Power supply

Power Supply – An Overview

Do you know what power supply means? Well, a power supply is that device which is responsible for converting a certain voltage to a more acceptable voltage while generating power. They are designed right from the output reaching the input.

We all know that power is key to any electronic system and the power supply is that which feeds this system. Choosing the right power supply spells a crucial difference between a device that works at maximum levels and one that delivers ineffective results.

 Power supply

Besides AC (Alternating Current) and DC (Direct Current) power supplies, there are DC to DC converters too. In case your system already has DC available, you will more importantly need a DC to DC converter rather than AC.

Power Supply and its Main Parts

Generally, a DC power supply unit, which in short form is called PSU, derives its power from the AC mains line and is responsible for performing several tasks like.

  • Changing or reducing the level of power supply to a value that’s apt for driving the load electrical circuit.
  • Producing a DC supply from the mains supply AC sine wave.
  • Preventing any AC from emerging at the supply output.
  • Ensuring that the voltage of output is maintained at a constant level regardless of changes in AC supply voltage, load current drawn or the temperature.

A word of caution for building a power supply

Are you someone who is eager to build a power supply or repair one? If yes, you have to understand how many encountered circuits actually work. You also need to realise what the currents and voltages are that are present in the various power supplies.

They can at times get dangerous as they may remain present even after the supply switch is turned off. The worst thing that can happen is that high voltages may at times kill people.

Make sure you have the skills and arms to work safely and stay aware of the health and safety issues. Try to act responsibly so that your carelessness doesn’t lead to health hazards that may even take your life.

5 Things to consider while choosing power supply

Builders need to think of PSU as the heart of the device as without it, there would be no energy. Here are five vital things that you should consider while choosing a power supply.

  • Wattage

The first thing that you require doing while selecting a PSU is computing the total wattage that you require for building. You can also use a power supply calculator which is an invaluable tool for deciding the total wattage that needs to be used in the build.

Once you calculate the wattage, builders should account for the total power and a 20% buffer for future-proofing. This will let you dodge paying the cost of PSU when you decide to install SLI.

  • Price

One more thing that you have to consider while selecting a power supply unit is to check your budget. Generally, keeping aside between 10-15% of the build of the total system is said to be a proper cost/performance ratio.

In case you build cost around $1000, then the PSU budget should be around $100-$150. Nevertheless, the price keeps fluctuating based on efficiency, features and modularity.

  • Rating

Once you determine your budget and your needs of power consumption, you have to consider the bigger picture like energy savings for the long term. In fact, the 80PLUS organization has given a strong definition of the standard of efficiency for supply for power and has told us what proper efficiency is.

  • Modularity

One more aspect of power supply units that are mostly overlooked is its modularity. It is rather too easy to determine which type of cabling you need as there are just 3 options – direct cable, semi-modular cable and full modular cable.

  • Looks

The last thing to check is the look of PSU whether it matches the theme and color of the build. Each consumer will have his own style and so the most vital thing is how the system will look. Instead of a junky black box, you may want a fancy PSU that will compliment your sense of beauty.

Therefore, now that you’re pretty aware of what power supply is, you can try building one with knowledge and care. Make sure you don’t fall prey to electrical hazards.