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Improve Your Power Testing with Multiple-Output Power Supplies

September 16, 2021

When it comes to power and test applications, efficiency is key. The quicker you can perform tests, with the least amount of setup time and capital/energy costs, the more tests you can perform and the faster you can validate your product designs.  

Here, the role of the power supply innovation is an important one. As a critical piece of any test application, a power supply can make or break your product testing. The following are just a few factors that are dependent on your choice of power supply: 

  • Testing energy costs and power consumption 
  • Startup/configuration time  
  • Space requirements  
  • Ease of operations and readout accessibility 

That is why getting the perfect power supply for your application should be top of mind for any test engineer or operator.  

The Importance of Multiple-Output Power Supplies 

Since many different power supplies can ultimately reach the same end goal and power output, the path and ease of getting there are what we want to focus on. In addition, most advanced power testing applications require multiple different power outputs, meaning that you need to select multiple different power supplies for your system versus looking at a single power supply… or do you? 

While several single-output power supplies can be used in a testing application, you can eliminate several inefficiencies by specifying a multiple-output power supply. For instance, a single power supply with three independent and isolated outputs would carry a significant advantage over having to use three separate power supplies. The benefits of using a three-output supply versus a single-output device would include: 

  • 1/3 of the required space 
  • 3 times the flexibility 
  • 1/3 of the power consumption  

Requiring only a third of the space and power consumption, multiple-output power supplies are great for advanced military and commercial aerospace applicationsIf you have a remote test application running off of a generator or limited power source, you will want to conserve energy as much as possible. Even if power and space are not limited, using only a third of the power will lead to dramatic energy cost savings, making multiple-output power supplies an excellent long-term investment.  

From the operational side of things, multiple-output power supplies can better sync up different outputs than if they all lived on separate devices. Through auto-paralleling, users working with a multiple-output supply can seamlessly achieve complete control of each output’s voltage and current, all from a single device.  

Multiple-Output Supplies and Advanced Programmable Power  

Parallel to the demand for multiple-output power supplies is the need for advanced programmable power. Programmable power allows you to tweak and adjust electrical properties such as voltage and current during operation, offering test engineers the flexibility to truly put products through their paces without having to switch back and forth between different devices. 

By having a multiple-output power supply where you can easily manipulate outputs, a single power supply can serve a multitude of uses. Low profile and lightweight programmable power supplies with high power densities and multiple outputs offer unrivaled flexibility in nearly any test environment.  

Primary applications of these types of advanced power supplies are: Asterion-ASA-infographic

  • Military and aerospace electronics test 
  • Commercial manufacturing and process control 
  • Research and development 
  • Automotive component and battery testing  
  • Automated test equipment (ATE) applications  
  • Cell phones and portable electronics  

The Next Stage in Advanced Multiple-Output Programmable Power Supplies 

Here at AMETEK Programmable Power, we are always looking to increase the performance and efficiency of our power supplies. That way, you can improve your power testing in order to achieve better-qualified products in less time.  

As the newest addition to the Asterion platform of power testing solutions, the Sorensen™ Asterion® DC ASA Series offers the most advanced multiple-output programmable power supplies on the market today. The Asterion DC ASA Series offers multiple-output usability and efficiency, all with the reliability and performance you can expect from AMETEK Programmable Power.  

Our new ASA Series features up to three independent, isolated, and extended wide-range outputs, packaged up in a single 1U high chassisEach output is a 600W channel, for a total power output of up to 1800W. Advantages include: 

  • Multi-channel programmable sequencing, ramps and delays 
  • Easy auto-paralleling for higher power 
  • Complete remote programming 
  • Advanced auto-ranging  

The auto-ranging capabilities of these models have an output characteristic where the full rated output power is available at voltage/current ranges greater than the conventional rectangular output characteristic of your typical fixed range power supplies. The output current versus output voltage follows a constant-power curve to provide test engineers a wider current and voltage operating range in a single unit. 

The Asterion DC ASA Series also offers advanced intelligent control through an intuitive front panel touch screen, as well as full remote control capabilities via the Virtual Panels™ GUIUsers can quickly access output programming parameters, measurements, configurations and system settings either from the touch screen interface or remotely. Instruments can also be controlled via standard LXI Ethernet and RS232 control interfaces, as well as through an optional GPIB and EtherCAT control interface. 

Several functions and parameters can be directly selected and manipulated from any of these interfaces for advanced programmability. Manual control resolutions are adjusted by the front panel encoder with dynamic rate change algorithm, which combines the benefits of precise control over small parameter changes with quick sweeps throughout the entire range. 

Take the Next Step in Advanced Programmable Power 

If you want to improve your power efficiency, multiple-output power supplies offer numerous advantages that you simply cannot get by using typical single-output devices. 

With enhanced programmability and channel synchronization, lower operating costs, and the ability to drastically speed up testing, AMETEK Programmable Power’s new Asterion DC ASA Series is the go-to solution for higher power testing.  Check out the infographic to learn more!

For more information on how the ASA series can improve your power testing application, contact us today or request a quick online quote