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Custom Power Supply Solutions: DC Power & Energy Test Systems

Posted by Bill Martin on Nov 16, 2017 9:52:20 AM

When one of our standard products cannot completely satisfy your requirements, AMETEK Programmable Power can design a custom power supply system for you. The solutions range from OEM integration for medical and semiconductor industries to modular avionics ATE power subsystems to turnkey solar array simulators for satellites. We also can modify our standard power supplies to meet your application requirements.

An example of what we can do is the Energy Absorber Test System that we recently built. The system can supply up to 400 VDC and sink up to ±150 A. The system hardware includes:

  • AC distribution and interlock system
  • DC power supplies
  • Absorber load chassis
  • Energy absorber control chassis


custom power supply


AC Control and Distribution

The power rack system includes an AC distribution system. With a DC output power rating of 60kW at 480VDC and 150A, the AC input current to the rack is 120A per phase with a 400VAC, 3 phase, 4 wire connection. AC power to the racks is through two pin and sleeve type connectors and routed through circuit breakers and the mains disconnect interlock contactors.

The AC interlock operates by energizing relays which are operated by ON/OFF switch closures located on the front panel or with auxiliary switch closures which are available through a rear I/O panel connector. The ON/OFF panel contains two pushbutton switches, an ON pushbutton and a twist to lock OFF button. A door interlock and single point ground connection are also provided.

DC Power Supplies

The system uses Sorensen SGI and SGA Series power supplies, both of which can supply 0-400 VDC at 75 A. The SGI supply is the Master supply and can be operated remotely via GPIB or with front panel controls in local mode.

The SGA supply is used as a Slave, operating as a voltage controlled current source. This combination can supply up to 400V at 150A for 60kW of output power. By operating in a Master/Slave configuration, the supplies operate as one unit that can be controlled from the Master unit through either local control or IEEE-488 operation.

DC output is through an MS type connector of suitable type and ampacity on the rear panel. A mating connector is provided.

Energy Absorber Load Chassis

The Energy Absorber Load Chassis houses the regenerative resistive load element, which consists of numerous high power resistors connected in series/parallel banks. The energy absorber can dissipate 30 kW continuous and 60 kW peak.

Energy Absorber Control Chassis

The Energy Absorber Control chassis contains primary and secondary voltage clamps consisting of an IGBT and an SCR. In addition, it contains a GPIB controller and measurement circuitry and controls that provide drive signals to the power components. For more information on how the energy absorber works, download the product's data sheet.


A GPIB interface allows users to remotely control the power supply outputs and read voltage and current measurements using standard SCPI commands. The Energy Absorber chassis includes a GPIB interface for programming the regen clamping limit, input contactor closure, dropout relay closure and voltage and current measurements. A GPIB connection is provided on the rear of the rack for both interfaces.

This is just one example of the many types of custom systems that AMETEK Programmable Power can design for you. If you would like more information about our custom capabilities, or to discuss your application, contact AMETEK Programmable Power by sending email to sales.ppd@ametek.com or phoning 800-733-5427.

Topics: DC_Power, power absorber, custom power supply

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