5 Critical Things you should Consider before Choosing a Power Supply
A Power Supply Unit (PSU) may seem a rather boring purchase but remember power supply is the very heart of your device, allowing it to function effectively. If you buy a cheap PSU or buy one without proper knowledge, it may harm your entire device. Hence, before you set out to purchase a PSU for your home or business, give this article a read to know and understand what to look for.
Let us start by delving into the basics of a power supply unit.
What is a power supply unit?
A power supply is a unit that provides power to one or more electric loads. It usually converts one form of electrical power to another, but it may also convert solar, chemical, mechanical, or other forms of energy into electricity. Such power supply systems may also be called power bricks, power supply units, or power adapters.
- A power supply provides devices with the electric power they need to function effectively.
- Usually, a power supply unit is fitted within the device to be powered by it. For instance, computers use a Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS) which is highly efficient and used in devices that are turned on and off very frequently. The power supplies in computers can generally be found at the back of the computer case, along with one or more fans. These power supplies convert alternate current to direct current.
What are the 5 important things you should know before purchasing a power supply unit?
1. Check Wattage
To determine the wattage of your PSU, you have to first understand the wattage requirements of your device. Don’t be flustered if you don’t know how much power your device needs. A simple search on the internet will lead you to a host of sites and resources, including free wattage calculators to check the wattage requirements of your device.
Once you have gauged the base wattage of the device, try to buy a PSU that shall be able to supply roughly twice that wattage, particularly if you are purchasing a PSU for your PC. This little trick will enable you to purchase a power supply unit that is quieter and more durable than others.
2. Check the efficiency rating
The efficiency rating of your power supply unit is very important. Units with higher efficiency ratings are more durable, prevent overheating, and are more energy efficient. An SMPS power supply with an efficiency rating of 80% means that it supplies 80% of its wattage as the power to your device, while the other 20% is lost as heat. It is advisable to opt for power supply units with an '80 Plus’ certification as units with an 80 Plus certification means those units are at least 80% efficient.
80 Plus certifications may also have higher ranges like 80 Plus Bronze, 80 Plus Gold, 80 Plus Silver, and so on. However, the SMPS power supply price increases to a considerable degree as the certification rises. For regular users, the simple 80 Plus level or 80 Plus Bronze level efficiency works just fine.
3. The rail conundrum
Without resorting to technical jargon, it can be said that there are ‘single rail' power supplies and 'multi rail' power supplies. Both come with their advantages and disadvantages.
What you need to remember is that if your device is going to work in an area with frequent power fluctuations or outages, you should opt for a multi-rail unit. If power outages are not a common occurrence where you want to set up your device, then you are good to go with a single rail power supply unit.
4. About cables and cabling
You need not worry about cables or cabling unless you are purchasing a sophisticated, high-end PSU. You can simply use the cables that come with the product.
More sophisticated power supply units offer the option of ‘modular cabling’ that allows you to attach pin connectors and custom cables so that you can integrate your parts into it if required. However, this feature is not relevant to the average user.
5. Always opt for a trusted brand
Power supply units from a trusted brand may be slightly more expensive than cheaper but poor-quality options. However, as mentioned before, your PSU is the very heart of your device, affecting every part of it. If you cheap out on an integral component like the power supply unit, you run the risk of short-circuiting, overheating, and harming your whole device. Apart from this, PSUs from trusted brands come with a warranty and will last you several years.
Buy A High-Quality And Trusted Power Supply Unit From The Schneider Electric Eshop
Buying a PSU can be perplexing, but now that you know the basics, visit the Schneider Electric eShop and check out their range of power supply units. Schneider Electric is one of the most trusted brands in the market for PSUs as well as other electrical devices and guarantees the quality, durability, and authenticity of products. If you need more information or have queries, visit their website today!
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