What is an AC DC power supply? This is a question that we get asked often at Bravo Electro. And it's a valid question - after all, not everyone knows what these are or what they're used for. So, in this blog post, we want to answer that question and give you a little more information about AC DC power supplies. We'll talk about the different types of AC DC power supplies, and we'll explain what these are used for. Then, we'll talk about what you need to know when shopping for your own AC DC power supplies. First things first - let's address the question at hand.
What Is An AC DC Power Supply?
So, what is an AC DC power supply? While you may not know it just yet, these make the world go round. You rely on them each and every day.
An AC/DC power supply is an electrical device that converts alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). AC is the type of electrical current that is used in homes and businesses, while DC is the type of electrical current that is used in electronic devices. AC/DC power supplies can be used to power electronic devices from an AC outlet. If you want to take a deeper dive into the AC vs DC power debate, read our complete guide on the difference between AC and DC power supply.
There are two main types of AC/DC power supplies: linear and switch-mode. Linear power supplies use a transformer to convert AC into DC. Switch-mode power supplies use transistors to convert AC into DC. Switch-mode power supplies are more efficient than linear power supplies and are often smaller in size.
Now that we've answered the question, "What Is An AC DC Power Supply?", let's talk about what these are used for.
What Is An AC DC Power Supply Used For?
As we just discussed, you rely on an AC DC power supply in some way or another throughout your everyday life. AC/DC power supplies are used to power electronic devices - simple as that. These are how we convert energy from power lines into a usable form for our electronics. They can be used to convert AC into DC, or they can be used to convert DC into AC. AC/DC power supplies are commonly used to power computers, televisions, and stereos.
But that is just the start of what these are used for. Sure, you need a power supply to play video games, work on your computer, or listen to music on a stereo. More importantly, though, these are used to keep people alive in hospitals, power your refrigerator to keep food preserved, and power your lights so that you don't have to use candles at night. Think about it like this - anything you use or do that requires power will more than likely require an AC DC power supply.
The Different Types Of AC DC Power Supplies
As you know now, there are a wide array of AC DC power supply styles out there. The simplest way to differentiate between power supplies is based on voltage. There are:
Not only do these range in voltage, but there are also varying configurations on the market. These include enclosed power supplies and open-frame power supplies, din rail power supplies, external power supplies, and much, much more. How do these all differ, though? We're glad you asked.
Enclosed power supplies are, well, enclosed in a housing - typically made from metal. This protects the internal components of the power supply and makes it more durable overall. Enclosed power supplies can be either linear or switch-mode. Open-frame power supplies are not enclosed in a housing. These have an open design that allows for better airflow and cooling. However, because they're not enclosed, they're not as durable as their counterparts. Open-frame power supplies can also be either linear or switch-mode.
Din rail power supplies are designed to be mounted on a DIN rail - which is a type of mounting rail used in industrial applications. Din rail power supplies are typically used in industrial settings, as they can withstand higher temperatures and vibrations. These are almost always switch-mode power supplies.
External power supplies are designed to be used with electronic devices that do not have an internal power supply. External power supplies come in a variety of shapes and sizes - from small wall plug adapters to large desktop units. You've probably seen (and used) external power supplies before - they're common with laptops, cell phones, and other portable electronics.
Now that we've gone over the different types of AC DC power supplies, let's talk about what you need to know when shopping for your own AC DC power supply.
What To Consider When Shopping for An AC DC Power Supply
When shopping for an AC/DC power supply, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to know the voltage and amperage requirements of your device. Second, you need to know the wattage rating of the power supply. The wattage rating is the maximum amount of power that the power supply can provide.
Third, you need to know the size and shape of the power supply. Fourth, you need to decide whether you want a linear or switch-mode power supply. And lastly, you need to make sure that the power supply is compatible with your device.
What Is An AC DC Power Supply? Wrapping Things Up
At this point, we've covered all the basics you need to know surrounding AC DC power supplies. We've explained what these are and what they're used for. You've even learned the different styles of AC DC power supplies currently on the market along with what you should consider when shopping for yours.
Before we bring this discussion to a close, we want to remind you that Bravo Electro is your one-stop-shop for all things electrical supply. We are here to help you get exactly what you need when it comes to power supply. No matter what industry you're in, no matter what your unique circumstances are, we can assist you. Maybe you have a custom build you need help with - we're happy to aid you in bringing it to life. With engineers on staff here to answer any questions you have, you're in the right place. Shop now or reach out for assistance!