This paper presents the design, implementation and use of an “active load” for audio power amplifier efficiency testing. The active load can simulate linear complex loads representative of real-world amplifier operation with a load modulus between 4 and 50 ohms inclusive, load phase-angles between −60° and +60° inclusive, and operates from 20 to 20,000 Hz. The active load allows for the development of an automated test procedure for evaluating the efficiency of an audio power amplifier across a range of output voltage amplitudes, load configurations and output signal frequencies. The results of testing a class-B and a class-D amplifier, each rated at 100 watts into 8 ohms are presented.
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