FAQ

Why is a SMPS used?

84 Published by admin Jul 07,2018

Power supplies are mainly categorized as linear power supplies and switched mode power supplies.

In a linear power supply, the input voltage from AC mains is first stepped down using transformer.Stepped down voltage is then rectified and filtered using a capacitor. This unregulated dc voltage across the capacitor is finally given to linear regulator which converters it into regulated DC voltage as shown in the following figure.

In switched mode power supply (SMPS) input voltage from AC mains is directly rectified and filtered using a capacitor. This unregulated dc voltage across the capacitor is then given to a high frequency DC to DC converter which converters it into regulated DC voltage as shown in the following figure.

The usage of a transformer at high frequency (>20 kHz) in SMPS instead of using it directly at 50/60Hz as in linear power supply drastically reduces the size of a transformer which in turn decreases weight and size of power supply. This is the reason behind light weight and compact size power adapters such as mobile, laptop chargers.

Moreover, an efficiency of SMPS is typically more than 80% which is very high as compared to linear power supplies as in linear power supplies, current passes through switch operating in an active region (larger voltage drop)and hence it results in high power dissipation (lower efficiency) unlike switch operating in the saturation region (lower voltage drop) in SMPS. This also makes the operation of SMPS possible with a wide range of input voltage.

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