Mascot Power Blog

Universal input voltage: the need for universal appeal

Universal input voltage: the need for universal appeal

With so many voltages and AC/DC plugs worldwide, the need for universal power supply and battery charger solutions is clear. However, despite this statement of fact, many buyers fail to perform a proper check of this important criterion prior to purchase.

So, what should be considered? Two things: the AC line voltage range and the wall plug configuration. With these two factors ticked as suitable, power can be delivered reliably in global locations where the product is intended for sale or use. This is not only great for consumers, few of whom have the means to convert the available power to suit the product, but ideal for OEMs too, as they no longer have to develop and manufacture equipment for different market regions.

Input voltages from 90V to 264V should cover almost everywhere, alongside operating frequency of 50-60Hz. Offering such capability, an external power adaptor, for example, can be used with a wide variety of products, including medical, communication, computing or office equipment located in various countries, without the need to adjust a select switch for the input power. A switch of this type is not required on universal power supplies.

There is a small caveat for purchasers and system developers to consider. The level of universality required will almost certainly impact price. Specifically, there is a threshold of sorts around 100W, beyond which it becomes challenging to retain a compact envelope, a factor that also adds cost. In effect, this threshold means it makes sense to strike a balance between the desire for universality and what is actually required.

Designers of power supplies are thus advised to assess the global regions for their products carefully. If the company can ignore certain fringe markets without compromising commercial return, then this strategy will certainly help keep costs down.

Battery chargers and power supplies offering a specification suitable for use in various geographic markets will feature components that are specially designed to tolerate a wide range of voltage fluctuations. However, having the right voltage is only of use if it’s possible to actually connect to the mains in the first place. With this thought in mind, always check for the availability of easy-change wall plugs. Some solutions even allow the additional option of using a standard desktop power cord.

Naturally there are other factors that must be considered in the purchase decision, such as UL certification and CE marking, as well as the necessary medical accreditation – if required. Also, check for short-circuit and over-voltage protection, as well as an LED power status indicator.

To discover more about Mascot power supplies and battery chargers with universal input voltage, simply click here.





Editor Dag P