FIDUS Power offers energy efficient connectors for powering cameras in vision systems. Vision systems are utilised in ever broadening set of applications and markets; including factory automation, medical, life sciences, retail, traffic and transportation systems. Each has its own individual demands in the make-up of the system design. Power may be taken from a system PC, POE or from an external desktop style power supply.
Key selection criteria for the power supply outside of safety, EMC and volts and amps are the output cable length and the output connector selection to mate with the camera connectivity. Camera and power supply positioning within the system might dictate that you need a longer output cable then the standard length typically given by PSU suppliers and a more suitable high quality connector with locking mechanism. However, increasing the cable length has an influence on the latest external power supply energy efficiency requirements.
Energy efficiency requirements on external power supplies has been evolving over many years with various bodies influencing the regulations globally. The key elements being the average active mode efficiency measured at 25, 50, 75 & 100% of output loading and the no-load power consumption. By controlling these elements of power supply design, it can help deliver a significant environmental impact.
Recently both the Department of Energy (DoE) and the EU Code of Conduct have updated their energy efficiency standards, increasing the levels for operating efficiency and reducing the no-load power consumption allowed for external power supplies. The EU CoC has also introduced a lower level efficiency measurement at 10% load. Externals now released to the market should meet these regulations. So, if you must increase the length of the output cable to meet the systems demands, the efficiency of the power supply will increase due to the increased losses in the cable length. Therefore, the product may no longer meet the average active mode efficiency levels.
To meet both the customer and legislative requirements but still maintaining the use of an approved power supply, you may need to increase the output cable to reduce losses. The considerations with respect to the power supply are the internal PCB accepting the required AWG cable rating, the gland size exiting the power supply, the cable width entry into the selected output connector and the size of its crimps to accept the size of the conductor from the cable. Quite commonly the camera designers will select the connector they want in the application before power supply selection. If the situation occurs where you need to increase the cable thickness, but the connector will not accept the cable width and you cannot select the same connector with wider entry, you can remedy this by having a moulded cable link. This would house a short cable length that fits into the connector and a thicker section with low losses for the main length of cable to the power supply.