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Function of Power Supplies

6/12/2013 4:56:30 PM | by Anonymous

Power Supplies

Power supplies are devices that deliver current to power electrical devices. The current supplied are changed into a form according to what is required by the application. Power supply serves as a converter which function is to turn a certain form of energy which can be mechanical, solar and chemical into electrical energy. It also takes an incoming electrical energy and controls its current to a specific value required by various devices. Despite variations in voltage or load current, power supplies can control the energy value in a constant level. These abilities of power supply allow different machineries to be plugged in it and transform the energy it will release into a compatible format. It reduces the need for additional hardware and several adapters to power various machineries and electronics.


Linear power supply is the simplest type of power supply. It converts voltage coming from the power source to the current the device requires through the use of transformer and a rectifier. Alternating current and direct current are the forms of electricity distributed to homes and businesses. To make sure that the electrical devices will receive the right type of current for them to function properly, the use of power supply is needed. The role of transformer is to lower the voltage of power that linear power supply took from the electrical outlet. The lowered voltage retains as alternating current. The function of rectifier, on the other hand, is to change and filter the alternating current until it turns into direct current. The design of linear power supply can either be regulated or unregulated. Regulated power supply is suitable for sensitive equipment because it provides a more uniform type of output power. However, it can easily get damage because it tends to overheat. Unregulated power supplies are known to be more durable as they only perform basic transformation and rectification steps. Since this type does not involve smoothing in its process, the power it supplies may be not uniform and varies in voltage.


The use of power supply that people may be most familiar with is in computer systems. Computer contains several hardware that require different voltage. What the power supply will do is store the energy before distributing the right voltage to various devices. Power supplies are also applied in vehicles. In order for modern vehicles to function, they need a power supply or more commonly known as alternator to function. Even though there is a big difference between the design of alternators from the usual power supply, how they both work are similar in many aspects. The alternator takes power from an electric outlet, transforms it into a certain level and supplies it throughout the vehicle. Aside from vehicles, alternators can also be found in sea craft and lawn mowers.


Another function of power supplies, as mentioned earlier, is to transform any types of energy into electrical energy. An example of this application is the conversion of wind energy from windmills to electricity. This occurs by storing the energy generated by windmill to a generator which will then provide the electricity. Another source of energy is petroleum. It is used in home and commercial generators which engine is responsible for transforming petroleum into electrical energy.

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