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Industial Power Supply Selection

Transition Networks


Abstract:

Unlike traditional office or commercial-grade switches and media converters, Industrial Ethernet devices are generally designed to run off low voltage DC power supplies. There are several reasons for this:

1. Historically, factory automation systems were designed to run off 24 VDC, which was commonly used to energize relays and I/O devices. These low voltage DC busses are already available today—so it makes sense to leverage this in new equipment.

2. Industrial Ethernet equipment is designed to maximize space within equipment cabinets. This means making the products as compact as possible. It also means in many cases avoiding the use of fans as cooling mechanisms. Many times the cabinets may be located in hazardous or outdoor locations with little or no ventilation. High AC voltage power supplies consume space and produce heat, which would necessitate the use of fans.

3. Many times a redundant power input is desired to keep the network running in the event that the grid or main power source fails; this is often a 12 or 24 VDC battery.

4. Many industrial automation devices are generally low voltage for safety reasons and the inability to provide good earth-grounding.


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