Industrial Power Supply: How to Achieve Selection Success 

Industrial Power Supply Selection

While there are many shapes and sizes of power supply, why do you need them and how do you go about selecting the right one? Your design contains components that you can think of as modular with some being for example 12V or 24V components. In some systems you may use a 12V circuit to control a 24V system or another voltage depending on what you are doing; but let’s keep it simple for now.  

Fundamentally you need to first understand power and current values are fundamental for industrial power supply selection while also knowing if it is an AC or DC system.

Power = Current x Voltage 

If you know that your set of devices or components in your system use 24 volts then good news you just add up the current necessary and calculate the power for each device. However, you will need to add a little bit more power which we will discuss next. 

How much power do you need?

If you have gone through the above calculation and realised that a bunch of 24V components that are connected together tally a 5A total and 5A x 24V = 120W then well done. However, a 120W power supply would be a good in practice, you need a bit more power. 

In actual fact you need to leave room for any additional draws that may occur. By adding a bit more power you can help absorb these variations in draw. If you don’t you will damage the device and the downstream equipment. While it could be immediate failure of the equipment it could also take some time for this impact the life of the platform using the power supply.    

Installation and Performance

Another question you will need to answer is how are you are mounting these devices, some can snap to rails (e.g. DIN rails) meaning integration and replacement can be easier for smaller units, while larger ones will need mounting in a space in your design. To aid this you may need to consider mounting brackets or a riser system – something to bear in mind.  

Industrial power supplies need to perform, be reliable, and be cost effective. Usually, manufacturers select robust parts to create these devices as failure damages the manufacturers reputation. The whole industrial power supply industry relies on good word of mouth and have learnt from experience that quality cannot be skimped on without losing customers. 

This is great for the customer as they don’t have to worry as much as they used to in decades past. That being said, you do need to watch out for cheaper products potentially skimping on non-performant features. For example, some manufactures don’t ship some with terminal covers (a plastic strip to stop users touching these easily). Inside of such devices you have capacitors and high-tension circuits so getting a shock is potentially possible assuming you haven’t discharged everything before poking and prodding.

Another thing to note is that if you are looking at one industrial power case material and another, they may both look shiny and new but material performance may be drastically different. Corrosion may occur in one much more readily than another depending on the manufacturer; this can reduce the life in service and you may get negative customer feedback. These issues are normally reduced when you buy them from specialists that know the product inside and out and put their reputation on the line for them. 

Hopefully you now know that industrial power supply selection is easier than you first thought, for you lab power supply please visit Horizon Electronics.