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PS Audio New P500 Power Plant AC Regenerator Print E-mail
Monday, 14 April 2003
PS Audio introduces the Power Plant P500 AC Power Generator, incorporating two proprietary technologies, Multiwave II and Autowave. Like all Power Plants, the P500 is designed to improve both the audio and video performance of a Home Theater system by generating pure AC line voltage, which is significantly cleaner than the AC voltage provided by standard wall outlets.

The P500 Power Plant produces up to 500 watts of power to amplifiers, small projectors, LCD and plasma-based displays. Designed from the ground up, the P500 is small in size. Exclusive PS Audio technology enables it to produce instantaneous custom waveforms. The P500 Power Plant features:

• MultiWave II technology with four new patterns
• AutoWave technology
• A power meter that displays wattage or percent of power available
• A built-in Ultimate Outlet and improved surge protection
• A unique computer-controlled heat reduction system

The P500 introduces two new technologies — Multiwave II, employed in current Power Plant models; and AutoWave, which automatically adjusts the P500’s output AC waveform to match the specific load in real time.

Based on the same principals of increased peak charging times, the four new MultiWave II patterns use a random sequence of frequencies. Intermodulation (IM) noise related to the power line is spread over a wider range, reducing its amplitude.

The Power Plants can adjust the frequency in 1 Hz steps, from 50Hz all the way to 120Hz. According to PS Audio, waveform is perfect for all conditions because program material determines a system’s power demands. Using Autowave, the power output’s frequency is automatically generated to meet the exact demands of the source material. Since A/V systems are not static, it was necessary to employ a dynamic design that measures the changing load in real time.

A software upgrade will shortly be available to add Multwave II patterns to other Power Plant models. Due to the complexity of the circuitry, only new Power Plants will provide Autowave.

Creating an accurate power meter is no simple task for complex loads like those managed by power amplifiers and preamplifiers. In the original Power Plant series the watt-meter represented the simplest expression of power by measuring the current and the voltage, multiplying the two together to give a close approximation of the wattage produced. However, this method is accurate only for the simplest loads, not complex audio and video signals.

The P500’s new power meter provides better than 10% accuracy, continually measuring power and then displaying the results in either watts, or the percentage of power the P500 has left to provide. Users can also read and adjust the output voltage of the P500 from the meter and front panel control systems.

The P500 houses four standard Power Port outlets plus two high-current Ultimate Outlets, which will power virtually any size amplifier or projector. The Ultimate Outlet is capable of providing up to 1800 watts of clean power.

Six 1.5kv Tranzorbers provide up to 9000kv of surge and spike protection. As a secondary measure, four 10,000-amp MOVs are employed. In the unlikely event a surge comes along big enough to overpower the Tranzorbers, a small protection fuse opens, disconnecting a power relay to the outputs on the rear of the P500.

A massive toroidal transformer produces the 1000 watts needed to efficiently power the P500. Increased energy storage was also required to provide enough power to the internal regeneration power amplifiers and maintain the low-output impedance and voltage regulation. The P500 is capable of regulating the output voltage to within 1/10th of a volt from idle to full output current.

The P500 is housed in the same elegant rack-mountable chassis as the recent HCA-2 Hybrid Digital/Analog Power Amplifier and PCA-2 Preamplifier — both of which remain cool to the touch due to PS Audio’s exclusive internal, forced-air, computer-controlled heat reduction system.

Power Plants are basically high-powered class AB power amplifiers, which are known to generate a great deal of heat. Instead of external heat sinks, which are impractical for rack or shelf mounting, a tunnel heat sink was designed. This is an enclosed set of aluminum heat fins with a fan to blow air over them. The tunnel air movement is adjustable and in synch with the temperature of the heatsink. Thermal sensing devices along the heatsink are connected to a microprocessor that precisely controls the “whisper fan” inside the P500.

The P500 Power Plant is available for a suggested price of $1,995.

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