Industry White Paper

Easy DC Power Supply Efficiency Measurements

July 02, 2021 by Siglent Download PDF

Application Note Overview

Many electronic designs require a power supply that delivers a known voltage over a specific range of current loads and conditions. In many instances, the supply's efficiency is an essential design characteristic. More efficient designs convert the input power into a higher percentage of output power than less efficient designs. Since the majority of power supply losses are generated as heat within the supply, more efficient designs tend to run cooler, offer higher stability, and provide a longer operating lifetime. This is especially important for applications that require battery power such as remote IOT sensing or communications modules that need to be operational for an extended length of time.

In order to make more efficient designs, the need to measure power supply efficiency is paramount. This white paper describes the basic theory for DC power supply efficiency calculations, presents a physical setup for accurately measuring the important parameters, and provides an example program that coordinates measurements and automatically calculates power supply efficiency quickly.

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