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Linear Power Supply Dimensioning

Given an output power and load, calculate the required rail voltage, capacitance, and transformer power rating

Formulas adapted from Signal Transfer Co web page:

User Input: Amplifier Full-Power Output, Dissipation, and Load:
ohm, nominal load impedance
Watts, maximum power delivered to load by amplifier
Watts, dissipated power (as heat) at maximum amplifier output power (see note 3)
Vod: output drop out voltage = Vrail - Vout,peak
Mains Frequency [Hz] (50Hz or 60Hz)


Vrail,required: to achieve the specified power output into the specified load, the rail
voltage must be equal to or greater than this voltage (for split rail PS)
Vout,peak: peak voltage that output devices can deliver from Vrail,required
Ipeak: peak current delivered to load at full power assuming zero phase angle
Irms: RMS current delivered to load at full power
Idiss: RMS current resulting from dissipated power

Calculating rail voltage ripple given capcitance value (for EACH rail)
C [uF] <-- user input
Vripple resulting Vripple
Iripple [rms amps]
Calculating required capcitance value (for EACH rail) for a given rail voltage ripple
Vripple <-- user input
C [uF] required C per rail
Iripple [rms amps]

Transformer Info (see note 1):
full power RMS current demand (from transformer secondary)
required secondary (AC) voltage to achieve Vrail,required (assumes two diode
drops of 0.7V each) while supplying full power
± 24.06
required secondary (AC) voltages, as above, when using dual rail power supplies
minimum transformer VA rating for continuous operation of amplifier at the
specified power output into the specified load (see note 2)


If the average power level is significantly lower. the demand on the transformer will be reduced and the continuous full power rating shown above is excessive. when demand is increased. NOTE 2: music signals consist of a (lower) average power level and peaks above the average. Transformer voltage sag and losses are not considered in the above calculations. however. however. Under no-load conditions.NOTE 1: transformer secondary voltage requirements shown above are when the transformer is under load. the maximum power dissipation is calculated by: For the data entered for the amplifier and load. Pd. NOTE 3: For a class AB amplifier. the transformer secondary voltage (or rated secondary voltage) may be significantly higher if a low VA transformer is used. this will result in much greater sag in the secondary voltage. max = 53 Watts . Derating by as much as 50% is acceptable in some situations (depending on the average power demand).