Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How can I get more power from my power supplies?

If you need more voltage than one of your power supply outputs can provide, you can put power supply outputs in series to increase the total voltage. If you need more current than one of your power supply outputs can provide, you can put power supply outputs in parallel to increase the total current. However, you do have to take some precautions with series or parallel configurations.

Precautions for series connections for higher voltage:
  • Never exceed the floating voltage rating (output terminal isolation) of any of the outputs
  • Never subject any of the power supply outputs to a reverse voltage
  • Connect in series only outputs that have identical voltage and current ratings
Precautions for parallel connections for higher current:
  •  In most applications, one output must operate in constant voltage (CV) mode and the other(s) in constant current (CC) mode
  •  In most applications, the load on the output must draw enough current to keep the CC output(s) in CC mode
  • Connect in parallel only outputs that have identical voltage and current ratings

You can use remote sensing with either a series or parallel configuration. Figure 1 shows remote sensing for series outputs and Figure 2 shows remote sensing for parallel outputs.



You can find more information about power supply series and parallel configurations in an Agilent document called “Ten Fundamentals You Need to Know About Your DC Power Supply” by clicking on this link:
Refer to tip number 4 on page 6. This document also covers nine other useful power supply fundamentals.

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