How will extreme temperatures affect the operation of power supplies?

Published: 13 September 2023

How will extreme temperatures affect the operation of power supplies?

In the realm of advanced power supply technology, the impact of temperature extremes on system efficiency and reliability cannot be underestimated. Electronic components are vulnerable to the adverse effects of extreme temperatures. In this technical analysis, we explore the precise consequences of temperature extremes and the strategies employed to ensure the uninterrupted performance of power supplies.

Cold Environments: Component Brittleness and Reduced Conductivity

Extreme cold conditions can profoundly affect the functionality of power supply components. Low temperatures render materials more brittle, resulting in a heightened susceptibility to cracking and fractures. These structural changes compromise the conductivity of components, leading to diminished power supply efficiency and heightened risk of component failure. Several power supplies in our range have been designed to operate down to -40C, such as the DA series from PowerBox.

Excessive Heat: Overheating and Component Degradation

Conversely, excessive heat can induce a different set of challenges for power supplies. High temperatures can cause components to overheat and subsequently degrade. This degradation reduces the efficiency and operational lifespan of the power supply.

The majority of power supplies provide a reduced power output when the ambient temperature is high, the LCC series from Artesyn maintains it’s power output across the entire operating temperature range.

Strategies for Ensuring Reliability

Climate-Resilient Design: Climate-resilient power supply designs are characterised by the use of materials and components engineered explicitly to withstand extreme temperatures. These designs ensure the robustness of power supplies in high-heat and cold environments. Many power supplies feature an option for conformal coating or a ruggedised option, making them suitable for high vibration/challenging environments.

Temperature Monitoring: Real-time temperature monitoring is a fundamental strategy. Advanced sensors provide continuous data on component temperatures, enabling proactive measures to be taken in response to temperature fluctuations.

Insulation and Enclosure: Proper insulation and enclosure techniques maintain a controlled environment for sensitive components, mitigating the impact of extreme temperatures on power supply efficiency.

Cooling Solutions: Efficient cooling solutions encompass advanced air conditioning, liquid cooling, and heat sink technologies to efficiently dissipate heat and prevent overheating.

Redundancy: In mission-critical applications, redundancy is key. Building redundancy into power systems ensures uninterrupted power supply in the event of component failures due to extreme temperatures. N+N or N+1 redundancy is an important feature when designing a system requiring redundancy, it is featured in the majority of our product range.

Contact us today, if you would like advice on what power supply would be right for you.

Contact Us

If you would like to discuss your project with us or have any other questions, please contact our team using the form below.

© Fortec United Kingdom

View Saved Products