Useful facts about electronic DC/AC loads or current sinks
Current siks consume power in a precisely controllable manner and therefore simulate a wide variety of electrical consumption to an assembly under test. This allows the reaction of the DUT, i.e. the assembly, to be mapped across the entire power bandwidth. In addition, dynamic load changes can be realized with the help of current sinks.
Current sinks normally convert the absorbed electrical power into heat. Therefore, the devices must be cooled. This is achieved by means of fans or water-cooled components. In some cases, it is also possible to feed the power back into the public grid.
In principle, there are electronic loads for use with DC (Direct Current) or with AC (Alternating Current).
DC current sinks are used for testing current sources such as
- Solar panels
- Power supplies
- Digital outputs
AC current sinks are used for the testing of
- On-board power supplies
- UPS (uninterruptible power supplies)
- Frequency converters
- Power filters
Easy handling of current sinks by presets CC|CV|CP|CR
Electronic loads are mostly programmable and configurable. They usually have preset constant operating modes for especially easy handling and quick use.
- Constant current (CC)
- Constant voltage (CV)
- Constant power (CP)
- Constant resistance (CR)
To protect the current sinks, protection devices such as over-power, over-current, over-temperature and over-voltage protection are also incorporated. Current sinks, which have evolved from the simplest circuits to complex electronic loads, are now commonly controlled directly by analogue or digital signals. These control devices, such as analogue regulators or digital controllers, are part of the current sinks.
This allows a wide variety of load shapes and load curves to be repeated exactly, making it possible to compare a wide variety of DUTs accurately. All defined values, both the set values and the realized values, are fully displayed and verifiably documented.