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Enginursday: 60 USB Chargers in Parallel

Here I've got 60 USB charger power supplies wired in parallel, just to see what happens.

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Sometimes engineers need to take a break from crunching numbers and furrowing their brows at data sheets, and do something fun instead. Today I wanted to find out what would happen if I took 60 5V, 2A power supplies and wired them together. It can put out 120 amps at 5 volts! Will it melt a wire? What about a spoon? Can it melt a quarter? Can I arc weld with it? Or will the whole thing catch on fire? The only question remaining is what to do with them next.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to actually do this (there are better ways of generating so much current), and my methods are definitely suspect, but hey! It's an experiment. Have a look to see what happens!

And...ahem... don't try this at home.


Comments 9 comments

  • this video, refreshingly, has everything I might have hoped for: SPARKs and FUN!

  • I do not plan to do this but it was interesting to see a bit of insanity and science at the same time. I have wondered about combining chargers like this. Very interesting. I think it would be wild to split this and do 1/2 in serial and the other in parallel. Thanks again for doing this.

  • If there was no sustained arc with 5v... how would those supplies hold up to being placed in series?

    • I'd like to try that! Ran out of time on this one though. I was thinking, I have 6 banks that can do 20A each, so why not 30V and 20A? That sounds about like a welder. And then maybe I could get that pickle luminescent too

    • Without knowing the breakdown voltage spec on the transformers in the power supplies, I would not recommend connecting 100 of them in series. You might see sparks where you don't want them. Even if the 500V @ 2A supply worked, it would be very dangerous to experiment with.

  • Connect a load with lots of sodium to it like a pickle or a hot dog.

  • Marshall noooo, we already have a fork shortage in this building.

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