Message icon Contact Us
Phone icon 01366 385777
Mail icon

All in stock items will be dispatched same day from our fully stocked warehouse

We ship worldwide! Online orders ship all over the globe. Wherever you need science equipment we can ship it*.

All online orders in the UK are Free delivery no matter the size. No minimum free shipping requirement and no delivery charge.....Ever

How Do I Choose a Power Supply For My Lab?

Jul 15,2021 by Edulab

Your lab is crucial to your experiments and projects, and having an appropriate power supply is critical for success. Having an incorrect power supply or a faulty one, can not only affect your work but also be unsafe. Whether you are running an education laboratory in a school or university or have a lab in your business, having the correct power supply is essential. No matter your level, your power supply is something that you rely upon for stable voltages and clean currants. Today, we are sharing everything you need to know about power supplies and how to choose the right one for your lab.

What Are Power Supplies?

A piece of equipment used in a lab to test electrical circuits or components. These are also called benchtop power supplies because they can be moved around and sit on a lab surface. They are powered by voltage and can be used for a wide range of experiments and projects. Some labs choose to use mains adaptors for a power supply; however, a standalone one is more suitable as they clearly display both current and voltage. This helps you to see exactly what is happening and ensures your work is precise and reliable. Power supplies also allow you to set specific currents and voltages for various projects. Not only that, but this equipment often comes fitted with various types of connections which will enable you to quickly and easily connect a circuit or load.

How Do They Work?

There are various types of lab power supplies that work in slightly different ways. A simple one will have two displays and two dials, as well as wheels to set voltage limits and current limits. They will have two simple modes to choose from: Constant Voltage (CV) mode and Constant Current (CC) mode. In constant voltage mode, the power supply delivers a set voltage, whereas, in the constant current mode, it delivers a set current.

Type Of Power Supplies For Labs

There are many different types. From Planck’s Constant apparatus to Julemeters. But when it comes to benchtop devices, there are two main types to consider. These are linear power supplies and switching power supplies. Linear has high energy loss and can sometimes need cooling using a fan, whereas switching versions are very efficient and do not require cooling. Linear benchtop supplies are bigger and heavier because of a transformer, compared with switching options which are compact and small. A switching power supply often emits a high-frequency noise and can have trouble with inductive loads such as motors and coils.

What To Consider When Choosing A Bench Power Supply?

Other than the type of benchtop option you want, you also need to consider some other factors when making this decision:

  • Output And Power: Different models have different levels of power. Some have highly versatile power envelopes and are able to supply any current at any voltage. On the other hand, some have multiple rectangle envelopes which support multiple ranges or hyperbolic envelopes for a continuous transition. Having a supply with multiple outlets is crucial for testing various devices at the same time.
  • Performance Specifications: There are many more characteristics to consider than just voltage, current and outputs. You need to think about load regulation, line regulation, setting resolution, readback currency, sense connections, transient response, interface, and ripple and noise. All of these specifications are important in the performance of the power supply, so you need to make sure you are choosing the right option for your requirements.
  • Safety Features: Safety should always be the number one priority in your lab, and this is no exception. Always choose a power supply with safety features and DUT protection, which will cover you in the event of a failure. Having protection circuits within a unit can limit the current flow or reduce the voltage in the circuit. It can also completely shut down the power supply in the event of overvoltage or overcurrent.
  • Size And Weight: A more practical consideration is the size and weight of the equipment. Some are very small and compact and can be moved around the lab as required. Other models are very heavy and large, making them difficult to relocate.


To find out more about bench power supplies and for guidance on choosing the best option for your lab, get in touch with our team of specialists.