Mean Well was Founded in Taiwan back in 1982. Today, this company is one of the few manufacturers in the world that make dedicated standard power supply products. For over three decades, this manufacturer has been growing and now has around 2,800 employees including branches and sales offices in multiple different locations. Mean Well has offices located in the USA (California), EU (The Netherlands) and China (Guangzhou, Suzhou, Shenzhen) alongside its headquarters in New Taipei, Taiwan. Although the company also makes ODM/OEM products too, their standard PSUs are at the core of the business.
What Is Power Supply?
A power supply is a unit that converts the electricity coming from a power source to a more fitting format and voltage depending on what is being powered. Remember, a PSU is not the same as a power source as electricity just passes through, it doesn’t originate from it.
Types of Mean Well PSUs
DIN Rail PSU
One of the most commonly used PSUs and ones that Meanwell has been manufacturing for a long time now are called DIN rail power supplies. These rely on the modularity of DIN (Deutsches Institut fur Normung) rails which are used for mounting PSUs and similar industrial control equipment. Using this type of switch-mode PSU will save you a lot of space and time since they are compact and you just snap them on the rail.
Open & Enclosed
Open PSUs have nothing covering their components whilst enclosed PSUs have a metal casing. The difference between the two is the fact that open PSUs are going to stay cool much easier than enclosed PSUs. The frame of an enclosed PSU will trap the heat inside which will make the internal parts work at a higher temperature. While there are holes on some enclosed PSUs to allow for better air flow, they are not going to be as effective as an open unit. But having an open PSU leaves the internal components exposed to dust and moisture.
Meanwell also manufactures what are known as configurable (programmable) power supply units. These can adapt to pre-determined power specifications because unlike standard fixed output PSUs they allow you to change the output. The flexibility of these PSUs makes them more usable – configurable Mean Well power supplies cover a wide output range from 3 V to 55 V. This type of PSU is used in the fabrication of semiconductors, automated apparatus testing, X-ray generators and monitoring of crystal growth too.
This type of PSU is used to control an array of LEDs. This unit is self-contained meaning it controls the power depending on the temperature of the LEDs which allows them to work more efficiently. An LED driver PSU will help prolong the life of the LEDs as it will provide the right amount of power all the time. There are internal and external LED drivers but Mean Well power supplies of this sort are external.
Other Types of PSUs
This type of unit allows you to adjust voltages thanks to its multiple windings. Some variable PSUs can monitor the current and power alongside the voltage.
These are also known as switch-mode power supplies and they are a type of power supplies used by your computer. These PSUs have a switching regulator which helps them convert power from DC to AC and vice versa. This type also controls over-heating by regulating the voltage which can be done either automatically or manually.
An RPS (Regulated Power Supply) is able to adjust an unregulated alternating current into a stable direct current. The rectifier found in this unit helps convert AC to DC and then give the current a stable voltage. These PSUs are affordable but also pretty reliable and simple – they don’t generate a lot of noise. An RPS PSU uses what is called a 3-terminal regulator to control the output.
This PSU is known as LR (linear regulator) or LPS (linear power supply) which is used in electronic circuits that need to provide DC current to the entire circuit. This is possible thanks to the step-down transformer, filter circuit, rectifier and voltage regulator included in the unit. Usually linear power supplies will give a faster response than standard PSUs and are more reliable too. Linear PSUs are not bulky and are less complex whilst their efficiency ranges anywhere between 20% and 25%.
A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is a device that keeps equipment and devices running after the main supply is lost. These units also have power flow protection and include a battery in order to store energy needed to power a device after the loss of power from the main source. A UPS unit is used as a backup since it has a power sensing and conditioning circuitry.