Differences Between Standard and Medical-Grade Power Supplies

Differences Between Standard and Medical-Grade Power Supplies

The power supply system installed at your home delivers electricity to your appliances. It is designed to obtain the AC power from the electric outlet and transform it to DC. It also minimizes the voltage depending on the needs and delivers power to the load. So, it is the way how a power supply works. But, how do medical power supplies differ from standard ones?

How do medical-grade power supply systems differ from non-medical ones?

The main working principle of non-medical and medical power supplies is almost the same. However, the major difference is in the design, which provides additional benefits.

Medical Power Supply Products safeguard both clinical staff and patients with some more layers to separate them from lethal voltages. The power will be under control in the case of sensitive electronic devices. The medical-grade power supply system is also resistant to RFI interference from external sources. It ensures better humidity and thermal protection from the environment.

The most significant fact is that a medical power supply complies fully with different global technical standards (IEC60601). The power supply has to meet the standards to ensure the best performance and safety.

Spacing between electronic components and conductors must be adequate to meet the standards for isolation. The power supply system is also eligible for international medical certifications. It has to use reinforced or double insulation to meet leakage requirements.

Safety is undoubtedly the most significant factor distinguishing standard power supplies from medical ones. However, medical devices need a longer design cycle and have a higher life expectancy than other equipment. The power supply vendor must consider the medical equipment to ensure the best performance.

The latest version of IEC60601 deals with electromagnetic compatibility problems for medical-grade power-supplying systems. It also leads to device malfunctioning, which risks the lives of patients. The IEC61000 standard is about the reduced voltage and power surges in a medical power supply.

Criteria for selecting medical power supply

You must choose the medical power supply based on your application needs.

Current and output

Medical and surgical devices will get conditioned electricity output with medical-grade power supplies. Imaging and dental equipment also need these power sources. The voltage needs are different for every application. However, the power supply system offers multiple or single output voltages, which can be up to 48 Vdc. You should also identify the current level needed for every voltage.

Power Rating

While buying your medical power supply, you have to determine the power rating. Identify the maximum current essential to your application. It will help you find a model with the desired rating.

If you need multiple output voltages, your supply voltages must have voltage-times-current systems. Measure the power rating and ensure the safety of your medical device.

Thermal management

Your medical-grade power supplies should remain cool. So, you must know your application’s favorable temperature range. It will allow you to understand the need for forced air cooling or convection cooling. The packaging type you have chosen affects thermal performance.  

Patient vicinity

The healthcare equipment needs to be placed around 6 feet away from the patient. So, a medical-grade power supply is designed to meet patient vicinity needs. You have to focus on this factor before making a purchase.


A medical power supply system provides multiple protection layers for the operator and the patient. It also supplies reliable and consistent power to medical equipment with high-tech electronic content. It is available in different mounting styles and packages. Depending on the end use, it is found in variable and precise output ratings.
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