[Guide] Selecting a Laboratory Power Supply

Selecting a laboratory power supply for the lab is not as easy as you might think. If you thumb through a catalog and choose the first one that you think meets your needs, you could end up with a power supply that more often than not sits on the shelf. By filling out the selection guide below, and comparing your needs to the product descriptions and specifications of AMETEK / Soresen Programmable Power’s DC bench supplies, you’re more likely to get the power supply you need.

Soresen DC Power Supply Selection Guide

The XDL series II is an example of the high performance laboratory power supplies that Sorensen offers. It features multiple ranges for increased current capability at lower voltages and uses pure linear technology. Front panel controls provide both numeric and rotary control and instant confirmation of settings and status.

Output requirements

  • Maximum voltage needed:
  • Maximum current needed:
  • # of outputs needed:
  • Isolated outputs? Tracking outputs? Parallel outputs?

When considering your output voltage and current requirements, and the number of outputs you need, think about your future needs as well as your current needs.

Performance specifications

  • Load regulation:
  • Line regulation:
  • Output noise:
  • Transient response:
  • Slew rate:

For most lab applications, you’ll want to choose a supply with excellent specifications. The reason for this is that in the lab you want to focus on the circuit or system that your designing, not the power supply. When there are failures or unexpected behavior, you don’t want them to be the fault of your lab supply.

Protection features

  • Over-voltage:
  • Over-current:

In the lab, safety should come first, both for personnel and expensive prototypes. In addition to over-voltage and over-current limiting, you may want a supply that powers down completely or disconnects the load from the supply when an over-voltage or over-current condition occurs.


  • Footprint:
  • Weight:
  • Rack-mountable:

When operated on the bench, a small footprint is important. At some point, however, rack-mounting may be desirable if several different power supplies are necessary to run the tests you need.

Other features

  • Linear or switching supply?:
  • Ease of use:
  • Remote sense:
  • Computer control (GPIB, USB, RS-232, LAN, etc.):
  • Software support (SCPI, LabView, etc.):
  • Setup storage:
  • Measurement capabilities:

Whatever your needs, AMETEK Programmable Power’s Sorensen division has a DC bench power supply that’s right for you. They can supply 0 – 1,000 W, fit on the bench or mounted into a rack, and offer easy-to-use manual control or sophisticated computer control. Let us help you find the laboratory power supply that’s right for your application.

Content courtesy of AMETEK