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SMPS vs Linear

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by zman, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. zman

    zman Apprentice Elf

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    Guys,

    I see most talking about obtaining SMPS to power controllers/pixels. What is the advantages vs disadvantages of SMPS vs Linear. Thanks.
     
  2. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    I find that linear DC power supplies generally cost a lot more per amp than a SMPS. Linear DC power supplies are generally used more for lab and work bench power supplies. So a SMPS has a lower cost per amp than a linear DC power supply
     
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    zman

    zman Apprentice Elf

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    Thanks Eddy, so other than cost, is there reliability advantages or anything else to consider when making a choice?
     
  4. ecbailey

    ecbailey Full Time Elf

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    The SMPS is also a lot lighter I would expect. Most also have fans which can be good for keeping them cool. Not that I've had any issues with that.


    Keep in mind however, than you can dim the Linear DC Power Supply, where as dimming an SMPC's input power will not play nicely? (I would confirm that first, I'm only 90% sure)
     
  5. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Linear supplies are electronically dead simple and at the heart of them they have a iron cored transformer. As a result they are many times heavier. The reliability of the 2 types of power supply comes down to the design, whether there is overload protection, spike protection, undervoltage protection blah, blah, blah. Switchmode supplies are commonly 90% or more efficient over most of the load range. Linear supplies can often be below 50% efficient so there is huge quantities of heat to get rid of. A good switchmode supply is really the only choice you should be looking at. Meanwell supplies for instance are fully burn in tested and if used correctly are capable of running 24/7 under high loads for years. The only moving part (the fan) is often the first part to fail and after it fails and things get hot (or if their is a lack of ventilation ) then other components will fail.
     
  6. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    zman

    zman Apprentice Elf

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    Awesome guys, thanks for all the input.
     

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