Programmable power supplies with arbitrary waveform generation

March 18, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
To its latest range of programmable power supplies, TDK-Lambda has added built-in waveform generation and storage capacity to simulate voltage transients for testing automotive and solar array systems.

The Z+ Series of high-density, 2U format benchtop and rack mounted 200W and 400W power supplies has the ability to create and store up to four application specific test waveforms, removing the need for an external controller in basic simulation tasks. Up to 12 values can be programmed using the waveform creator software provided and 4 waveforms can be stored in the Z+ unit’s memory. More complex waveforms can be created using National Instruments' LabView . These waveforms can be either repetitive or single-shot and injected into the system under test and the results analysed confirming the proper operation of the powered system or pinpointing a fault. Once stored the programme can be run remotely or recalled and run directly using the Z+ front panel controls, eliminating the need for a computer connection.

A typical test environment would be to simulate the characteristics of another power source, for example to simulate car battery voltage transients occurring under all conditions, including starting, according to DIN 40839 for testing automotive electronics. The DIN 40839 standard ensures electromagnetic compatibility in road vehicles and defines several types of tests, including the injection of supply line transients (test pulses) in 12 and 24V onboard systems. Another typical application is to simulate the output profile of a solar cell array under all conditions in order to test connected equipment.

Z+ power supplies also have a fast command processing time, output sequencing and two programmable output pins that can be used to control, for example, isolation or polarity reversal relays.

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