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The 3091LD from California Instruments is designed to provide precisely controlled, non-linear loads for testing AC power generation equipment such as UPS’s and AC sources. In addition, any active or passive current carrying devices such as switches, circuit breakers, fuses, connectors and power semiconductors can be tested. Traditionally, many of these products are tested using resistive load banks. This approach does not simulate real-world conditions such as switching DC/AC converters found in many AC powered products.
This type of conventional testing does not fully exercise the equipment under test (EUT) under worst case operating conditions. High peak currents and low power factor loads can significantly impact the operating characteristics of a UPS or AC power product. The 3091LD AC Load can simulate high crest factor and variable power factor load conditions. This provides an effective method of testing AC products against real-world conditions and can significantly increase product reliability. Unless properly exercised, product defects may go undetected until a unit is used at a customer site, resulting in costly field returns.

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When purchasing a power supply, the first choice to be made is linear supply or switching supply. Linear power supplies offer low ripple and noise specifications and have fast transient behavior. However they are inefficient and generate a lot of heat. They are also quite heavy. As a result most engineers prefer linear power supplies for low power applications. Using switching power supplies is a better choice for higher output power or multichannel applications. They provide higher power density. Switching power supplies are easier to control than linear supplies and cost about the same per channel.

DC output voltage slew rate is a rise or fall time. DC programmable power supplies have output filters that use large capacitors that store a lot of energy. It’s mainly the charge and discharge time of this filter, combined with the current demand of the DUT, which determine a supply’s voltage slew rate. The voltage slew rate is mostly independent of the connected EUT.

Stability is a measure of a supply’s long term output voltage or current drift. Stability is primarily specified in parts per million or ppm.

If more output current is required then paralleling power supply outputs is generally the solution. Ametek Programmable Power uses a dedicated control bus to connect its power supplies in parallel. The system configures itself automatically, identifying which unit is the master and which units are the slaves.

If more output voltage is required then connecting power supplies outputs in series is generally the solution. All you have to do is to connect the positive terminal of one supply to the negative of another. The limitation is that when operated in series, there are no master and slave units. Individual power supplies has to be programmed.

Upgrading to the Asterion power supply system has given us significant more testing capability and flexibility. It has been a wise investment. Thank you for your advice and support.

Margaret Smith

TEST LABORATORY SENIOR ANALYST AT UNIVERSITY OF NSW

Buying the MX45 California Instruments power source has given us enhanced testing capabilities. We have the SNK option, which is a bidirectional sink option. We are now able to simulate all grid conditions in our lab environment up to 45kVA. For me, reliability is important and I’m happy to say that we have been using this device for many years without any issues.

Keith Boydell

RESEARCH FELLOW AT UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG

We have several Sorensen power supplies in our lab and they are the lowest output noise power supply we have experienced. For any critical research project where output noise and line/load regulations are important, we use only Sorensen power supplies.

Annette Eskdale

TEST LABORATORY MANAGER AT MONASH UNIVERSITY

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