Criterion Instruments

Understanding AC and DC Power Supplies

One of the most basic concepts when discussing AC power supplies and DC power supplies is to understand the difference between these two sources of power. Items or objects that use AC power supplies - or alternating current – in general, are appliances or objects that can be plugged into a wall. Major and small appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, television sets, lamps etc. use AC power supplies. Items or objects that use DC power supplies – or direct current – generally require a battery or a secondary power source. These include everything from common everyday items such as flashlight or children’s toys to more sophisticated equipment like computers, laptops, iPods, and cell phones, which would require a secondary source called a power adaptor. The power adaptor is then plugged into an AC power supply, or a plug wall outlet.

With AC power supplies and DC powers supplies, each is labeled with the amount of voltage and electrical current that is supplied. And DC power supplies are generally labeled with voltage and current output and regulation level. There are standards in place as part of the testing of various electrical products, which ensure that power sources meet or exceed requirements for energy management, safety and other considerations.

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Criterion Instruments AC Power Supplies

Criterion Instruments DC Power Supplies



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Information in this document is subject to change without notice.

Updated on April. 23, 2013.