Switched Mode Power Supply uses a switching regulator to convert electric power efficiently. SMPS transfers electric power from a source ( AC mains) to the load by converting the characteristics of current and voltage. SMPS always provide a well regulated power to the load irrespective of the input variations. SMPS incorporates a Pass transistor that switches very fast typically at 50Hz and 1 MHz between the on and off states to minimize the energy waste. SMPS regulates the output power by varying the on to off time using minimum voltage so that efficiency is very high compared to the linear power supply.
What is inside a SMPS?
Block diagram of SMPS
The SMPS essentially has
1. Input rectifier
3. Voltage converter
4. Output regulator
The AC input from mains is first rectified in the SMPS using a rectifier to convert it into DC. The rectifier consisting of a full wave diode bridge or module that produces an unregulated DC voltage to the Smoothing capacitor. The input AC passing into the rectifier has AC voltage pulses that may reduce the power factor. So control techniques are used to force the average input current to follow the sine wave.
This stage converts the rectified DC into AC using a power oscillator. The power oscillator has a small output transformer with a few windings at the frequency 20-100 kHz. Switching is controlled by a MOSFET amplifier. The output AC voltage is usually isolated optically from the input AC by using an Optocoupler IC for safety reasons.