A switch-mode power supply (SMPS) is a type of power supply that uses a switching regulator to convert AC or DC input voltage to a regulated DC output voltage. Switch-mode power supplies are used in a wide variety of applications, including computers, telecommunications equipment, and consumer electronics.
Switch-mode power supplies are more efficient than linear power supplies, which use a transformer to step down the input voltage and a diode rectifier to convert the AC output of the transformer to DC. Switch-mode power supplies are also more compact and lightweight than linear power supplies.
The basic principle of a switch-mode power supply is to use a switching transistor to alternately connect and disconnect the input voltage to a storage element, such as a capacitor or inductor. The switching transistor is controlled by a pulse-width modulation (PWM) controller, which varies the duty cycle of the switching transistor to control the output voltage.
The following is a simplified diagram of a switch-mode power supply:
In this diagram, the input voltage is applied to the input terminal of the power supply. The switching transistor is controlled by the PWM controller, which generates a PWM signal that is applied to the gate of the switching transistor. The switching transistor alternately connects and disconnects the input voltage to the storage element, which is a capacitor in this example. The output voltage of the power supply is taken from the capacitor.
The PWM controller is responsible for regulating the output voltage of the power supply. The PWM controller compares the output voltage to a reference voltage and adjusts the duty cycle of the PWM signal to maintain the output voltage at the desired level.
Switch-mode power supplies are more efficient than linear power supplies because they do not waste energy as heat. In a linear power supply, the input voltage is always applied to the output, even when the output voltage is not needed. This results in a loss of efficiency as heat. In a switch-mode power supply, the input voltage is only applied to the output when it is needed, which reduces the amount of heat that is generated.
Switch-mode power supplies are also more compact and lightweight than linear power supplies. This is because the switching transistor and the storage element can be made much smaller than the transformer and the diode rectifier that are used in a linear power supply.
Switch-mode power supplies are used in a wide variety of applications, including computers, telecommunications equipment, and consumer electronics. They are also used in industrial applications, such as power supplies for electric motors.
Here are some of the advantages of switch-mode power supplies:
- High efficiency
- Compact size and light weight
- Low noise
- Good transient response
- Wide input voltage range
Here are some of the disadvantages of switch-mode power supplies:
- More complex than linear power supplies
- Can generate electromagnetic interference (EMI)
- May require additional filtering to reduce EMI
Overall, switch-mode power supplies are a very efficient and versatile way to convert AC or DC input voltage to a regulated DC output voltage. They are used in a wide variety of applications and are constantly being improved to meet the demands of new technologies.
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