Those of you familiar with Keysight’s previous power supply handbook (application note 90B) will find quite a few changes in this updated version. Whereas the old handbook focused extensively on issues around power supply circuits and design, this handbook focuses more on how to effectively use power supplies and electronic loads to achieve specific application goals. The intent of this handbook is to provide a “one-stop-shop” for basic information on power-related topics, and it incorporates information from many of our application notes. We hope that you find this handbook a useful tool that allows you to get the maximum benefit from our power-focused products.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Power supply evolution
Chapter 2 - Electric power fundamentals
Chapter 3 - DC power supplies
Chapter 4- Electronic Load
Chapter 5- Battery
Chapter 6- Power Conversion
Chapter 7- Photovoltaic Power
Chapter 8- Power Supply Software
Glossary: Power Supply & Instrument Control Terminology
Appendix Basic Power Supplies
Appendix Advanced Power Supplies
Appendix Electronic Loads
Appendix Benchtop Power Analysis
Appendix AC Power Sourcing and Analysis
Why use a load rather than a resistor?
An electronic load offers higher flexibility than a simple resistor by allowing you to sink various levels of power profiles in multiple modes. The most common operating modes of an electronic load are constant current (CC), constant voltage (CV), constant resistance (CR), and constant power (CP). An electronic load is an effective solution to test devices rather than using a fixed value resistor. A fixed resistor makes it difficult to automate and emulate the dynamic behavior of a real device. It also makes it difficult to adapt to changes in test requirements
What are some typical E-load applications?
The following are typical applications showing the use of electronic loads across various industries.
Can programmable power supplies simulate solar arrays?
Before proceeding further, a reasonable question to ask is: Why do you a need specialized instrument to simulate a solar array when standard programmable power supplies should be able to do the same function? There are actually three good reasons why a solar array simulator (SAS) is the best choice for this application, and they are all explained below.
The first reason that programmable power supplies are not optimal for solar array simulation has to do with output capacitance. Designers of general-purpose power supplies want them to act as voltage sources that maintain a stable output under a variety of load conditions. While this behavior is ideal for a wide range of applications, it is not so good for solar array simulation. The reason is that solar panels are current sources, so their design needs to include the ability to operate as a current source. Current sources typically have high output impedance and low output capacitance, and these characteristics provide two benefits:
The second reason that programmable power supplies are not optimal for solar array simulation has to do with output flexibility. Conventional rectangular power supplies (see Chapter 4) adjust the output voltage and current across straight line values, whereas solar array panels have exponential-shaped IV curves. Therefore, to truly emulate solar array behavior SAS must be capable of making similarly shaped curves. In addition, an SAS also has to be capable of making rapid curve changes to realistically simulate varying irradiation levels, changes in temperature, as well as the effects of spin, eclipse, and shadow.
The third and final reason that programmable power supplies are not suitable for solar array simulation has to do with their ability to protect DUTs from damage. Since satellites are delicate (and expensive) instruments that voltage and current spikes can easily damage, instruments used during their ground testing must provide extensive levels of protection. The typical over-voltage protection (OVP) and over-current protection (OCP) circuits found in conventional power supplies are not sufficient to guarantee sensitive satellite circuitry will not experience transient current spikes or protect internal components from harmful power levels.
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