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While I was researching DC-DC converters, I saw something called a "Secondary Power Distribution Unit (SPDU)". According to the author this unit is mainly used in armored vehicles.

I researched on the internet, but I couldn't find what it is and why they are used. I have some questions about it:

  1. What is an SPDU and why is it used in armored vehicles?
  2. What is the difference between an SPDU and a regular DC-DC converter?

Here is one product that is called an SPDU, but the page itself does not contain any useful information:

SPDU product

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Speak more to "the person". \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Sep 25, 2020 at 8:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cannot find him. I wonder if there is such a thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Raxian
    Sep 25, 2020 at 8:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ You said in your question: according to the person this unit is mainly used in armored vehicles..... so speak to the person! Communicate with the person! \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Sep 25, 2020 at 11:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Compare that product listing with another power supply. It contains lots fo useful information. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Sep 25, 2020 at 11:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ For a suitable definition of "only". You make it sound like a bit of wire. But... "Designed to provide circuit and wiring protection, our SPDU ... The system has configurable arc-fault protection, pulse width modulation, remote load power control, load power monitoring, automated load shedding and other prognostic and diagnostic maintenance activities." And ... "Ability to modulate outputs for utility control (speed, lighting, heating)". That's quite a lot really. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Sep 25, 2020 at 11:43

1 Answer 1

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SPDUs can contain DC/DC converters, but don't have to; it is not their main purpose to convert power.

SPDUs' functionalities differ, but their main purpose is simplifying and monitoring power connections. Among others, planes and the more complicated military vehicles use them "to save weight, space, and cost by eliminating wires, circuit breakers and utility control boxes" and make the power system more reliable and robust. Some also monitor the power system, do diagnostics, and take action when something goes wrong (re-route power, switch to back-up power, etc.).

You can read about them here in more detail; there's even an executive summary.

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