External Power Supplies: What They Are and How They Work

An external power supply, also known as an AC adapter or wall wart, is a device that converts AC (alternating current) power from a wall outlet into DC (direct current) power that can be used to power electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, and other gadgets.

External power supplies come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the specific device they are intended to power. They typically consist of a small plastic box that houses the electronics, with a cable that connects to the device's power port.

How Do External Power Supplies Work?

External power supplies use a process called rectification to convert AC power to DC power. The process involves four main stages: rectification, smoothing, regulation, and filtering.

Rectification: The first stage of the process is rectification, where the AC power from the wall outlet is converted into pulsating DC power using a diode bridge. The diode bridge consists of four diodes arranged in a bridge configuration, which allows the AC power to be converted to DC power.

Smoothing: The pulsating DC power is then passed through a capacitor, which smooths out the voltage and reduces the ripple effect.

Regulation: The voltage is then regulated to ensure that it is at a constant level, regardless of any fluctuations in the AC power coming from the wall outlet. This is achieved using a voltage regulator, which can be either linear or switching.

Filtering: Finally, the DC power is filtered to remove any remaining noise or interference using a filter circuit.

Once the AC power has been converted to DC power and regulated, it is then sent through the cable to the device it is intended to power.

Benefits of External Power Supplies

External power supplies offer several benefits over built-in power supplies, including:

  • Portability: External power supplies are generally smaller and more lightweight than built-in power supplies, making them easier to transport.
  • Efficiency: External power supplies are designed to be highly efficient, meaning that they waste less energy than built-in power supplies.
  • Safety: External power supplies are designed to meet strict safety standards, helping to prevent electrical shocks or fires.
  • Compatibility: External power supplies can often be used with multiple devices, as long as they have the same voltage and connector type.

Please contact us today on 01480 412233 to see how we can help you find the perfect power conversion solution.

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