Expert Tips for Choosing the Ideal AC Power Source

Imagine the potential consequences if medical equipment or industrial machinery were to fail due to abnormal or disrupted power during operation. Therefore, AC power sources become indispensable during the testing stages to simulate various scenarios and evaluate the performance, quality, and reliability of your devices. Additionally, it is crucial to use AC power sources in the production line to provide precise control over voltage and current levels, thereby avoiding the effects of unstable utility power. However, with numerous AC source options available on the market, choosing the right one can be challenging. Beyond the basic features of an AC power source, such as power output capability and configuration, you also need to consider factors like crest factor, inrush current, safety features, and specific applications for conducting IEC 61000 tests or leakage current tests. In this issue, we will explain why these factors matter when choosing the right AC power source.

Power Output Capability and Configuration

To select the right AC power source, start by determining the required power output capability and configuration. The power output capability, also known as the power rating, varies widely depending on the application. As a general rule of thumb:

  • 500VA to 1000VA: Suitable for smaller, less demanding applications such as testing small electronic devices.
  • 1000VA to 3000VA: Ideal for medium-scale applications including larger consumer electronics and industrial components.
  • 3000VA to 6000VA: Best for heavy-duty applications requiring significant power, such as large industrial machinery and high-power electronics testing.

To ensure optimal performance and avoid overloading, it's essential to choose a power source with a rating that matches or exceeds your total power requirement.

Similarly, power configuration options include single-phase (1Ø) and three-phase (3Ø). Usually, the small home appliances require a single-phase AC source and three-phase AC source is ideal for heavy industrial equipment or larger commercial installations.

The EEC AC Power Source offers a versatile range of power output capabilities from 500VA to 6kVA and configurations including single-phase (1Ø) and three-phase (3Ø). This versatility ensures that different application needs are met, providing your devices with consistent and reliable power.

Additional Factors to Consider

Beyond power output capability and configuration, several other key factors must be considered when selecting an AC power source:

  1. Crest Factor and Inrush Current

The significance of crest factor and inrush current lies in applications that necessitate high inrush current, such as motor starting or capacitor charging. If an AC power source fails to effectively manage these high peaks, it could result in damage. Additionally, considering inrush current and crest factor aids in selecting the appropriate power capacity for the AC power source, eliminating the need to procure a larger capacity to meet high inrush or spike current demands. Further details about inrush current and crest factor are provided below.

Inrush current refers to the maximum instantaneous input current drawn by an electrical device when it is switched on, often exceeding its normal operating current. Crest factor, which compares the peak value to the RMS (root mean square) value of a waveform, is crucial for evaluating a power source's ability to manage sudden spikes in current. For example, heating elements typically have crest factors ranging from 1.4 to 1.6, while power supplies in computers and electronics often have crest factors between 2.0 and 3.0.

To accommodate the initial inrush current, the EEC AC Power Source offers an inrush current capacity of 4. This ensures that the power source can handle initial surges without compromising performance or safety. Additionally, the EEC power source boasts a specified crest factor of ≥3, indicating its capability to manage peak currents up to three times its rated current for short durations. For instance, if the power source has a maximum current of 20A at 100VAC, it can sustain peak currents up to 3×20A=60A.

  1. Safety Features

AC power sources output high voltage and current, posing potential hazards to operators. Therefore, it's imperative to consider safety features to safeguard operators' well-being. The EEC AC power source integrates several essential safety features: Over Current Protection (OCP), Over Temperature Protection (OTP), Over Power Protection (OPP), Over Voltage Protection (OVP), and Short Circuit Protection. In case of abnormal statuses, indicators illuminate to alert operators, and the output voltage is immediately cut off. These safety measures ensure prompt response and mitigate risks, shielding both users and equipment from harm.

  1. Specific Application

As mentioned previously, the AC power source plays an important role in simulating abnormal power conditions, which is required in IEC 61000 testing. This includes simulating common grid faults, voltage dips, and other power irregularities. To fulfill these requirements, the AC source should provide flexibility in configuring different waveforms or incorporate built-in waveforms. This guarantees accurate testing and replication of real-world conditions.

The AC source is also crucial for electrical safety testing. For example, the IEC 60601 leakage current test is significant for testing medical devices, requiring stable and precise power delivery. Typically, manufacturers pair the EEC AC source with an AR electrical safety tester. Ensuring compatibility between the AC source and the safety tester is essential to ensure the safety and reliability of medical devices.

EEC Provides Versatile AC Power Sources to Meet Your Needs

The right AC power source goes beyond just matching Power Output Capability and Configuration. Considering factors like crest factor and inrush current, safety feature and application is also important to ensures your power source delivers reliable, efficient, and safe power to your devices. Whether it's for small home appliances or critical industrial systems, the right power source can significantly impact performance and quality. EEC provide different series of AC power source for your different need.

EEC 8500 Series: Programmable AC Power Source offers enhanced capabilities and various functionalities, making it a comprehensive solution for diverse applications. This series provides a broad range of power ratings from 500VA to 6kVA, features a crest factor of ≥3, and supports inrush currents up to four times the rated current. Additionally, it enables the simulation of IEC 61000 common grid faults, voltage dips, and other power abnormalities, ensuring product quality and reliability. With an output voltage of up to 310VAC and a frequency range from 5 Hz to 1,200 Hz, it caters to a wide range of applications. Moreover, it is perfectly suited for bundling with the OMNIA® II for conducting leakage current tests in compliance with IEC 60601 standards.

EEC 400XAC Series: AC Power Sources provide power ratings of 3kVA and 6kVA, offering both single-phase (1Ø) and three-phase (3Ø) power in a single-box solution. If you need an AC power source with superior application flexibility, look no further than the EEC 400XAC. Our exclusive SmartCONFIG feature allows the 400XAC Series to seamlessly switch from single-phase to three-phase power with the push of a button, ensuring optimal performance for a wide range of applications. It includes 50 built-in memory locations with 9 test steps, built-in power factor correction (PFC), and advanced metering circuits that monitor voltage, current, peak current, power, apparent power, reactive power, power factor, and crest factor.

EEC 6700 Series: Linear Programmable AC Power Source provides clean power across a range from 500VA to 5kVA, making it ideal for networking communication, audio and video equipment, and surveillance systems due to its ultra-low noise design. With high-load capacity capabilities—crest factor greater than 3, inrush current greater than 4, and Over Current Fold (OCF) functionality—it ensures maintaining current for devices requiring high inrush current activation. Additionally, it features comprehensive safety protections for over-current, over-voltage, over-power, over-temperature, and short circuits, optimizing both the power source and operator safety. The 6700 Series also offers an optional 0.1mA/0.01W high-resolution measurement feature, wide output voltage range of 0 - 600VAC, and a frequency range of 45 - 1000Hz. Its rapid transient reaction allows waveforms to restore within 100µs whenever loads are added or removed instantly.

EEC 6900S Series: AC Power Source provides a wide range of power selection options from 500VA to 5kVA for every test scenario, including home electronic appliances, power adapters, LEDs, and even laboratory testing. It simulates worldwide AC power conditions with a wide and flexible combination of adjustments for output voltage ranges of 0-310V and a frequency range of 40-450Hz. Additionally, it features comprehensive safety protections for over-current, over-voltage, over-power, over-temperature, and short circuits, optimizing both the power source and operator safety. The 6900S Series offers several high-load capacity capabilities, including a crest factor greater than 3, inrush current greater than 4, and Over Current Fold (OCF) functionality.

If you have any questions about selecting the right AC power source, feel free to contact us. We're here to help you.