Every electrical or electronic device has a power supply. It can be a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or any battery that supplies electrical power to energize the circuit. But some devices have power supplies built-in to allow them to be plugged right into the power outlet on the walls. Different power supply types exist and are used in various applications.
However, this article will focus on standalone power supplies and not what are built-in other devices. We will review the best bench power supplies used by technicians, electrical circuit designers, and hobbyists in laboratories for testing circuits. Although a lab power supply is not one of the electrical measuring instruments, it is a vital device when designing and testing electrical circuits. Without it, getting new electrical and electronic devices to the market would be impossible.
As the name suggests, a lab bench power supply provides electrical energy to energize the circuit being tested or developed. They allow you to set the voltage or current you want for the application by converting the electrical power from the main outlet to a safe DC voltage level.
Lab power supplies are of different types and have varying features. That makes it challenging to make the right decision when shopping for a new benchtop power supply. Fortunately, we have done extensive research to come up with the best lab bench power supply. Read on for a detailed review and recommendations.
Top 10 Best Lab Bench Power Supply Reviews in 2023
What is the best lab bench power supply? The response to the question depends on many factors that we considered in the compilation of this list. Our review of the best benchtop power supply focuses on various features of these devices. Check out the top 10 benchtop power supplies reviewed below to get the one appropriate for your application and budget.
1. Siglent Technologies SPD3303X-E Power Supply [Best Overall]
The Siglent Technologies SPD3303X-E is voted the best bench power supply for professional use in laboratories. This is a complete device that will make your electronics laboratory complete. It features series and parallel functions, allowing two of its three channels to be combined into one output for more power. But every output channel can be switched on or off indecently.
The Siglent Technologies SPD3303X-E power supply also has up to five groups of timing settings. The output control is displayed on its large LCD screen. You can access a full range of communication and control features of this lab power supply if you connect it to the EasyPower PC software.
But what makes it the best lab power supply on this list is its programmability. You can set, save, and recall up to five power settings. That means you won’t set your power supply every time you get into the lab or want to use it. Its internal storage can also be expanded with external storage devices.
- Channel Output: CH1: 0-32 V,0-3.2 A CH2: 0 – 32 V, 0 – 3.2 A CH3: 2.5/3.3/5.0 V, 3.2 A
- Resolution: 10 mV, 10 mA
- Setting Accuracy: Voltage ± (0.03 % of reading+10 mV) Current ± (0. 3 % of reading+10 mA)
- Readback Accuracy: Voltage: ± (0.5 % of reading + 2 digits) Current: ± (0.5 % of reading + 2 digits)
- Constant Voltage Mode:
- Line Regulation: ≤0.01 %+3 mV,
- Load Regulation: ≤0.01 %+3 mV,
- Recovery Time: <50 μs (50 % load change， minimum load 0.5 A)
- Parallel Mode: Line Regulation: ≤0.01 %+3 mV, Load Regulation: ≤0.01 %+3 mV
- Series Mode: Line Regulation: ≤0.01 %+5 mV, Load Regulation: ≤300 mV
- Clear graphical interface, including a large LCD for waveform display
- Intelligent temperature-controlled and low-noise fan
- Isolated triple outputs
- Programmable allows setting, saving, and recalling up to 5 power settings.
- Overload protection
- 3 types of output modes and 3 independently controlled outputs
- Free PC software and LabView driver
- Timing functions for programmed output
- Variable voltage and Current
- Relatively expensive
2. ITECH IT6922A Variable Lab Bench Power Supply
You can consider the ITECH IT6922A as the best bench power supply if you have more on your budget. This is more than a power supply. Its list function allows you to make different output sequences of multiple steps, single-step voltage, single-step Current, single-step delay time, and repeat times. These settings can then be saved in its internal memory and used later, saving you time and improving your work efficiency.
The ITECH IT6922A lab power supply is the complete package for professional use. It is a programmable DC source, which automatically offers a wide range of voltage and Current to maintain power output. This power supply supports different applications and keeps the output power constant.
This device has remote sense and output timer functions. The remote sense allows measurements directly on the terminal of the set object. That way, it counters the potential drop caused by connecting the load to enhance measurement accuracy. And for the timed output function, the ITECH IT6922A automatically turns the power off after the set time elapses.
- Output Rating Voltage: 0 – 60V
- Output Rating Current: 0 – 5A
- Output Rating Power: 0 – 100W
- Load Regulation Voltage: ≤0.01%+3mV
- Load Regulation Current: ≤0.05%+2mA
- Line Regulation Voltage: ≤0.01%+3mV
- Line Regulation Current: ≤0.05%+2mA
- Setup Accuracy Voltage: ≤0.03%+5mV
- Setup Accuracy Current: ≤0.1%+5mA
- Setup / Readback Resolution Voltage: 1mV
- Setup / Readback Resolution Current: 0.1mA
- Ripple (20Hz – 20MHz) Voltage: ≤5mVp-p
- Ripple (20Hz – 20MHz) Current: ≤5mArms
- Low ripple, low noise power supply
- Output signal editing and saving
- Adjust the output of the object under test by compensating for the voltage drop
- Internal memory for saving most used power settings
- Output timer function
- Wide-range programmable DC power output
- High accuracy and resolution
- Intelligent fan control
- Very expensive
3. IPSXP Variable DC Power Supply
High-end DC bench power supplies can be beyond reach for enthusiasts or beginners. We have included the IPSXP as the best budget power supply. With just a few bucks, you get a variable switching power supply to add to your lab arsenals.
The IPSXP variable DC supply has stunning features that earned it a spot on this list. It features a back-lit LED display screen showing current and voltage settings, which you can adjust by turning a knob. IPSXP can operate in constant voltage and current modes with automatic conversion between the two modes. It also features an intelligent temperature control system with a built-in thermo-sensor, enabling quiet operation and longer service life.
IPSXP DC power supply features multiple protection systems to enhance safety. It has limit current, thermal, and overload protection. This best budget lab power supply is ideal for laboratories, electronics, production lines, and teaching applications.
- Input voltage: 220 V/110V¡À10% 50/60Hz
- Output voltage: 0-30V
- Output current: 0-10A
- Relative humidity: <80%
- Constant voltage state:
- Voltage stability: CV 0.01％+ 3mV
- Temperature coefficient: < 300 PPM/0C
- Constant current state:
- Current stability: CC <0.2％+ 6 mA
- Load stability: CV 0.1％+ 1mV / CC 0.1％+ 3mA
- Ripple & noise: CV <1 mV RMS CC <3 mA RMS
- Lightweight and portable
- Many features and functions for the price
- Relatively noise
- Cheap build quality
4. KORAD KA3005P Programmable Linear Power Supply
KORAD KA3005P is a mid-range programmable linear DC power supply. It is the best lab power supply if you don’t have the budget for high-end options but want more functions than a budget lab power supply offers. Like the first device on the list, KORAD KA3005P has an internal memory for storing power supply settings for future recalls., It can, however, only hold a maximum of 4.
KORAD KA3005P has constant Current and voltage modes. It is easy to adjust and choose between them using buttons on the user interface. It also has essential safety features, including thermal, voltage, Current, and overload protection. Additionally, the power supply is equipped with a quiet fan that reduces the noise and enhances service life.
- Input voltage:110V +/-10% switchable to 220V +/-10%
- Frequency range: 50- 60HzOperating temperature: 32-104 F (0-40 ºC)
- Stable Voltage
- Output Voltage Range: 0-30V Continuously adjustable
- Setup Resolution: 10 mV
- Read back Accuracy: 10 mV
- Stable Current
- Output Current Range: 0-5A Continuously adjustable
- Setup Resolution: 1 mA
- Read back Accuracy: 1 mA
- Resilient overload protection
- Large and visible LED display screen
- All digital controls
- Variable voltage and Current
- Two modes: constant voltage and Current
- Banana-style cables included
- Safety features, including thermal, overload, and current protection.
- No temporary on/off button
- No preset buttons
5. Rigol DP832 Triple Output Power Supply
Once again, Rigol DP832 is the best bench power supply to consider if you have the budget. It is a triple-channel output power supply with independent control of the outputs on each channel. The equipment has a fast transient response system and low noise. Consider this for low-noise applications such as RF/MW circuits and components. But you can also use it for R&D lab general-purpose testing, production automation testing, electronic circuit testing, etc.
Rigol DP832 triple output DC power supply has built-in voltage, Current, and power measuring circuits. These allow it to display these parameters on its large LCD screen. Additionally, it has output analysis, monitoring, setting presets, and many others.
- Channel 1: 30V/3A
- Channel 2:30V/3A,
- Channel 3: 5V/3A
- Total power output: 195W
- Low ripple and noise: <350uVrms/2mVpp
- Transient response time: <50μs
- Programming resolution: 1mV/1mA
- Readback resolution: 0.1mV/0.1mA
- Fast transient response time
- Excellent linear and load regulation rates
- Independent control of each channel
- Standard OVP/OCP/OTP protection functions
- Output Analysis, Monitoring, Setting Preset, etc.
- Low ripple noise
- Relatively expensive
6. Circuit Specialists CSI3003X3 Triple Output Linear Power Supply
The CSI3003X3 is a triple-output lab power supply with two channels having adjustable DC power outputs and one fixed channel. The two channels use selectable currents and voltages for designing or testing various electronic circuits. These can be selected on the interactive user interface featuring adjustment knobs.
The Circuit Specialists’ CSI3003X3 power supply also has a short circuit and limiting current protection and a cooling fan. These ensure reliable performance throughout the lifespan of the equipment.
CSI3003X3 is the perfect choice for educational purposes, DIY projects, and professional use. Its reliability and precision make it a worthy choice for a bench power supply.
- Output Voltage: 2 x 0-30VDC
- Output Current: 0-3A
- One +5VDC @ 3A fixed output
- Parallel mode: 0-30 Volts; 0-6 Amps
- Series mode: 0-60 Volts; 0-3 Amps
- Source effect: 2mV
- Load effect: 2mV
- Ripple coefficient: <250uV
- Stepped current: 30mA +/- 1mA
- Ripple voltage: <1mV P-P
- Attractive yellow large LCD display
- Rugged reinforced metal frame construction
- Multiloop high precision voltage regulation
- Overload protection circuit
- Built-in cooling fan
- Relatively expensive
7. Eventek KPS305D Variable DC Power Supply
Eventek KPS305D is a variable switching regulated DC power supply. This is another budget lab power supply you can buy for different applications. You can use it in repair, burn-in tests, electroplating, brush plating, electronic DIY, and laboratory.
Eventek KPS305D power supply features a bright LED display screen showing current and voltage settings. The values shown remain clear even in low-light conditions. It also features constant voltage and contestant current with automatic conversion.
This equipment boasts stable power output and safety. It has a low-noise operation and a ripple voltage of less than 200mV.
Its built-in thermal sensor and intelligent temperature control also ensure the stability and durability of the equipment.
- Input voltage: AC 110V/220V±10% 50Hz/60Hz
- Output voltage range: 0-30V Continuous adjustable
- Output current range: 0-5A
- Ripple voltage: <200mV
- Ripple and noises: ≤ 0.5%V P-P
- Voltage regulation: CV 0.1% + 3mV, CC < 0.5% + 6 mA
- Load stabilization: CV 0.5% +1mV / CC 0.5% +3mA
- Affordable bench power supply.
- Intelligent temperature control system
- Constant voltage and constant current modes
- Protection against excessive heat
- No output presets
- Not programmable
8. Tekpower TP1803D Variable Linear DC Power Supply
If you are looking for an easy-to-use power supply, consider the Tekpower TP1803D. This equipment is from a famous California-based brand known for reliability. Despite the simplicity and affordability, this equipment is still suitable for various applications.
The Tekpower TP1803D has an adjustable voltage range of 0-18V and a current range of 0-3A. It is a low-noise and ripple output, a characteristic of all linear DC power supplies.
You can use this power supply to test analog amplifiers and other applications requiring low-noise linear power.
- Input voltage: 104-127V
- Output voltage range: 0-18V
- Output current: 1.00-3.00A
- Switchable Line regulation: CV <= 0.01% + 1 mV, CC <= 0.2% + 1 mA
- Load Regulation: CV <= 0.01% + 3mV, CC <= 0.2% + 3 mA
- Ripple noise: CV <= 0.5 mV RMS, CC <= 3 mA
- LCD reading accuracy: +/-1% for voltage and +/-2% for current
- Easy to use
- Low noise and ripple
- Limited voltage and current ranges
- Overly simplistic design
KORAD KD3005D is a cost-effective lab power supply that packs many features and functions. The equipment has a bright 4-digit LED screen displaying current and voltage values. Additionally, a panel lock prevents unwanted changes in the output power settings.
The KORAD KD3005D lab power supply can use 110 or 240 AC input voltage and give variable DC output voltages ranging from 0-30V. The equipment is also programmable through computer software, which gives you more control over the output.
The equipment also has safety features, including over-current protection. And due to its low noise, you can use it in various applications, including quality control and production line.
- Voltage Range 0-30V
- Current Range 0-5A
- Load Regulation Voltage: ≤0.01%+2mV Current: ≤0.1%+10mA
- Line Regulation Voltage: ≤0.01%+3mV Current: ≤0.1%+3mA
- Setup Resolution: Voltage: 10mV Current: 1mA
- Setup Accuracy (25°C ± 5°C): Voltage: ≤0.5%+20mV Current: ≤0.5%+10mA
- Ripple (20-20M): Voltage: ≤2mVrms Current: ≤3mVrms
- Temperature Coefficient: Voltage: ≤150 ppm Current: ≤150 ppm
- Read Back Resolution: Voltage: 10mV Current: 1mA
- Read Back Temp Coefficient: Voltage: ≤150 ppm Current: ≤150 ppm
- Reaction Time: Voltage Rise: ≤100mS Voltage Drop: ≤100mS
- Bright 4-digit LED display screen
- Over-current protection
- Control panel lock prevents unintended changes to the output power
- Can be interfaced with a PC for programming
- Relatively affordable
- No temporary on/off button
- No preset buttons
10. Tekpower TP3005P Programmable Linear Power Supply
Tekpower TP3005P is a single-output programmable linear DC power supply designed for various applications. This device has pro-level precision and accuracy with low noise and ripple output. Additionally, it has internal memory for storing the most commonly used output power settings.
Other features of this bench power supply include USB interfacing, automatic shutoff, and intelligent temperature control. You can connect it to a PC for remote control, operation, and data acquisition.
- Input voltage: 110 V/ 60 Hz
- Output voltage: 0-30 V
- Output current:0-5 A
- Source effect: C.V. ≤ 0.01 % + 3 mV C.C. ≤ 0.1 % + 3 mA
- Load effect: C.V. ≤ 0.01 % + 2 mV C.C. ≤ 0.1 % + 10 mA
- Setup resolution: 10 mV, 1 mA
- Setup accuracy: ≤ 0.5 % + 20 mV, ≤ 0.5 % + 10 mA (25°C ± 5°C)
- Ripple: ≤ 2 mV RMS, ≤ 3 mA RMS
- Temperature coefficient: ≤ 100 ppm + 10 mV, ≤ 100 ppm + 5 mA
- Readback accuracy: 10 mV, 1 mA
- Read back temp coefficient: ≤ 100 ppm + 10 mV, ≤ 100 ppm + 5 mA
- Overcurrent and overload protection
- USB interfacing with PC for remote control
- High precision, low noise, and low ripple
- Built-in memory for storing most commonly used power settings.
- Could have been dual channel
Lab Bench Power Supply Buying Guide
What should you look for when buying a new bench power supply? The equipment comes in different shapes, designs, and capabilities. Without prior knowledge, you may get overwhelmed. We have included this buying guide to help you make the best decision. Consider the following factors:
1. Voltage and Current Ranges
Your application’s best bench power supply should provide the needed current and voltage. Most can output a DC voltage of 0-30V and a current of 0-5A. However, high-end power supplies can give you more output voltage and current. Just ensure it suits the application.
2. Current Limiting Control
Not all bench power supplies will have the current limiting control, which is an essential feature. If you are a beginner in electrical circuit design, current limiting control will protect your components, ensuring your safety.
3. Number of Output Channels
The more output channels a power supply has, the more expensive it will be. Some have dual or triple output. These may be the best for your application if you want to simultaneously test more than one circuit or device. Otherwise, the multi-output feature will be underutilized, yet it costs more.
4. Bench Power Supply Type
The two main power supply types are linear and switching, depending on how they produce the DC voltage and current. Each comes with its pros and cons. But generally, switching mode power supplies are more compact and lighter. But if you need a bench power supply for an analog circuit, choose the linear type. These produce less noise compared to the switching ones.
5. Programmability and Shutdown Memory
Bench power supplies with a test sequence save time since you don’t have to manually configure everything. Also, consider equipment with shutdown memory. This feature allows a bench power supply to save your valuable measurements and configurations to start up on the go the next time you power it on. It saves you time and protects your data in a power outage.
6. Response Time and Noise
Response time is the duration a bench power supply takes to change its output to the new current or voltage setting. It may fluctuate according to the loading. So, consider a response time that suits your application. Also, choose a bench power supply with less noise. Noise in a DC circuit is defined as AC ripple voltages. These voltage spikes on the output can interfere with the functions of different electrical components on the circuit being tested.
7. Overheating Protection
Consider bench power supplies with intelligent temperature control systems. These can regulate the temperature within a safe limit, ensuring the reliability and high performance of the equipment. Also, overheating protection lengthens the lifespan of the bench power supply.
What are the 3 types of the power supply?
A power supply can be linear, switched, or battery based. These three subsets of power supplies have their pros and cons. But of the three, linear power supplies are the least complicated and, therefore, more affordable.
What is bench testing in electronics?
Bench testing refers to a technician or an engineer sitting at a lab bench with measuring instruments and other equipment to verify the functionality of a device. The device under test can be an electrical circuit, a prototype, or an already-approved device.
How do I know if my power supply is overheating?
Power supplies can overheat, especially if the fan fails. The excess heat can cause system failure or permanent damage to the equipment. So, how do you know if it overheats? Touch the power supply case, and if it is hot, it is probably overheating. You may need to unplug it and diagnose the problem.
What causes electrical overheating in a power supply?
Overheating often results from accidental faults such as a short circuit or design faults that cause components to operate beyond their limits. The heat emitted causes the overall heating of the device.
A bench power supply is essential for testing electronics and other uses. And if you want to buy a new one, consider the best option because they don’t come cheap. We recommend Siglent Technologies SPD3303X-E as the best power supply from our review. It may be slightly priced, but you get everything worth the money you will spend.
The second option, if you have the budget, is the ITECH IT6922A power supply. Some of its functions include output power editing, setting saving, and voltage drop compensation when connecting the load. It will also give you a low-noise and ripple output, ideal for testing sensitive circuits.
The best budget power supply we recommend is the IPSXP. This equipment is affordable, easy to use, and lightweight and has many features and functions for the price. You can also check other lab power supplies on the list to choose the right one for your application and budget.