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Fundamentals of power system ORing

Posted: 21 Mar 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ORing  power combination  power architectures  redundancy 

Many modern devices and systems require power architectures with redundancy, summation of power for capacity, or selection of multiple sources. In this article, these functions generically are referred to as ORing. Systems using ORing are ubiquitous and varied in size and complexity. This includes systems such as portable devices, blade servers, and telecom switches.

Issues of power combination, selection, hot-plug and bus protection rise once the application requires more than a single power source. Paralleling sources without protection results in interrupted operation due to failures, shorts, hot-plug or removal of one device. While these functions are similar to typical hot swap functions of inrush and fault protection, they are distinctly different in their position and operation. Originally, semiconductor diodes performed this ORing function, and still are the best solution in some applications.

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