Challenges of Compact Power Supplies for Use in Harsh Environments

AC to DC power supplies are used in millions of devices. Most of these contain a front end box that converts the AC power to DC power. To maximize power availability, these power supplies must compulsorily incorporate power factor and harmonic correction.

Some of the devices that use such power supplies are very small and many of them have to operate in harsh environments. So embedded engineers who work with such power supplies have to face a number of problems and it is not easy to find solutions for all of them.

In such instances, substituting common power supplies with custom power supplies has helped. So there are alternatives available. Power density of power supplies can be increased by using Permalloy cores in the inductors.

At the same time, new transformer winding techniques and new substrates have helped compress the height of components and enhance thermal management. Advancements in hybrid and integrated circuits, like the ones found on custom power supplies have helped too.

Another advantage is custom power supplies can be created for a range of applications, from milliwatts to kilowatts, from encapsulated, enclosed or open frame. They can be used in the most demanding and rugged applications.