Hi friends, in this article, we will take a basic overview of a linear voltage regulator and its types. This includes the block diagram and working principles.
What is voltage regulator?
A voltage regulator prevents the varying of the voltage across a load in spite of variation in the supply. It is also used to regulate or vary the output voltage of the circuit.
- Regulation: compensates for variation in the mains (line voltage)
- Stabilization: compensates for variation in load current
However, in practice, both the terms loosely used for the same meaning of voltage regulation.
Types of voltage regulator
There are mainly two types:
- Series voltage regulator
- Shunt voltage regulator
Series voltage regulator:
A simple block diagram is as follows
The series voltage regulator controls variation in voltage (DVS) across the load by providing a voltage in series with the load.
A further more detailed block diagram is shown. A series regulator has its regulating unit in series with the load.
There is always a voltage drop in the regulating unit (VR). The output voltage VO (or VL) is:
VL = VS – VR
Series voltage regulator usually has a negative feedback system. If load voltage (VL) tends to fall, smaller feedback decreases controlling unit resistance thereby allowing more current to flow in the load (VR decreases) and increasing VL. Opposite happens when VL increases.
Shunt voltage regulator
Block diagram is as follows
Shunt voltage regulator controls the voltage across the load by varying the current flowing through the load (IL) and through the regulating unit (IR).
A further detailed block diagram is shown below. A shunt regulator has its regulating unit in parallel to the load.
I = IR + IL
The stability in the voltage across the load RL is brought about by ensuring a steady current flow through it.
When the current across RL tends to increase, regulating unit prevents it by allowing the excess current to flow through it. Since current I is constant, IL decreases.
Same happens when current IL tends to decrease. Regulating unit prevents it by decreasing current flow (IR) through it, thereby increasing IL.
This article is written by: Sayantan Roychowdhury
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