Factors That Affect Power Supply Reliability
Power supplies power all sorts of equipment across various industries, from photovoltaic power grids to EV charging stations and more. The equipment in which they are used is often subject to the effects of adverse weather conditions, wide temperature ranges, and humidity gaps.
The reliability of electric power supplies is essential to ensure that the equipment is powered under all circumstances. The consequences of power failures can often affect a community's safety or power supply's lifespan.
For this reason, electrical engineers need to investigate the factors that most affect the reliability of power supplies employed in their electric circuits. Below we have gathered an overview to help you design a more reliable electrical project.
Four Factors That Affect Power Supply Reliability
Power supplies are the very heart of every piece of electronic equipment, so special attention must be paid to their reliability. Below are four of the main factors to consider when designing for higher power reliability:
1. Power module's complexity
More complex electrical circuit designs often incorporate a higher number of electrical components that add up to the sophistication of the power module. In other words, the more complex the design, the higher the possibility of incurring malfunctioning components or issues with their integration in the power module.
For power circuits, stress can be declined and categorized into three main types: thermal, mechanical, and electrical.
● Thermal stress
Thermal stress is considered the most challenging and insidious type of stress, as it manifests itself in several ways. Higher temperatures inside the enclosure are often linked to power supplies’ natural tendency to dissipate heat. Most of the power provided by the power supply to the electronic equipment ends up as dissipated heat that remains enclosed in the electrical circuit. This translates to a higher overall thermal load and heat inside the power supply.
Thermal stress can be divided into two main forms: static and dynamic. Static thermal stress involves operating at high temperatures, which in turn facilitates the components' degradation, drying out, and impacts their coatings. On the other hand, dynamic stress is associated with the heating and cooling cycles associated with the supply output's movement from full load to low load or when it is turned on and off. Such repeated cycling can cause breaks and failures in the power supply, including micro-cracks and similar issues.
● Mechanical stress
Mechanical stress on a power supply is related to how and where it is installed and used. This type of stress can cause intermittent and hard failures, including the development of cracks, the opening of circuit connections, and their eventual reconnection.
● Electrical stress
Electrical stress occurs when a component operates beyond its rated value, either because of a poor selection or one-time events. For example, the effects of electrical stress can show when a capacitor rated to a certain voltage sees a voltage spike beyond the indicated voltage threshold. The effects of electrical stress include premature aging and early failure.
3. Overcurrent condition
An overcurrent condition occurs when the current exceeds the rated amperage capacity of a circuit or the connected equipment. This phenomenon can impact a power supply's reliability by reducing its load.
4. Voltage alterations
Power supplies tend to be affected by voltage alterations that take different forms, including voltage interruptions, voltage fluctuations, voltage unbalance, voltage sag, voltage swell, and voltage transients. These forms of voltage instability can have detrimental effects on operating costs and power supply reliability.
Factors to Consider for Optimized Power Supply Reliability
Power supply reliability can affect the performance and lifespan of electronic equipment. When possible, electrical engineers should foresee and predict the eventual power abnormalities of their electrical projects.
While power supply reliability is affected by a series of factors, it is possible to limit the consequences of power failures by implementing an optimized power supply design and selecting the right components.
Another general recommendation for optimized reliability includes using power supply components at levels well below their rated specifications. For example, a component rated for reliable operation at a certain temperature will have a significantly improved efficiency if used at a lower temperature range.
Besides considering the derating factor, electrical engineers should also design the power supply circuitry for minimizing temperature rise and temperature cycles to increase its reliability. This calls for carefully planned thermal management through reliable airflow and cooling within the power supply.
The ones listed above are all examples of elements that can be considered during the circuit design process. A reliable power supply requires suitable design, analysis, components, and installation. Rigorous testing is another key factor that plays a pivotal role in ensuring and authenticating the exact reliability of a power supply.
Different manufacturers employ slightly different combinations of testing procedures and standards as part of their power supply reliability test. MORNSUN's reliability test is used to assess at least four different elements of a power supply, including its environmental adaptability, mechanical performance, electrical performance, and acceleration class.
Some of the tests performed on each batch of power supplies include but are not limited to High/Low-Temperature Storage Test, Alternating Temperature & Humidity Test, Salt Spray Test, High/Low-Temperature Low-Pressure Test, Sine Vibration Test, Audio Noise Test, Power Cycling Test, and more. For more details on the list of tests performed on our power supplies, please refer to our in-depth power supply reliability test review.
Engineers looking for reliable power supplies should do throughout research before appointing a power supply solutions provider. The selection process should start by reviewing the manufacturer's depth of experience not only in providing long-lasting components but also in verifying the reliability of their power supplies. For example, MORNSUN is a respected power supply manufacturer with 23 years of experience providing some of the most reliable power supply solutions with many applications.
MORNSUN takes reliability very seriously by performing constant testing and quality control measures throughout the whole manufacturing process. The goal is to guarantee that the power supply will work under all conditions, even the harshest ones. Besidesarigorousscreening sequence, the reliability of our power supplies is also ensured by the employment of advanced research technology, high-quality raw materials, advanced equipment.
We strive to meet our customer's demands and expectations for long-lasting reliability. However, the actual reliability depends not only on the design and manufacturing process but also on the proper operation of our power supplies. For this reason, the MORNSUN FAE team is available to offer professional technical support to electrical engineers for enhancing the reliability of their power supplies.
MORNSUN's Power Supply Solutions for Higher Reliability
We at MORNSUN are familiar with the challenges faced by electrical engineers like you when trying to predict the elements that could affect their projects' operations. Our meticulous and systemic manufacturing process and quality control have earned us the trust of customers worldwide for our reliable power supply solutions.
We can provide a vast list of options for electrical projects applied to many industries, including photovoltaic power generation, electric vehicles, industrial applications, and more.
Our power supply solutions are known in the industry for their high reliability and stable performance under all circumstances. For example, we have designed power supplies and related components to withstand voltage fluctuations, adverse weather conditions, wide temperature changes for outdoor applications, and more.
All our power supply solutions are subject to multiple quality tests to ensure that they are up to the standards for which we are known. In particular, the MORNSUN AC/DC enclosed SMPS undergo complete EMC tests to ensure the highest protection, efficiency, and reliability.
Contact us to discuss the exact power requirements of your electrical project and see how we can help you design for maximum reliability.