Universal power supply has the functionality of an arbitrary waveform generator which can convert into a test system

Paul Boughton

Until now specialised equipment was needed to generate a high power waveform for testing electronics, like the simulation of the battery voltage of a starting car.

Now a low cost universal power supply can be converted to such a test system. Classically, power supplies were always optimised for stability and low ripple. Electronic circuits required these features. Since electronic circuits were introduced in cars there is a demand for unstable voltages again. Electronics in cars experience a deep dip during engine start-up, peaks and dips during switching of loads like lamps and motors, voltage overshoots when the battery fails.
More and more safety sensitive parts -- ABS, ASR, electric steering and electric braking -- are powered by the car battery, they have to withstand all combinations of fast and very slow changes in voltage.
Extensive testing of these sensitive parts in a harsh environment has to be carried out. A power supply, which can simulate any unstable voltage of a car battery, is required.
Theoretically a desired waveform could be generated by programming a power supply by a CPU, unfortunately the communication between a computer and the power supply controller is usually not fast enough to generate high speed transitions. A new card solves this problem by executing the sequence on the interface card. Even standalone generation (without computer) is possible. With the PSC-ETH card, the power supply can carry out automation tasks without additional external modules like a PLC, current shunts, etc.
The integrated sequencer can be programmed with the simple internal programming language. A programmed step (program line) can set the output voltage, current, a digital output, an interval variable or internal timer.

Delta Elektronika BV is based in Zierikzee, The Netherlands. " target="_blank">www.DeltaPowerSupplies.com