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How to Choose the Right Power Supply for Linear Actuator

Anna Sapiga
Anna Sapiga
PA Engineer

It is very important to pick the appropriate power supply for your electric linear actuator. You can have the perfect application design, the best actuator for your need, and flawless mounting setup, but without the right power supply, your system is not going to work at all. In this article, I will be going over a few important points on how to choose the right power supply for your linear actuator.

Voltage Input

The power input of the power supply requirement depends on the users’ location. Progressive Automations generally carry a wide range of the power input among the power supplies: 100-240VAC. If the user is located in North America, the power supply you need requires 120VAC input. If you are located anywhere else outside of North America, chances are you will need a 220VAC to 240VAC input power supplies. Fortunately, almost all of the power supplies Progressive Automations carry are rated for both.

Voltage Output

The voltage output of the power supply you choose needs to match the linear actuator you are using. Progressive Automations generally carry 12VDC and 24VDC actuators, but we are also able to custom produce 36VDC and 48VDC electric linear actuators. It is important to match the correct voltage between actuator and power supply, or it might cause your application to underperform or even damaging the electric motor inside the actuator. You can find the voltage requirement information on the label sticker on the linear actuator, this information is also available on our website and datasheet.

Current Rating

The current rating of a power supply is a big factor in choosing the correct unit for your application. The general rule of thumb is that the power supply needs to have a higher current rating than the combined maximum current requirement of all the units connected to the power supply. What this means is it is a good practice to pick a power supply that has enough juice to supply all the linear actuator assuming they are all operating at the highest load possible for their rating. It is ideal to overshoot the current rating requirement due to the potential extra load your system might experience that is outside of your design. The current draw on the maximum load is on the Progressive Automations website and each product’s datasheet. We provide power supplies that have a current rating as low as 1 Amp, and as high as 40Amp.

IP Ratings

The environment of your application can also dictate which power supply to use. If your application allows an enclosure for the power supply or the power supply is located in a dusty free indoor area, you won’t need to concern yourself too much on the IP rating of the power supply. However, if the power supply will be exposed to the element, it is needed to pick a power supply with sufficient IP rating.  The PS-20-12-67 power supply Progressive Automation carries has an IP rating of IP 67. It is well protected and it is designed to use in an outdoor environment.

Portability and Space

The last thing you need to look at is how much space you have, and if you need to move the power supply around a lot. Most power supply Progressive Automations carry need a wall outlet. The power supply itself converts the AC voltage to DC voltage to supply to the actuators. This will require some space for the cable to run to the wall outlet, and it is not very portable. If your application is short on space or needs to move the power supply with the application, it would be better to pick up a battery instead. Currently, Progressive Automations carry the AC-03 12VDC 5Amp battery, it is small in size and has enough current to operate the PA-14, PA-09 and PA-07 linear actuators.

To ensure the successful operation of your application, the correct power supply needs to be installed. Picking the wrong power supply could reduce the functionality of your application or it might damage your system. Using this guide the next time you are purchasing a power supply to make sure you are getting what you need. For further questions feel free to contact us at

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