isolated vs non isolated power supply

Selecting the proper power supply for your project is of the utmost importance to ensure everything operates as it should.

In this post, we'll go through the advantages and distinctions between isolated and non-isolated supplies, so you can make an informed decision about what type works most optimally for your system.

At Bravo Electro, our experts have decades of experience providing top-quality AC DC power supplies and are here to help you with this critical choice.

What’s the Difference Between Isolated vs Non-Isolated Power Supply?

To understand the key differences between isolated and non-isolated power supplies, let's take a closer look at each type. But two questions we should answer first is what’s the difference between AC and DC power and is household electricity AC or DC?

AC refers to Alternating Current and DC for Direct Current. The difference between the two is that AC current alternates direction when it flows, whereas DC maintains its direction. Home electricity utilizes power from the grid which is usually AC because it can cover long distances without losing power or causing safety issues.

Now we understand the basics of both AC and DC power, let's dive into the differences between isolated and non-isolated sources.

Isolated Power Supplies

Isolated power sources are built to provide electrical separation between their input and output. A transformer is utilized in this design which produces a barrier between the two circuits, meaning there is no direct connection.

The benefits of this type of module are increased safety, lower noise levels, plus the capability to offer multiple output voltages. 

This configuration is especially useful in medical applications, industrial control systems, and sensitive communication devices where electrical isolation is critical. They particularly offer protection against electrical shock and reduce the risk of damage caused by power supply voltage spikes or ground loops.

Non-Isolated Power Supplies

Contrary to isolated power supplies, non-isolated power sources do not generate electricity that is divided between the input and output circuits. 

Non-isolated power systems are often preferred for their small size and cost efficiency which makes them an ideal choice for consumer electronics, computer peripherals, automotive applications - basically any situation where electric isolation isn't a key factor.

Although non-isolated power supplies have their advantages, they might not be ideal for applications that necessitate exact adherence to safety regulations or protection against static and disturbances.

Which is Right For Me - Isolated Power Supply vs Non-Isolated Power Supply?

To determine whether an isolated vs non-isolated power supply is the right choice for your application, consider the following factors:

Advantages of Using Non-Isolated Power Supplies

  • Cost-effectiveness: Non-isolated power supplies are often cheaper than isolated ones, making them desirable for applications where cost is a factor. Their simple design requires fewer components, resulting in decreased assembly costs and making them more accessible.
  • Compact size and weight: Non-isolated power supplies are often smaller and lighter than isolated power supplies, making them ideal for space-constrained applications. Their reduced power supply sizing and weight can be especially important in portable devices or applications where space is at a premium.
  • Efficiency: Non-isolated power supplies generally offer higher power supply efficiency compared to isolated power supplies, as they do not require a transformer. Higher efficiency can lead to reduced energy consumption and lower operating temperatures, which may be beneficial in certain applications.

Advantages of Using Isolated Power Supplies

  • Enhanced safety: Isolated power supplies provide electrical insulation, diminishing the hazard of electric shock or equipment damage due to voltage fluctuations and ground loops. This is particularly beneficial in scenarios with strict safety standards, such as medical gadgets or industrial control processes.
  • Noise reduction: By insulating the input and output circuits, isolated power supplies can help reduce electrical noise and interference, which is critical for delicate applications. This is especially important in applications where signal consistency and precise data transmission is crucial, including communication devices or precise measurement apparatus.
  • Multiple output voltages: Isolated power supplies can provide multiple, independent output voltages, making them suitable as both high-voltage power supplies or lower-voltage power supplies for applications requiring various voltage levels. This can be advantageous in situations where a single power supply needs to power multiple devices or components with different voltage requirements.

Specific Use Cases for Isolated vs Non-Isolated Power Supply

Now that we've covered the advantages of both isolated vs non-isolated power supplies, let's examine some specific use cases for each type.

By understanding the unique requirements and challenges of various applications, you can make a more informed decision when choosing between isolated and non-isolated power supplies.

Medical Equipment

Safety is essential in medical environments. Isolated power supplies are usually preferred because of their capability to provide electrical insulation, reducing the danger of electric shock or harm to delicate instruments.

This amplified safety is especially important when dealing with life-sustaining devices or those that come into direct contact with patients.

Industrial Control Systems

Electrical noise and interference are common problems in industrial settings. Isolated power supplies can protect vulnerable equipment from these interruptions, making them suitable for industrial control systems.

By diminishing the hazard of equipment damage and ensuring precise data transmission, these types of power supplies can help enhance the dependability and effectiveness of industrial operations.

Consumer Electronics

Non-isolated power supplies are typically used in consumer electronics, such as smartphones and laptops, due to their small size, cost-efficiency, and adequate performance for most applications.

In these cases, electrical insulation might not be a critical demand, and the advantages of non-isolated power supplies, like reduced size and weight, can take precedence over those of isolated power supplies.

Automotive Systems

Non-isolated power supplies are usually seen in automotive applications because of their compact shape and value for money.

These power supplies can provide necessary voltage regulation and conversion for all sorts of electronic components found within vehicles, including infotainment systems, lights, and engine control modules. 

However, certain scenarios may need isolated power supplies for safety-critical systems or to reduce electrical noise in delicate parts.

So, Which is Right For Me - Isolated vs Non-Isolated Power Supply?

Ultimately, the choice between an isolated power supply vs non-isolated power supply will depend on your specific application and its requirements.

When deciding on a power supply, take into account factors such as safety, electrical noise, space limitations, and cost. If you are still unsure about which type of power supply is best for your needs, just reach out to the professionals at Bravo Electro for advice.

If You Still Need Help Choosing Between Isolated vs Non-Isolated Power Supply, Reach Out to Bravo Electro!

Beyond just understanding isolated power supply vs non-isolated power supply, we're dedicated to helping you find the perfect power supply solution for your unique application. 

Our team of experts can guide you through the process of selecting the right AC DC power supplies, ensuring your project's success.

We’re Your Trusted Source for All Things Electrical Components

At Bravo Electro, we understand the need for reliable and high-quality power supplies. That's why our team puts in extra effort to provide solutions that fit each user's exact requirements. 

Our power supply requirements form helps people get tailored advice on finding a fitting solution. To guarantee the best quality, we source all power supplies only from trusted names in the industry like Meanwell. 

For added convenience, there are same-day delivery options available in certain circumstances. Additionally, our electrical engineering team is always here to help with technical stuff and answer any questions about power supplies. 

Our promise? High-quality power supplies that you won't find elsewhere - no compromise in quality!

A Few Different Types of Power Supplies We Offer

At Bravo Electro, we offer a diverse range of power supplies to suit various needs, including:

Whether you need 12v DC power supplies, a 24v DC power supply, or a 48v DC power supply, we have it all! These are just a few of the options we provide to cater to your specific power supply requirements.

Bringing Our Discussion on Non-Isolated vs Isolated Power Supplies to a Close

To sum it up, the choice between isolated and non-isolated power supplies depends on your application's specific needs. Take into account safety, electrical noise, space restrictions, and cost when making this decision. 

If you need help picking the right power supply for your project, reach out to the experts at Bravo Electro and we'll be happy to provide assistance.

We also have interesting guides on topics like bad power supply symptoms, UL listed vs UL recognized power supplies, and class 2 vs class II power supply.

For any inquiries or professional advice, don't hesitate to contact our team at Bravo Electro. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest customer service and unparalleled electrical components for your projects.