California Instruments CS Series 3kVA - 18kVA Programmable High Power AC Current Source

California Instruments CS Series 3kVA - 18kVA Programmable High Power AC Current Source

Product Overview:

  • Precision Current Source : Ideally suited for current protection device testing
  • Single and Three Phase Modes : Built-in phase mode switch makes output configuration easy
  • 3kVA to 18kVA Power Levels : Match power source & cost to application requirements
  • Arbitrary Waveform Generator : Test products using real world current profiles including harmonic currents
  • Built-In Power Analyzer : Performs voltage & current harmonic analysis & waveform acquisition
  • Standard IEEE-448, USB and RS232C : Remote control interface for ATE system integration
  • GUI Software Suite: Allows users to access the powerful features & functions of the instrument on a Windows™ system
  • Programmable Transients : Amplitude & time control with up to 1ms resolution




The CS Series represents an advanced AC current source that addresses increasing demands on manufacturers to test products using real-world current profiles. By combining true current transconductance amplifiers with an advanced digital controller and harmonic power analyzer, CS Series current sources are capable of performing tests that would traditionally have been difficult to accomplish.

The CS Series is completely microprocessor controlled and can be operated from a simple front panel keypad. An analog knob located next to the backlit alphanumeric LCD display allows output current or frequency to be slewed up or down dynamically. With precise current programming and regulation, high output current, multi-phase mode and built-in power analyzer measurement capabilities, CS Series AC current sources address many AC current test applications. Additional features, like arbitrary waveform generation and transient generation make the CS Series the ideal source for demanding production test requirements.

All CS Series AC sources are equipped with IEEE-488 (GPIB), USB and RS232C remote control interfaces and support SCPI command language programming. An Ethernet interface is optional (-LAN Option).

Current Control

The CS Series uses true current feedback control. This is considerably different from many commonly available AC power sources that use a voltage feedback scheme in combination with a constant current mode of operation. Such power sources adjust the output voltage to try and maintain the requested current level (Voltage controlled current). These voltage controlled current sources have a finite response time to sudden impedance changes, which typically results in dynamic current over or undershoot as the load impedance changes. A current controlled current source does not suffer from the response lag and will always maintain the current at the specified level, regardless of transient load conditions. The maximum compliance voltage supported by the CS Series is 135 Vrms. A lower compliance voltage trip level can be programmed as needed.

Waveform Generation
The CS Series provides sine, clipped sine and square waveforms in addition to user defined arbitrary waveforms. Harmonic waveforms can be used to test for harmonic current susceptibility of a unit under test. With the help of the supplied Windows Instrument Control Software (ICS), defining harmonic waveforms is as easy as specifying the relative amplitude and phase angle for each of up to 50 harmonics. The user also has the ability to define arbitrary waveform data. Complex AC current anomalies can be simulated this way. The waveform data points generated are downloaded by the ICS to the AC source through IEEE-488, USB or RS232C bus. Up to 50 user-defined waveforms can be stored and given a descriptive name for easy recall. Downloaded waveforms are retained in non-volatile memory for recall over the bus or from the front panel.

Transient Generation
To simulate complex current events, the CS Series offers a list of transient steps. These steps can be programmed from the front panel or downloaded over the interface using the software supplied. The ICS allows libraries of commonly used sequences to be created on disk for quick recall. Once downloaded, the transient program can be executed from the PC or from the front panel. AC current transient generation allows the effect of rapid changes in current, frequency and current waveform shape on the unit under test to be analyzed. The combination of transients and user defined arbitrary waveforms creates a powerful test platform for AC powered products.

The CS Series measurement system is based on real-time digitization of the voltage and current waveforms using a 4K-sample buffer. The digitized waveform data is processed by a Digital Signal Processor to extract conventional load values such as rms voltage, rms current, real and apparent power. The same data is also used to perform Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) to extract the harmonic amplitude and phase angle of 50 harmonics.

Standard Measurements
The following standard measurements are available from the front panel or via the bus: Frequency, Phase, Voltage (rms), Current (rms), Peak Voltage, Voltage Crest Factor, Real Power, Apparent Power, Power Factor

Advanced Measurement Functions
In addition to standard load parameters, the CS Series is capable of measuring voltage and current amplitude and phase harmonics. Total harmonic distortion of both voltage and current is also available. Advanced measurement results like harmonic content of voltage and current for all three phases are available over the bus. The ICS can be used to save and print harmonics data in tabular, bar graph or time domain formats. The acquired voltage and current time-domain waveforms for each output phase can also be displayed using the software. Waveform displays on the PC include voltage and current combined, three-phase voltage, three-phase current and true power. The time-domain data is also available for transfer to a PC.

Windows Graphical User Interface
The Instrument Control Software (ICS) offers a soft front panel interface for operation from a PC running Windows Vista™, Windows XP™, or Windows 2000™. The following functions are available through this software:

  • Steady state output control (all parameters).
  • Create, run, save and print transient programs.
  • Generate and save harmonic waveforms.
  • Generate and save arbitrary waveforms.
  • Measure and log standard measurements.
  • Capture and display Voltage and Current waveforms.
  • Measure, display, print and log harmonic voltage and
  • current measurements.


Maximum Available Current 3000CS: Single Phase = 44.44 A, Three Phase = 14.81 A. 4500CS: Single Phase = 44.44 A, Three Phase = 14.81 A
Multi-Chassis Maximum Available
9000CS/2: Single Phase = 88.88 A, Three Phase = 29.62 A. 13500CS/3: Single Phase = 133.33 A, Three Phase = 44.44 A.
18000CS/4: Single Phase = 177.7 A, Three Phase = 59.24 A
Programming Resolution 0.01 A
Programming Accuracy Three Phase Mode: ± (0.1% + 0.05 A) from .5A to full scale. Single Phase Mode: ± (0.1% + 0.15 A) from .5A to full scale
Distortion THD (full scale current, resistive load conditions) < 1.2% [60-500 Hz], 
< 2% [500-1000 Hz], 
< 2.5% [1000-2000 Hz]
Load Regulation 0.1% full scale
Line Regulation 0.02% for 10% input line change
Output Noise (20 kHz to 1 MHz, full current output): Three Phase Mode: < 13 mARMS, Single Phase Mode: < 40 mARMS
Temperature Coefficient ± 0.01% of range / °C
Stability ± 0.01 A over 24 hours
DC Offset Current 0.0 A
Output Coupling Transformer coupled
Output Impedance >100KOhm
Voltage Limit Programming Range: 3000CS: 0 to 135 Vrms @ 7.41 A, 0 to 67.5 Vrms @ 14.81 A. 4500CS: 0 to 135 Vrms @ 11.11 A, 0 to 101.3 Vrms @ 14.81 A
Programming Resolution: 0.1 Vrms
Frequency Range: 45 Hz - 2000 Hz. Resolution: 0.01 Hz [<81.91 Hz], 0.1 Hz [> 82.0 to 819.1 Hz], 1 Hz [> 819 Hz]. Accuracy: ± 0.025%. Temperature Coefficient: ± 5 ppm of value / °C. Stability: ± 15ppm of value/year
Phase Range: Phase B/C relative to phase A 0.0 to 360.0°. Resolution: (0.1° < 819.1 Hz), (0.5° > 819.1 Hz). Accuracy: < 1° [45 Hz-1000 Hz],<1° + 1°/kHz [>1000 Hz]
Input Current Input circuit breaker. Breaker protects the equipment only and is not a branch protection device. AC input connection should be made using a suitable branch protection device per local electrical code
Input Voltage Transients Surge protection to withstand EN50082-1 (IEC 801-4, 5) levels
Output Over Voltage Adjustable level constant voltage mode with programmable set point
Open Circuit & Over Temperature Automatic Shutdown
Line Voltage (Three Phase, 3-wire + ground - PE) 3000CS, 4500CS, 9000CS/2, 13500CS/3, 18000CS/4: Standard: 208-230 VLL ± 10%, -400: 400 VLL ± 10%. Note: Each CS chassis requires its own AC service. 3000CS may be operated from 208-230 V L-N single phase AC input between B & C on TB3 for 3000CS
Line VA 3000CS: 5900 VA / 4100 W. 4500CS: 8900 VA / 5900 W (x2 for 9000CS/2, x3 for 13500CS/3, X4 for 18000CS/4)
Line Current 
(per phase)
3000CS: Standard: 19 Arms @ 187 VLL, 3 phase AC input or 32 Arms @ 187 VLN single phase AC input.
4500CS: Standard 31 Arms @ 187 VLL, - 400: 16 Arms @ 360 VLL. Currents shown are for single chassis models.
Currents are per chassis for multi-chassis configurations
Line Frequency & Efficiency Line Frequency: 47-440 Hz; Efficiency: 75% (typical) depending on line and load
Power Factor 0.65 (typical)
Storage Setup Storage: 16 complete instrument setups; User Waveform Storage: 50 User-defined arbitrary waveforms of 1024 points each; Transient Lists Storage: Up to 100 transient steps per list.
Remote Control Interfaces IEEE-488 (GPIB), USB, RS232C, Ethernet (Optional-LAN)
Parameter Frequency Phase Voltage (AC) Current
(AC rms)
Real Power Apparent Power Power 
Range 45.00-81.91 Hz
82.0-819.1 Hz
> 819 kHz
0-360° 0 - 400 0 - 50 A 0.5 kW 0.5 KVA 0.00 - 1.00
Accuracy* (±) 0.1% + 1 digit 0.5° < 500 Hz
2° > 500 Hz
0.05% + 0.25 V 0.1% + 0.15 A
0.1% + 0.05 A
1ø Mode: 0.15% + 9W
3ø Mode: 0.15% + 3W
1ø Mode: 0.15% + 9 VA
3ø Mode: 0.15% + 3 VA
1ø Mode: 0.03
3ø Mode: 0.01
Resolution 0.01 Hz
0.1 Hz
1 Hz
10 mV 1 mA 1 W 1 VA 0.01
* Accuracy specifications are valid above 100 counts. For multi-chassis configurations, Current and Power range and accuracy specifications are per chassis. Frequency measurement accuracy applies to output voltages of 1 Arms or higher
Measurements - Harmonics
Parameter Frequency Fundamental Voltage Current
Range 45-81.91 Hz / 82.0-819.1 Hz / >819 Hz Fundamental Harmonics 2 - 50 Fundamental Harmonics 2 - 50
Accuracy* (±) 0.1% + 1 digit 0.05% + 0.25 V / 0.1% + 0.1%/kHz + 0.25 V 0.5 A / 0.1% + 0.05 A + 0.1% /1 kHz
Resolution 0.01 Hz / 0.1 Hz / 1 Hz 10 mV / 10 mV 10 mA / 10 mA
* Accuracy specifications are in percent of reading for single unit and three phase mode
Physical Dimensions
Dimensions Height: 10.5” (267 mm), Width: 19.0” (483 mm), Depth: 23.0” (584 mm) All dimensions are per chassis. For /2, /3, or /4 model configurations, multiply height by 2, 3, or 4 for total height. Width includes integrated front panel rackmount ears
Weight Chassis: Net: 193 lbs / 87.7 Kg, Shipping: 280 lbs / 127.3 Kg
Vibration and Shock Designed to meet NSTA project 1A transportation levels. Units are shipped in wooden crate with forklift slots
Air Intake/Exhaust Forced air cooling, side air intake, rear exhaust
Temperature Operating Temperature: 0 to 35° C, full power; Storage Temperature: -40 to 85° C


CS Series AC Current Source Programming Manual, Rev: F 6/15/2011 (1.91MB)_Rev F
CS Series, AC Power Source User Manual, Rev: J 3/25/2015 (999kB)_Rev J
CS Series Instrument Control Software Version: 
CS-ICS For 32 bit operating systems (needs Microsoft.Net™ Framwork 1.1). Models: CS Series
V1.0.0.3 40MB 08/11
Windows XP / 7 ( 32 bit, 64 bit ) : USB VCP Driver 12/10/2014 (8.70MB)
Firmware Updates
Flash Loader V1.60 V1.60 2.2MB 11/02/06
CS Firmware V1.35 (CIC910-1V1.35) 02/09/2016 (505Kb) V1.35
LabView Driver
CS Driver, V1.0.0.0 CS LabView 2009 Driver¹ V1. 3.3MB 3/2/2011
1- LabView 2009 and higher
LabWindows CVI
CS Driver CS LabWindows/CVI Driver²
V1.0.0.0 365KB 3/2/2011
2- LabView 2010 and higher