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Considerations for Buying a Bench Power Supply

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Introduction

Having problems deciding which DC bench power supply you need? Are you confused with the vast number of power supplies available in the market? 

It’s important to recognize that all power supplies are not created equal, and price alone is not the best way to select a power supply. In fact, when selecting a general-purpose bench power supply there are multiple factors to consider. 

For any application, it is essential that a power supply provide clean and stable DC power output. It is also important that they are affordable, easy to use, and will not damage the device under test (DUT). A compact footprint is also beneficial to leave as much working space as possible on the benchtop. 

While DC bench power supplies are intended for general use, they are typically used for applications such as: 

  • General-purpose testing in R&D 
  • QC & QA inspection 
  • Bias power for circuits 
  • Production testing where throughput is not critical 
  • Sub-assembly testing 
  • Teaching lab experiments 
  • General circuit troubleshooting 

Identifying which application areas will likely be used can help you narrow down the purchasing options and help you choose the optimum power supply. For example, Keysight Technologies, Inc. has more than 150 different power supplies, and each supply has its own advantages to suit a specific use. 

This application note discusses some of the fundamental considerations for specifying and buying a DC power supply. It addresses questions such as “Which power supply will suit my application needs? How can I avoid paying too much for my power supply? What features should I look for? What are the key characteristics I should consider?” 

Specifically, the topics of the application note include: 

  • Output and power requirements 
  • Performance characteristics 
  • Protection features 
  • Packaging density 
  • The total cost of ownership.

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