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iX Series Provides Multi-Box Configurations

October 25, 2016

Many of AMETEK Programmable Power's AC power sources are designed to work as both standalone units and in multi-box configurations. The California Instruments iX Series AC/DC power sources, for example, includes independent 5 kVA power modules that can be combined into a number of configurations. You might use a single unit as a high-power, single-phase system or configure three units to form a medium-power, three-phase system. This modularity allows you to build a power system that meets your specific needs.

To do this with the ix Series, you need to purchase the Multi-Box option (-MB). This option includes the additional test and calibration required for a multi-box system, as well as the additional cabling needed to configure a multi-box system.

Standard three phase iX configuration

The standard, three-phase iX series configuration uses a single master unit with a three phase controller to drive two additional slave units. Figure 1 shows a standard 15003iX configuration, which provides a total power of 15 kVA and can be used in either single-phase or three-phase mode. Also available is the 30003iX configuration. This configuration can supply up to 30 kVA, but operates in three-phase mode only.


As shown in Figure 1, the master provides phase A output, while the slaves are used to provide output for phase B and C. Neither slave unit has a controller since the master unit controls all three via the system interface. This connection consists of a ribbon cable that connects all three units together.

More controllers means more flexibility

In addition to the 15003iX or 30003iX configurations, you can specify a system to have three single-phase, 5 kVA units with controllers in the slave units. In this configuration, the controller in the master unit still drives the two slave units through a system interface connection, and users can control all three phases from a single front panel and operate in a phase locked mode.

When operating in phase-locked mode, the slave unit controllers must disabled, but the additional cost for the controllers units is offset by enhanced flexibility. For example, a 15003iX-MB system in which each unit has a controller allows you to configure the system in the following ways:

  • 15 kVA 3 ø system
  • 15 kVA 1 ø system
  • 10 kVA 1 ø system and (1) 5 kVA, 1 ø system
  • 5 kVA, 1 ø systems

Three-phase systems may be broken up into individual single-phase AC/DC sources to be used in different test stands. It is even possible to combine several single phase units into a higher power single-phase system by paralleling the output of two or three 5 kVA units to create a 10 kVA or 15 kVA single-phase system.

Single phase systems only require a single controller. If multiple units are used in parallel, the master unit’s controller is used while slave controllers are disabled, and you control the system with a single front panel. The following configurations are possible with the 15001iX-MB:

  • 15 kVA 1 ø system
  • 10 kVA 1 ø system and (1) 5 kVA, 1 ø system
  • 5 kVA, 1 ø systems

When used in a multi-box configuration, the California Instruments iX series allows you to configure an AC/DC power system that meets the needs of a wide array of applications and eliminates the need to purchase many different AC or DC power sources. To discuss your application needs, contact AMETEK Programmable Power by sending an e-mail to sales.ppd@ametek.com or phoning 800-733-5427.