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How can I get more power from my power supplies?

If you need more voltage than one of your power supply outputs can provide, you can put power supply outputs in series to increase the total voltage. If you need more current than one of your power supply outputs can provide, you can put power supply outputs in parallel to increase the total current. However, you do have to take some precautions with series or parallel configurations in a multiple output power supply.

Precautions for series connections for higher voltage:

  • Never exceed the floating voltage rating (output terminal isolation) of any of the outputs
  • Never subject any of the power supply outputs to a reverse voltage
  • Connect in series only outputs that have identical voltage and current ratings

Precautions for parallel connections for higher current:

  • In most applications, one output must operate in constant voltage (CV) mode and the other(s) in constant current (CC) mode
  • In most applications, the load on the output must draw enough current to keep the CC output(s) in CC mode
  • Connect in parallel only outputs that have identical voltage and current ratings

You can use remote sensing with either a series or parallel configuration. Figure 1 shows remote sensing for series outputs and Figure 2 shows remote sensing for parallel outputs.

 

 

On our E36300 series multiple output power supplies, configuring series and parallel output configurations is simple. With a single button setup, the E36312A and E36313A can be set to series or parallel mode to double the output voltage (up to 50V) or current (up to 4 A), respectively.  The setting is done through the front-panel display with graphical user interface instructions.

Once set up, you can control the combined channels as a single output and use them to measure as a single channel. You save time by eliminating the need for external wiring between channels for the connection.

You can find more information about power supply series and parallel configurations in an Agilent power supply document called “Ten Fundamentals You Need to Know About Your DC Power Supply

Refer to tip number 4. This document also covers nine other useful power supply fundamentals.

This Blog Post was initially created by StevenLee