High-performance benchtop DC electronic load series

Paul Boughton

B&K Precision’s 8600 Series programmable DC electronic loads delivers the performance of modular system DC electronic loads in a compact benchtop form.

The new series includes three models of 150W-250W DC electronic loads that can sink current up to 60A at wide voltage ranges up to 500V.

All models provide fast transient operation speeds up to 25kHz along with built-in battery and LED test mode functions, making these high-performance DC loads suitable for testing and evaluating a variety of DC sources such as DC power supplies, DC-DC converters, batteries, LED drivers, and photovoltaic arrays.

Most electronic loads regulate their input current or voltage using constant current (CC) mode or constant voltage (CV) mode. The 8600 Series can operate in any of these modes along with constant resistance (CR) and constant power (CW) mode.

In addition, the 8600 Series provides transient, list, and automatic test functions for more complex loading profiles of varying load levels, switching times, and operation modes.

Combined with a high resolution and high accuracy 16-bit measurement system, the instrument's bright dual-line display allows users to view both measured and set parameters simultaneously. Other useful features include adjustable current slew rates, built-in rise and fall measurement, and voltage turn-on capabilities to start and stop discharging of a power source at a specified voltage level.

For remote control and programming, the 8600 Series includes standard GPIB, USB, and RS232 interfaces supporting USBTMC and SCPI communication protocols. The instrument also offers terminals on the rear for external triggering, input On/Off control, voltage fault monitoring, remote sense, and external analog current control and monitoring.

LabVIEW drivers are provided along with free application software for front panel emulation, generation and execution of test sequences, and logging measurements via a PC. Users can integrate this application software with NI's Data Dashboard app to create custom dashboards on smartphones and tablets for additional monitoring functions.