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In a world in which practically all equipment and devices are plugged into electricity, power supplies are a key element for everything to work as it should. However, not all fonts are the same, so knowing them in depth is always a good idea.
Our computer, our Smart TV, the soldering iron, our washing machine and even the electric water heater in our home have it. The power supply is a basic element for all types of home appliances, computer and entertainment, being the current source that provides power to these devices.
Precisely because of their wide variety, it is convenient to know what types of power supplies exist, as well as the parameters in which we can classify each of them. Useful information both when replacing them and knowing what we can demand from the product that mounts it.
What is the power supply for?
The first thing we need to know is what the function of the power supply is. This electronic component has the ability to properly manage the energy that arrives through the plug in our home, alternating current, and convert it into direct current, which makes the device to which it is connected work.
The idea is that the energy that reaches our home cannot always be applied directly to the different components of an appliance, a computer or a television. Therefore, it is necessary to transform it through that element. The different parts of a power supply are in charge of adjusting and processing it until obtaining an optimal output.
Another advantage that power supplies have is to serve as a fuse in case of overvoltages. Generally, the current that we use in our home is 220 volts, although sometimes the value reaches 230 or 240. The source can manage these peaks and stabilize the output, as necessary. But in situations such as blackouts, stormy days or failures in the electrical network, voltage spikes can occur that, if they pass directly to the equipment, end up destroying its electronics.
For this reason, the power supplies include a system that cuts off the flow of energy if it exceeds the maximum parameters that it can withstand, thus avoiding those more serious breakdowns. Because it is always better to change only the power supply than to have to do it with the whole device that they power.
Types of power supplies
According to its most basic classification, we have two types of power supplies: linear and switched. In linear power supplies, a simple scheme is followed, which includes a transformer to adapt the voltage levels, a rectifier to convert the alternating current into direct current, a filter that improves the output, a regulator that adapts the power to what is required and the output element, where that already processed energy is poured.
A switching power supply, on the other hand, uses transistors to adjust the current, offering more complex operation and more precise performance than linear supplies. This also influences the parts of the switching power supply. Among them, we find a signal rectifier, a switch connected to a controller, which manages the cycle, as well as a secondary rectifier that, together with the controller, are responsible for offering the output power according to what is necessary. This would be the approach of an electronic power supply, such as the one included in computers.
Another criterion by which we can rate these sources is by their location. Some power supplies are external, like those in laptops, while others are internal, like those in a hair styler or Smart TV. The latter can be independent, like those of the computer, or be soldered or mounted on a plate, like those of various household appliances. In this case, not a single screw is usually used in this assembly, but the plate is fixed by light welding.
We can also qualify them by their power output, whether fixed or adjustable. An adjustable voltage and current power supply is a versatile solution when we want to power different devices with different power requirements, being also useful for uses such as charging laptops. On the other hand, fixed output models generate current under specific and invariable parameters. They are more basic, but also cheaper, when there is no need to complicate life.
How do I know what power supply I need?
With everything we have discussed, you already have the information to answer this question. When it comes to looking for a power supply, it is obvious that it must be compatible with the system in which we are going to mount it, and must be able to offer the electrical output that the device requires.
When it comes to power supplies for household appliances, it is enough to look for a board that has the same operating parameters as the one we intend to replace. In fact, it does not have to be from the manufacturer itself, but it can be compatible, as long as it meets those output power requirements and the rest of the technical parameters that are necessary. These usually appear printed on the source itself or are found in the equipment manual.
Where things get complicated is when choosing a power supply for a PC. In this case, it is key to previously calculate the necessary energy or output power, depending on the total sum of the different components of the equipment. In any case, it is easy to find calculators online that give you the specific data, including the necessary safety margin.
And since we’re talking about computer fonts, if you want to check if such a font works before mounting it, you can. To do this, you just have to make a power supply bridge, for which it is enough to use a clip or a piece of cable. This element is placed between the pin connected to the green cable and the one connected to the black cable, generating the activation of the source. Obviously, bridging must be done with the source unplugged, for safety.