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Advanced Test and Measurement
Instruments and Power Supplies

DC supply Series/Parallel configurations

The main outputs all Aim-TTi power supplies are isolated and have automatic crossover between constant voltage (CV) and constant current (CI) modes. This allows wiring multiple outputs in series or parallel in order to achieve higher voltages or higher currents respectively.

Multi-channel DC supplies can provide additional features to simplify or automate such configurations:

Tracking Modes

Most Aim-TTi multi-channel power supplies provide modes whereby multiple channels can be controlled simultaneously which are particularly useful for varying series or paralleled outputs. At its most simple this can be a mode where the set voltage of a slave channel follows a master channel. On the QPX600D, there are two tracking modes for use when the outputs are connected in series or parallel externally that provide appropriate metering of voltage or current (there is no internal connection mode). For connecting the outputs in series the "Track V & I, show total V" mode sets the same voltage and current on both channels and displays sum of the two voltages. Similarly in the mode designed for parallel connection ("Track V & I, show total I") both channels are set to the same voltage and current, but the sum of the current from the two channels is displayed.

Analogue Control Linking

Some series provide both analogue control voltage output and control voltage input terminals which can be used to enable easy parallel connection of multiple units in a master-slave configuration. These are typically provided on spring terminals on the back panel and accept bare wire connections

Synchronous on-off

Particularly important for parallel mode operation, the PL, CPX, QPX, QL and MX series all provide linked output switching on the multi-channel variants to switch all the outputs on or off together.

Internal Connections: Series and Parallel modes

A "Parallel" mode connects two channels internally in parallel to a single pair of output terminals. In this mode the controls, displays and outputs of one channel are disabled and the power supply behaves as if it is a single channel supply with double the maximum current. Internal series connection is available on some models, providing twice the maximum output voltage at the same maximum current.

The MX Series provides operating modes where two channels are connected internally either in series or parallel. This happens seamlessly behind the scenes in the range selection menu. On the MX100 the channels are each capable of either 16V/6A or 35V/3A, but you can select 35V/6A as an output range on channel 2. Doing so disables channel 3 outputs and channel 3 is connected internally in parallel on the channel 2 outputs and both are controlled from channel 2. Similarly, if you select 70V/3A as an output option on output 3, channel 2 outputs are disabled and channel 2 is connected in series with channel 3 and made available on the channel 3 outputs and controlled from the channel 3 controls. The MX100Q and MX180T provide similar features. The MX series also have voltage tracking modes. On the MX100T, these include a mode that allows you to control the outputs of all three channels simultaneously making it relatively straight forward to connect all three channels in series or parallel when they are in the same range.

Series Parallel Operation: Multi-channel models feature summary

  • EL-R Series: independent, isolated outputs
  • EX-R Series: independent isolated outputs, EX752M has Internal/Series Parallel modes
  • PL Series: voltage tracking, sync on/off, internal parallel mode on PL303QMD and PL303QMT
  • CPX Series: voltage tracking, sync on/off
  • QPX Series: voltage and current tracking, sync on/off, series and parallel metering modes,
  • QL Series: voltage and current tracking, sync on/off
  • MX Series: voltage tracking, sync on/off, internal parallel and series modes

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