Rack Mount Power Supply

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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A rack mount power supply is a device that is designed to fit precisely into a prefabricated structure constructed especially for the system. These devices are tailored for insertion into one of several standard size equipment racks. These structures are called cabinets, and can be found in a variety of dimensions, according to the needs of the system.

Most rack mount power supplies are constructed out of aluminum and steel, which minimizes the possibility of the rack itself interfering with the electrical flow. The specifications of a rack mount power supply are often the most critical factor in choosing one, as they illustrate the device's compatibility with the system. The depth, length, and height must all match a predetermined size in order for the device to synch up with the rest of the components. Because of this, an unofficial standard size has emerged, facilitating the most compatibility. This unofficial standard size is a depth and width of 19 inches, and a height of three inches.

Rack Mount Power Supply Options

Available Options for a Rack Mount Power Supply
There are several different types of racks in popular use, and the type of rack mount power supply used for a particular system is largely dependent on the environment. In addition, rack systems feature many specifications and options, which are selected based on the size of the current, the type of device, and the heat generated by the system itself. These options include glass doors, manual interfaces, cooling fans, additional drawers, shelves, interface storage (for devices like keyboards), and ventilated covers.

A free standing rack is basically a cabinet of its own, and is placed on the floor, not affixed to any other parts of the system. An open frame rack mount power supply is a device intended for use in a clean, stable environment. These devices have no covers, or top panels, allowing everything to be easily accessible by the user. Wall mounted racks are cabinets that are permanently affixed to a wall, and are frequently used with larger, stable systems.


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