ABCs Of Power Conditioning

It seems like almost every power protection device that’s sold today claims to be a power conditioner. But what really makes a power conditioner? The answer to that question depends largely on determining the power quality needs of the electronic load.

A system with a linear type power supply will frequently already have an isolation transformer but may be sensitive to voltage fluctuations. These systems will probably need some type of surge diverter and maybe a voltage regulator, too.

Most modern electronic systems, however, have switched mode power supplies (SMPS). This type of power supply technology is largely immune to changes in power line voltage but in the process of making the power supply smaller, more efficient, and cheaper, the isolation transformer has been eliminated from the design. Systems with a switched mode power supply will require, at a minimum, a surge diverter, a noise filter, and an isolation transformer.










Meanwhile, any system in which data is held, edited, or manipulated in some way in volatile memory may need the protection of a battery backup system or UPS to ensure that data can be saved and the system properly shutdown in the event of a power outage.