Power Supply Analysis

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received a power supply with several bulging capacitors on the motherboard. A power supply is an electronic device that supplies electric energy to an electrical load. The primary function of a power supply is to convert one form of electrical energy to another and, as a result, power supplies are sometimes referred to as electric power converters. Some power supplies are discrete, stand-alone devices, whereas others are built into larger devices along with their loads. All power supplies have a power input, which receives energy from the energy source, and a power output that delivers energy to the load. In most power supplies the power input and output consist of electrical connectors or hardwired circuit connections, though some power supplies employ wireless energy transfer in lieu of galvanic connections for the power input or output. The power supply began to smoke when it was turned on. The goal was to determine the cause of the failures.

Failure analysis ensued on the capacitors. There was no contamination or any deposits evident in the isobutylene-isoprene rubber (IIR) suggesting foreign ingress into the capacitors. Two were cracked by excessive expansion and one had a slightly bulged top. The capacitors were inserted into the printed circuit board (PCB). No contamination or residual flux was observed. SEM-EDS analysis was conducted. X-ray scans were also taken. The anode leads were of primary concern because all halogens, if present on the lead, will migrate due to polarity and voltage.

The electronic failure analysis on the power supply yielded some interesting results. There was no indication that the capacitors failed through a foreign substance migrating either with voltage or pressure inside the capacitor. There was no contamination inside these capacitors. The capacitors failed because of heat damage. There was also leakage current. The motherboards and components were extremely dirty. They needed to be cleaned. The manufacturer needs to be cleaning, inspecting, and testing the boards.

What is the reason for your electronic failure?  Is a problem with the manufacturing process?  Is it a problem with design?  It is how the devices are being used in the field?  Diagnosing the cause is a long, tiresome, and arduous process. You need help, and Gideon Analytical Laboratories is just the laboratory to help you!  Leave the problem solving to the people that solve problems for a living. Don’t waste another minute or another dollar. Call Gideon Analytical Laboratories today.

Removed Capacitor, noticeably cracked and melted

Removed Capacitor, noticeably cracked and melted

Anode tab of capacitor

Anode tab of capacitor

Dirty components

Dirty components

Section of PCB without Capacitor

Section of PCB without Capacitor

Two Capacitors on Mother Board

Two Capacitors on Mother Board