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Power Supply Selection Tips and Calculation


Keep the following requirements in mind when selecting your power supply: 

  • Power source, input voltage and frequency (AC/DC) 
  • Number of DC devices to be powered 
  • Voltage requirements of each DC device 
  • Wattage/Amperage requirements of each DC device 
  • Maximum/Peak draw of each DC device 
  • Physical space available and mounting requirements 
  • Check for applicable safety approvals for the location and application 

The conversion of Volts to Watts is governed by the equation Watts = Amps x Volts. 

Note: there are 1000 milliamps (mA) in 1 Amp. 

While most power supplies allow operation at 100% of rated capacity, it is recommended that an extra 30% be factored in. This allows the power supply to run cooler, more efficient and extends its life. 

Equation Example: 

Device #1 requires 24 VDC and draws 1 Amp [24VDC x 1A = 24 Watts] 

Device #2 requires 24 VDC and draws 500mA [24VDC x (500/1000)A = 12 Watts] 

Total wattage required is (24 + 12 Watts) x 1.3 = 46.8 Watts 

Round up to the nearest 10 Watts; that would be 50 Watts

Therefore, you would select a power supply rated at: 50 Watts and 24 VDC output.