Efficiency has a crucial influence on the reliability and lifetime of a power supply. It is the key factor for compact and reliable units – especially when they are convection cooled.
Heat is one of the biggest enemies of an efficient power supply and without additional ventilation it is always extremely difficult to dissipate heat from the unit. Heating is the effect of power losses within the power supply in combination with the temperature of its surroundings, so every developer is striving to achieve the highest efficiency in order to keep these power losses as low as possible.
Whereas an efficiency level of 94% used to be seen as state-of-the-art, PULS has succeeded in breaking through this barrier to achieve over 95.6%, coming one step closer to the ultimate ideal of 100%.
This performance increase has been achieved with the partial replacement of traditional silicon with the new wide-bandgap material, silicon carbide (SiC), combined with a sophisticated LLC converter topology. All switching and thermal parameters are calculated, then simulated and optimised in multiple variants – in many cases using software tools developed in-house. Even though each improvement takes the design forward just one small step, it all adds up to a significant result.
Modern power supplies are characterised by high efficiency. But can customers rely on the efficiency information in the data sheets of manufacturers? How are these values determined? And how can customers measure efficiency by themselves?
Here are five tips for an accurate efficiency measurement - which have highest priority within the PULS development team:
- Use highly accurate measuring instruments, a wattmeter or better still, a power analyser.
- Make sure the cabling is correct and that you are measuring the correct voltage.
- For AC, if possible use an electronic AC source.
- Avoid EMC interference from the test specimen.
- Pay attention to influences of temperature and time.
PULS is an expert in efficiency measurement and a founding member of the European Power Supply Manufacturers’ Association (EPSMA). As a result of this cooperation the EPSMA published a very interesting white paper on efficiency measurement.
PULS really wants to share its know-how with you. So you can download the full version of the EPSMA white paper and Bernhard Erdl's presentation here: