AC power sources provide output often with adjustable ranges of current, voltage and frequency. They are used in testing motors and many other kinds of electrical equipment for which input values may vary. The output frequency of AC power sources can typically be well into the kilohertz range.  AC power sources can be benchtop, DIN rail, rack mount, or cabinet style.  The nominal AC input for AC power sources can be 115 VAC, 230 VAC, or 155/230 VAC selectable.

Output Specifications

Important output specifications to consider for AC power sources include minimum frequency, maximum frequency, maximum voltage, maximum steady state current, and maximum power output.  The minimum frequency is the lower limit of adjustable frequency range.  The maximum frequency is the upper limit of adjustable frequency range.  The maximum voltage is the upper limit (RMS) of adjustable voltage range.  The maximum steady state current is the maximum rated sustainable current. This does not include peaks.  The maximum power output is the total nominal power output of a power supply or source.

Output Choices

Output choices for AC power sources include adjustable frequency, adjustable voltage, adjustable current, DC output, three phase output, and soft start.  Output frequency, voltage and current may be adjusted through a continuous range or to discrete values.  Sources with DC output are capable of providing direct current output.  Three-phase AC contains three sine waves separated by 120° phase angle.  A soft start output is a gradual ramp-up of output to set level.  These types of sources are often used in the testing of motors.

Protection Features

Common protection features for AC power sources include overvoltage protection, overcurrent protection, overtemperature protection, and short circuit protection.  Some power sources contain circuitry that protects the unit in case of overvoltage, overcurrent, overtemperature or short circuit conditions. Contact the manufacturer for specifications on the nature of the protection provided or if the intended application requires specialized protection.

User Interface Choices

User interface choices for AC power sources include local interface options, computer interfaces, computer interface options, and application software.  Display types can be analog meter or indicator, digital readouts, or video display terminals.  An important environmental parameter to consider when searching for AC power sources is the operating temperature.

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