Photo of a power supply, control box and linear actuators by Progressive Automations

Guide to Power Supplies and Control Boxes

Nathan Bong
Nathan Bong
PA Engineer

Choosing a suitable power supply and control box for linear actuators is crucial to ensure a longer lifespan and smoother operation of a project. In this guide, the 3 major criteria to be covered would include the requirements for Voltage and Current Ratings, Ingress protection, and Feedback Control.

Voltage and Current Ratings

Our standard actuators operate from +12 VDC to extend and -12 VDC to retract. The suitable power supplies and control boxes, in this case, would have a 12 VDC output. For the less common actuators that operate from 24 VDC, you will require control boxes and power supplies with 24 VDC output.

If you are designing an application that has a high current draw, here are a few things you should consider: 

  • Wiring gauge (AWG).
  • Power supply current rating.
  • Control box current rating.

We recommend upgrading to 14 AWG wire for applications that draw over 12 A of current. This is because a thinner wiring gauge may overheat from such high current draw. The 14 AWG wire would also be suitable for 20 A of current draw.

For example, if you were to power on 2 of the standard PA-17 with 20 A current draw from each actuator, you would require 14 AWG wire to run in two paths for a parallel circuit. A suitable power supply for this application would be the PS-40-12 since it is rated for 40 A of current draw. Custom actuators with 24 VDC operation would typically have half the current draw of their standard models. Two custom 24 VDC PA-17 actuators would require the PS-20-24 as the power supply, rated for 20 A of current draw.

Ingress Protection

Generally, our standard power supplies and control boxes are suitable for indoor applications. If your application requires higher ingress protection for more dust and water resistance, we recommend looking at the power supplies and control boxes with IP65 or higher, for example, our PA-33 control box with an IP65 rating.

We also manufacture and sell power supplies for linear actuators which have ingress protection ratings that are suitable for outdoor use:

All three of these power supplies are protected against 30-minute submersion at a depth of 1 meter (IP67 rating).

All three of these power supplies are protected against 30-minute submersion at a depth of 1 meter (IP67 rating). 

Feedback Control

The FLTCON series of our control boxes and the PA-40 control box would be suitable for Hall effect feedback from our PA-04-HS actuators along with customized PA-03 and PA-18 actuators with hall effect sensors. The hall effect sensors would be for a synchronous motion of multiple actuators.

If you were using actuators with internal potentiometers such as the PA-14P, the suitable control box with potentiometer feedback would be the PA-39.

For more information, you can refer to our overview video on our Control Boxes.

Once you have selected the appropriate control box and power supply for your linear actuator, you are ready to wire your project. If you require further assistance, give us a call at 1-800-676-6123 or email us at sales@progressiveautomations.com.

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