What would happen if the power supply design only looked at the voltage drop and not the current density?
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What would happen if the power supply design only looked at the voltage drop and not the current density?

Posted Date: 2024-01-24

What would happen if the power supply design only looked at the voltage drop and not the current density?

Power supply design is a very important engineering design task. Its goal is to provide stable and reliable power supply for various devices and systems. In power supply design, we usually need to consider both voltage drop and current density to ensure that the system can operate properly and avoid potential problems. However, if you only focus on the voltage drop and ignore the current density, it may lead to the following series of problems.

1. Overheated and damaged wires: Current density refers to the ratio of the current flowing through a wire or cable to its cross-sectional area. If the current density is too high, it will cause the temperature of the wire to rise, thereby posing a risk of overheating and damage to the wire. Ignoring current density may result in selecting a wire or cable that does not match the required current, thereby exceeding its rated current load and potentially creating equipment failure, fire, and other safety risks.

2. Increased system losses: Voltage drops are usually caused by the impedance of the wires or circuit components between the power supply and the load. When wires or components are too long or too thin, resistance increases, causing voltage drops. If you focus only on voltage drop and ignore current density, you may select wires or components that cannot handle the required current, thereby increasing the resistance and power consumption of the system. This will lead to reduced power conversion efficiency, energy waste, and increased system heat generation.

3. Poor system stability: A key goal of power supply design is to provide a stable power supply. Uneven or excessive current density may cause the system to produce voltage fluctuations or unstable output at high loads. This is unacceptable for some critical systems such as data centers, medical equipment, etc., because these systems have high requirements on the stability and quality of power.

4. Reduced operating life: High current density will cause the device to overheat and shorten the operating life of the device. Ignoring current density may cause overloaded equipment to reach its maximum capacity in a short period of time, thereby shortening the equipment's reliable operation time. This is detrimental to equipment and systems that need to operate over long periods of time, as they may need to be repaired and replaced more frequently.

To sum up, if you only look at the voltage drop and ignore the current density, it may cause a series of problems, including wire overheating and damage, increased system losses, poor system stability, and reduced operating life. Therefore, in power supply design, we cannot only focus on voltage drop, but need to comprehensively consider voltage drop and current density to ensure stable operation and reliable power supply of the system.


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