In a world where virtually all equipment and devices are connected to electricity, power supplies are a key element for everything to work as it should. However, not all fonts are created equal, so getting to know them in depth is always a good idea.
Our computer, our Smart TV, the tin 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 household, computer and leisure appliances, being the current source that provides energy to these devices.
Precisely because of its 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 it comes to replacing them and to knowing what we can demand from the product that assembles it.
What is the power supply for?
The first thing we must know is what is the function of the power supply. This electronic component has the ability to properly manage the energy that comes through the plug of our home, alternating current, and convert it into a 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 electrical 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 the same until obtaining an optimal output.
Another advantage that power supplies have is that they 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 power grid failures, voltage spikes can occur which, if passed directly to the equipment, end up destroying its electronics.
For this reason, 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 entire device that they feed.
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 voltage levels, a rectifier to convert alternating current into direct current, a filter that improves the output, a regulator that adapts the power as required and the output element, where that already processed energy is poured.
For its part, a switching power supply uses transistors to adjust the current, offering a more complex operation and a more precise performance than that of linear sources. 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 which, together with the controller, is in charge of offering the output power according to what is necessary. This would be the approach of an electronic power supply, such as that included in computers.
Another criterion by which we can rate these sources is by their location. Some power supplies are external, like laptops, while others are internal, like a hair styler or Smart TV. The latter can be independent, like those of the computer, or be welded or mounted on a plate, like those of various electrical appliances. In this case, not a single screw is usually used in this assembly, but the plate is fixed by light welds.
We can also qualify them for their energy output, according to whether it is fixed or adjustable. An adjustable voltage and current power supply is a versatile solution when we want to power different devices with different energy requirements, being also useful for uses such as charging laptops. For their part, 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 to know what power supply I need
With all that 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, just look for a hob 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 are usually printed in the font 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 energy or power output required, depending on the total sum of the different components of the equipment. Anyway, on the net it is easy to find calculators that give you the specific information, including the necessary safety margin.
And since we are talking about computer fonts, if you want to check if a font of this type works before mounting it, you can. To do this, you only have to make a power supply jumper, for which it is enough to use a paper clip or a piece of cable. This element is placed between the pin connected to the green wire and the one connected to the black wire, generating the activation of the source. Obviously, bypassing must be done with the source unplugged, for safety.