What is a power supply?
A power supply is a piece of hardware that supplies electric power to an electronic device. The most common type of power supply is the AC adapter, which plugs into a standard wall outlet and converts the AC voltage to the DC voltage required by most devices. Other power supplies include battery packs, solar panels, and fuel cells.
A computer, for example, requires a power supply to convert the AC voltage from the wall outlet into the DC voltage needed by the computer’s components. A laptop typically uses an AC adapter that plugs into the wall outlet. At the same time, a desktop computer may have a separate power supply unit that sits on top of or underneath the desktop.
Many devices other than computers also require power supplies. LED TVs, for example, need a power supply to convert AC voltage into the DC voltage needed for the LEDs. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets also require power supplies to charge their batteries.
In addition to supplying electric power, power supplies also often provide a means of regulating the amount of power delivered to a device. This is particularly important for devices that require a specific voltage to function correctly. For example, an AC adapter may have a switch to select between 110 volts and 220 volts, depending on the country it is being used.