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mPower Autoranging Power Supplies

Marway’s lab quality mPower dc power supplies include many advanced capabilities usually found only in systems costing much more. A cornerstone feature is the autoranging dc output. Explained more below, the benefit of autoranging allows a single modestly powered supply to cover test cases usually requiring multiple power supplies. This saves capital costs and rack space, and even simplifies test setup.

Three series for a variety of scaled needs

  • The 300 Series is a cost-effective system with core mPower capabilities, and slightly simpler controls. A total of 10 units are available in 1U with 1.5kW or 3kW output.
  • The 310 Series includes a function generator, more diverse control capabilities, and a larger display with touch control. Available in 2U and 3U units with over 100 models from 1.0kW to 15kW.
  • The 320 Series is a dedicated 15kW slave model with cost-effective features intended to be managed by a 310 model for master control. A master-slave setup with 16 total systems provides up to 240 kW of power.

Powerful capabilities

  • Operate in constant voltage, current, power, or resistance mode. (Resistance mode in 310/320 Series only)
  • Autoranging dc output delivers full power for a wider range of voltage and current settings.
  • Function generator to automate profiles for the dc output voltage or current. (310 Series only)
  • Data logging to USB drive. (310 Series only)
  • Programmable using ModBus and SCPI protocols on a variety of interfaces.
  • Remotely controllable through Windows®, LabView®, and your own custom scripts.
  • Sense bus to measure and adjust dc output at the load to ensure the DUT gets the precise voltage the test calls for.
  • Parallel operation of up to 16 units (10 units for 300 Series) to increase current and power.
  • Safety features including user interface lockout and discharge circuitry. Built-in alerts for over voltage, current, power, and temperature.
A photo of Marway mPower DC power supplies Series 300, 310, and 320 available up to 15kW.
Top to bottom: mPower rackmount dc power supplies include 300 Series 1U, 310 Series 2U, 310 Series 3U, and 320 Series 3U. All series feature autoranging dc output, ModBus and SCPI programming on a variety of interfaces, lockable user controls, and parallel connection of multiple units.

What is Autoranging?

An autoranging power supply is a power supply used in test applications which maintains peak power delivery across a wider range of voltage and current test points than traditional power supplies. This is accomplished by designing the system to operate at higher voltage with low current, and higher current with low voltage. This allows a single, smaller capacity power supply to serve a wide range of test scenarios which would otherwise require multiple traditional power supplies. This saves capital costs, rack space, and even simplifies test setups.

To visualize what autoranging does, imagine a test case where the DUT must work at a full 2.5 kW across a range of voltages. To sustain 2.5 kW, the range of test voltages will require a range of current capacity. Most power supplies delivery their full power at only one peak voltage and current combination. As shown in the left graph, it may take several traditional supplies to meet 2.5 kW at various voltages. In the right graph, we see that with autoranging, a single power supply has a much broader voltage and current range at which it can still deliver peak power. The power supply can be set to deliver a fixed constant power, the test software can sweep voltage settings, and the power supply would adapt current flow to meet the power delivery.

Two graphs illustrating that it takes multiple traditional power supplies to match a single mPower autoranging supply.
Autoranging enables mPower to automatically adapt to higher output voltages when there’s a smaller current, or handle higher currents when there’s a lower voltage.

Function Generator

  • Multiple standard wave forms
  • Arbitrary wave forms with up to 99 steps
  • XY-Table functions with USB import/export
  • Built-in simulations for fule cells, photovoltaics, and more

The built-in function generator of the 310 Series is able to create various signal forms and apply these to the set value of the dc output voltage or current. The function generator includes options for sine, triangle, rectangle, and trapezoid waveforms, as well as custom arbitrary wave forms. Additionally there are configuration tools for ramping, UI and IU tables, and simulations for fuel cells and photovoltaics. Table configuration data can exported to and imported from a USB port on the front of the system. During simulation runs, it is also possible to record data.

Stylized version of the function generator menu showing the various wave types.
Function configuration is possible through a menu-driven user interface on the touchscreen control panel, and through remote programming.

Programming and Remote Control

A programmable dc power supply is a power supply used for testing products during development or production. The programmable part is the ability to set the voltage, current, power, and other settings with a script or program on a remote computer. As the product being tested is powered, the power levels can be changed and switched on and off automatically to verify the product's functionality with different power inputs.

  • Remote control is available through a Windows® program, LabView®, or through custom scripting
  • Scripting is done using ModBus and/or SCPI protocols
  • 300 Series features USB, Ethernet, and analog remote control
  • 310 Series features USB, GPIB or AnyBus modules, and analog remote control (AnyBus enables RS-232, Ethernet, ModBus TCP, EtherCAT, CAN, OpenCAN, Profibus, and ProfiNET)
  • 320 Series slaves feature USB for configuration, but are primarily controlled through the master-slave bus and a 310 Series master unit

Individual units can be controlled over any of the available interfaces. For manual control of a nearby, but difficult to reach unit, a Windows application can be used over USB. This same application could be used to configure 320 slave systems before being wired for parallel operation.

Alternatively, once a unit is configured to run with specific parameters, remote control is possible through an analog interface which gives dc output control, alarm notification, and the ability to monitor a few key values.

The back panels of three mPower dc power supplies.
The 300 Series comes standard with USB, Ethernet, and analog interfaces. The 310 Series includes either GPIB or the field-changeable AnyBus port. The 320 Series as a slave needs only USB for remote configuration and programming.

Master-Slave Setups

  • Increase the total current and power with parallel units
  • 300 Series can run up to 10 units in parallel
  • 310 Series can run up to 16 units in parallel
  • A mix of 310/320 Series can run up to 16 units in parallel
  • All models of all series can be used in a “master” or “slave” role. (The 320 Series is engineered to be a cost-effective slave for large capacity systems, but technically can serve as a master.)

For managing multiple parallel-wired systems, there are two buses in use. All series have the Share bus. This helps multiple units communicate to share data for balancing the dc output. The 310/320 series also have a master-slave bus which further adds the ability for a master unit to control dc output switching of all units, monitor alarms, and manage other data across all units. With Share bus only, the 300 Series systems must be individually configured first, and a method devised to switch all units at the same time (usually using the analog bus).

Combining a 310 Series 15kW master unit with 15 additional 320 Series 15kW units leads to a total of 240 kW in a single, 48U tall rack. With the 320 Slave systems, the cost of this capacity is significantly less than using standard systems for every unit.

Running systems in parallel requires that each unit is from the same series (except for the 310/320 mix) with matched voltage, current, and power ratings.

The back view of three mPower 310 Series 2U dc power supplies wired in parallel master-slave operation.
All models can be used in parallel configuration to increase the total current and power capacity. The 310 and 320 Series include the master-slave bus (RJ45 cabling) which adds to the sharing communication provided by the share bus (twisted-pair cabling) which is on all 300, 310, and 320 Series units.

300 Series

The 300 Series power supplies pack a lot of advanced features into a small package.

  • Available in 1.5 kW and 3.0 kW models.
  • Active power factor correction of input power.
  • Auto-ranging power output.
  • Output Share Bus regulates current load for up to 10 parallel connected units.
  • Output Voltage Sense Bus adjusts for minor voltage drops at the DUT.
  • Discharge circuit on models of 200 Vdc and higher.
  • USB, Ethernet, and analog remote control interfaces.
  • Graphical display user interface with multiple controls allows for complete configuration, control, and monitoring from the control panel.
  • Controls lock out to prevent accidental changes.
Front and back of an mPower 300 1U dc power supply feature autoranging output power.

310 Series

The 310 Series power supplies provide high power, a function generator, and more advanced master-slave control.

  • 310 Series 3U in 5.0, 10.0, and 15.0 kW models.
  • 310 Series 2U in 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0 kW models.
  • Active power factor correction of input power.
  • Auto-ranging power output.
  • Up to 16 units in parallel operation.
  • Master-slave bus allows master to communicate with control systems of parallel units.
  • Share bus, voltage sense bus, and discharge circuitry same as 300 Series.
  • AnyBus or GPIB, USB, and analog remote control interfaces.
  • AnyBus port offers multiple field-replaceable interface modules.
  • Graphical display user interface with touchscreen allows for complete configuration, control, and monitoring from the control panel.
  • Controls lock out to prevent accidental changes.
Front and back of a 2U mPower 310 series of autoranging programmable dc power supplies. mPower 310 series of autoranging programmable dc power supplies in a 3U chassis.

320 Series

The 320 Series is a dedicated slave which has the same power regulation and auto-ranging capabilities as the 310 Series units, but with a simpler control system, and fewer remote interfaces. This helps to lower the cost of creating large power capacity systems through multi-unit parallel setups.

  • 3U in 5.0, 10.0, and 15.0 kW models.
  • Active power factor correction of input power.
  • Auto-ranging power output.
  • Up to 16 units in parallel operation.
  • Master-slave bus allows 310 master to communicate with control systems of multiple 320 slave units.
  • Output Share Bus, voltage sense bus, and discharge circuitry same as 300 Series.
  • USB for remote programming.
  • Simplified controls to save cost.
Front and back of a 3U mPower 320 series of autoranging programmable dc power supplies.