Preference of one power source presents a number of challenges. Combinations of adapter output voltage (nominal and tolerance), power insertion point, and which source is preferred determine solution complexity. Several factors adding to the complexity are the natural high-voltage selection of diode ORing (the simplest method of combining sources), the current limit implicit in the PSE, and PD inrush and protection circuits (necessary for operation and reliability). Creating simple and seamless solutions is difficult if not impossible for many of the combinations. However, the TPS23754 device offers several built-in features that simplify some combinations.
Several examples will demonstrate the limitations inherent in ORing solutions. Diode ORing, a 48-V adapter with PoE (option 1), presents the problem that either source might be higher. A blocking switch would be required to assure which source was active. A second example is combining a 12-V adapter with PoE using option 2. The converter will draw approximately four times the current at 12 V from the adapter than it does from PoE at 48 V. Transition from adapter power to PoE may demand more current than can be supplied by the PSE. The converter must be turned off while CIN capacitance charges, with a subsequent converter restart at the higher voltage and lower input current. A third example is use of a 12-V adapter with ORing option 1. The PD hotswap would have to handle four times the current, and have 1/16 the resistance (be 16 times larger) to dissipate equal power. A fourth example is that MPS is lost when running from the adapter, causing the PSE to remove power from the PD. If AC power is then lost, the PD will stop operating until the PSE detects and powers the PD.