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Get the Most Out of E36150 Series Autoranging Benchtop DC Power Supplies

2022-10-26  |  9 min read 



Keysight has more than 50 years of experience designing and manufacturing all types of power products. As technology advances, so does the complexity of your electronics design and testing requirements. The next generation of benchtop DC power supplies incorporates your feedback, our engineering knowledge, and our design practices to bring you one of the most versatile benchtop DC power product families. 

This blog post will help you get the most out of Keysight’s E36150 Series autoranging benchtop DC power supplies

Detachable High-Current Front Biding Post Concept 

The Keysight E36150 Series with the front-panel, high-current detachable binding post concept reduces power cabling complexity. It enables easy access to power outputs to connect and disconnect the DUT quickly and safely. 

The binding post delivers all its rated current at the front output for convenient wire connection while maintaining full compliance with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61010 standard. The detachable binding post also features a built-in thermal sensor and auto-protection mechanism to ensure your safety and the safety of your devices. Figure 1 shows the E36154A with a detachable binding post.
Picture 1

 Figure 1. E36154A with detachable high-current front binding post

Plenty of Usable Power with Autoranging 

Autoranging power supplies produce more current at all voltage settings than traditional single-range supplies. A single-range power supply is the most straightforward architecture because maximum output power occurs at only one setting — maximum voltage and current. 

When it appears on a voltage-current graph, as shown in Figure 2, an autoranging output characteristic looks like an infinite number of overlapping rectangular output characteristics capable of maximum power. The E36150 Series with autoranging architecture allows much more voltage and current combinations within the maximum power output, providing greater use case coverage.

Figure 2aPicture 2b

Figure 2. Greater flexibility with autoranging architecture

Peak Power-Handling Capabilities 

Many test applications involving electromechanical components or devices containing large, discharged capacitors have peak power requirements that demand a quick, high startup current to boot. This startup current typically lasts for a tiny fraction of time but may be two or three times higher than its usual steady operating current. Figure 3 depicts a typical peak power surge waveform.

Picture 3

Figure 3. Example of a typical peak power surge waveform. The red arrows indicate that the startup current spikes upon application of the acceleration pedal on a toy electric vehicle (figure subset)

The peak power handling feature in the E36150 Series accommodates power surges of up to three times its 800 W rated output. It delivers a total of 2400 W for at least seven milliseconds when powering electromechanical devices during testing, whether for research and development (R&D), design verification, or manufacturing.

Scope View for Precise Analysis of Dynamic Transient Behaviors

The scope view captures the in-depth details of current, voltage, and power waveforms in the time domain. This enables precise analysis of dynamic transient behaviors, including pulses of current loading, peak demands, dropouts, rise times, and other DC transients and disturbances in your DUT.

The E36150 Series provides an upgrade option with a scope view feature that functions as a built-in oscilloscope, as shown in Figure 4. The scope view uses a high-speed digitizer that supports up to 10 us / 100 kHz sampling rate and 256 K samples. You can set the system to turn on automatically at a user-set current or voltage threshold configuration or program it to your specific output sequence. Thus, it provides an integrated functionality that can reduce test setup time, complexity, and cost without the need for an additional oscilloscope.

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Figure 4. Scope view feature

Enhance Programming with Arbitrary Waveform Generator

The E36150 Series arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) is an upgrade option that enhances the LIST mode programming functionality from 100 to 512 set points. It allows arbitrary waveform output, as shown in Figure 5. You can precisely modulate the DC power output by defining each point of the voltage or current waveforms. You can define up to 512 set points with configurable dwell time, allowing you to simulate or emulate specific application scenarios easily. 

The AWG builder includes a user interface with preconfigured waveform patterns, such as sine, step, ramp, pulse, and trapezoid, that you can select. You can also select user-defined voltage or current to form your own arbitrary waveform sequences. Once you have selected the waveform pattern, you can configure the various parameters. You can also import user-defined waveforms from a .csv file for convenient playback of a specific scenario previously recorded.

Picture 5

Figure 5. LIST mode output programming user interfaces

Advanced Power Control and Analysis with PathWave BV9200B / BV9201B

The E36150 Series takes full advantage of the features and capabilities of the Keysight PathWave BV9200B / BV9201B software. The software provides advanced tools for data logging, scope, AWG, and CCDF statistical analysis.

The software is suited for R&D use cases that require you to create complex waveforms to stimulate or load a DUT, capture the waveforms, then play them back to perform detailed analysis. It provides advanced marker readouts to help you understand the complex dynamic behavior of their DUT’s power characterization to optimize your design and development work. 

PathWave BV9200B / BV9201B overcomes the limitations of front-panel operations with an intuitive and user-friendly user interface via a PC. You can easily control, automate, and display all available tools, layouts, and operation tabs without any programming


Keysight E36150 Series autoranging benchtop DC power supply does more than power your devices. It includes advanced characterization tools such as data logging, an optional scope view, and arbitrary waveform generation. This enables in-depth analysis and precise output modulation for power simulation applications, allowing you to accelerate development projects without compromising quality. 

The E36150 Series with peak power handling features is well-suited for testing and powering up your electromechanical or high-capacitance devices that require a quick surge of power. You don’t have to invest in a more expensive, higher-power rating supply. 

With the compatible BenchVue BV9200B / BV9201B software, you get convenient access to the advanced features of your power supplies with a familiar PC control interface. You also get additional features, analysis tools, and automation without the need to write even a single line of code.

All these features work together to provide a one-box solution that eliminates the typical requirements of multiple instruments, saving you time without complex setups and reducing your test costs.

Learn more about the E36150 Series autoranging benchtop DC power supplies , bench power supplies and Accommodating Start-up Peak Power Demands