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Understanding Multi-Range Power Supplies

Last Updated: Jan 15, 2019 08:45AM PST
A newer generation of power supplies called multi-range power supplies allow users access to output power ranges not available from conventional single-range power supplies.
To get a better understanding of this type of power supply, we will compare the single-range model 9120A with the 9110 multi-range power supply. Both offer similar output power of about 100 W.

Single-Range Power Supplies
The 9120A can supply up to 32 V at 3 A with a maximum power of 96 W. The voltage and current can be adjusted by the user and plotted as shown below. All combinations in the green region are available. Only one combination of voltage and current, 32 V at 3 A, provides the maximum power available.
 Single-range operation
9120A single-range operation
Multi-Range Power Supplies
The following graph illustrates the multi-range capability of the 9110 supply. The maximum power of 100 W is available at any point along the red curve.
Multi-range operation
9110​ multi-range operation

Multi-range power supplies provide the user with a wider operating range by extending the voltage and current range beyond a single range. For example, the 9110 offers a comparable voltage and current output to the 9120A at 33.3 V, 3 A. However, the 9110 also allows the user to select extended voltage or extended current ranges not available on the single range 9120A power supply. For example, the user can set voltage up to 60 V at 1.66 A. Optionally, the user could set current up to 5 A at 20 V. Any combination of the rated voltage and current can be set up to the maximum power output of the supply.
Multi-range power supplies offer great flexibility and in many applications, can replace several conventional single-range power supplies.
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