Challenges in purchasing power supplies and batteries

Sager Electronics’ director supplier marketing and product management, Paul Kopp

Sager Electronics’ director supplier marketing and product management, Paul Kopp, helps buyers navigate the ever-evolving landscape of power supply and battery sourcing.

The landscape of powering electronic devices is more complex than ever. While the core function of power supplies and batteries— providing stable voltage and protecting equipment— remains essential, navigating the purchasing process in 2024 presents a unique set of challenges for both components.

The sheer variety of power supplies and batteries, from specifications and capacities to chemistries and form factors, can be daunting. Matching a device’s specific requirements with the appropriate product demands careful consideration. Consulting with a power supply and battery specialist can ensure optimal performance, compatibility and safe operation.

The power supply and battery industry is constantly evolving. New features like fast charging, USB-C with Power Delivery (PD) integration, higher energy densities and new battery chemistries are becoming commonplace. Staying informed about these advancements can help buyers choose a product that meets current needs and offers future-proof capabilities.

Counterfeit power supplies and batteries pose a significant threat, potentially damaging devices or causing fire hazards. These imitations often lack the safety features and performance of genuine products. Be wary of suspiciously low prices. Purchase power supplies and batteries from an authorized source.

The global supply chain issues and current geopolitical disruptions continue to impact lead times and inflate prices for certain power supply and battery models. Recent supply chain issues like the disruptions in the Red Sea and the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore are examples of why it is critical to factor in potential delays when planning purchases. Working with a supplier who maintains a healthy inventory can help mitigate these challenges.

While these may be the top challenges, other factors remain relevant. Understanding warranty terms and mean-time-between- failures (MTBF) ratings is crucial for choosing reliable power supplies. Similarly, ensuring the power supply meets the necessary safety certifications, especially for medical or specialized equipment, is critical.

Different battery chemistries (lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, sealed lead acid) offer varying advantages and disadvantages. Understanding factors like energy density, discharge rate, lifespan and safety characteristics is crucial for selecting the best battery for an application. Working with battery experts who can help navigate the complexities of battery chemistry and recommend the optimal choice for specific needs is important.

Lithium-based batteries, particularly, are subject to strict transportation regulations due to potential safety hazards. Understanding these regulations (eg UN 3480, IATA) is essential to ensure safe and compliant shipping. Partnering with an expert can help navigate the complexities of battery shipping regulations and ensure batteries reach their destination safely and legally. Proper storage temperature and techniques can significantly impact a battery’s lifespan.

Sager Electronics’ expertise can help buyers overcome the challenges of purchasing power supplies and batteries with the confidence that they are getting the right product for their needs.