storage systems. Below is a detailed description of each of these power supplies.

Linear power supplies

One of the most popular types of linear power supplies is the AC linear power. When transforming the current that comes from an AC to a lower voltage, a transformer is used. For production of direct current or DC from the AC, one makes use of the rectifier. The latter produces pulsating current through the presence of a capacitor. The actual voltages produced may depend upon the load present in the AC supply. This type of linear power is classified under such category because it functions with the use of a linear regulator that stabilizes and adjusts the equipment voltage.

Aside from AC linear power, a battery is actually one of the linear forms of power supply and is highly favored because it makes traditional power supplies become more portable and reliable. It is comprised of a wide array of cells that are electromechanically connected to each other. Such connection results to the desired voltage needed by a certain gadget to reach its optimum functions. Lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and dry cell batteries are popular subcategories of batteries.

Switched-mode power supplies

This is entirely different from the linear form. It also produces AC or DC power but uses a varied principle. There is no need to make use of a transformer in order to rectify the transformation of AC to DC voltages. The voltage that is produced by this technique is broken down further into small pieces of electronic switches. The switches are enlarged once there is an increasing power requirement for a certain system or industry.

Aside from these two main categories for a power supply, there are other forms used in many industries. There are programmable as well as uninterruptible power supplies. High voltage power supplies are also part of the list. These types of power supplies may be applied in computer systems and welding industries.

Source by Richard C. Milton