The voltage regulator is electronic circuitry or device that is used for maintaining the voltage at the output of the circuit or for an operating device that needed a fixed level of voltage to operate. These circuits can have feeding forward circuits or negative feedback combinations in operation. During its operation on the basis of applications, it uses electromechanical phenomena or different electronic components. This circuitry can be used for both ac and dc voltage regulation.
Electronic voltage regulators are part of different electronic devices such as power supplies used for computer voltage stabilizer circuits. It uses in automobile generators and power station plants to maintain the output voltage of the power plant. Voltage regulators are parts of substations and are installed along the distribution lines to sustain the voltage level for consumers’ devices
What are Electronic Voltage Regulators
The simplest form of voltage regulator either current or voltage can be designed through the use of resistance in a series combination of diodes. As the VI characteristics of a diode are logarithmic so the voltage of the diode varies very minor with the change in input current or volts. If accurate voltage control or efficiency value is not needed the design construct can be effective. As the diode’s forward voltage is less, this type of voltage regulator is used for low voltage regulations. If a high value of output is required zener diode in a series combination is connected. Zener diode regulators use the reverse voltage of zener diode that has a high value
Feed voltage regulators work by making a comparison between the reference voltage and output voltage. The difference of volts gets amplified and used for regulation control to decrease voltage errors. This makes the negative feedback control structure enhances the open loop gain value that increases accuracy and effect stability. Trade off exists between stability and speed of response to variations. If the output voltage is low the regulation component operates to a level that generates high output voltage through less voltage drop at input voltage or uses higher current for long time intervals. If the output voltage is high, the regulation component will generate a low voltage value. Though numerous regulators come with current protection, therefore, they will completely avoid sourcing current, if the output current is high, and some regulators also close if the input voltage is beyond the given range
Types of Voltage Regulators
The voltage regulator has two types linear and switching voltage regulator. These regulators are used for voltage regulation but the linear regulator has less efficiency and the switching regulator has high efficiency. For high-efficiency switching regulators, the output is obtained without power losses
Linear Voltage Regulators
For the construction of linear regulators, different types of active components such as BJT or MOSFET are used and their operation is controlled through the use of operational amplifiers. To maintain constant voltage at output linear regulator regulate the passive component resistance by making the comparison between the inner voltage reference with the output voltage.
The linear regulator is called a step-down converter as the output voltage is less than the input voltage. But there are some benefits of these regulators: their construction is easier, less expensive, and offers low noise.
Here you can see the circuit of a linear regulator that has components
- MP2018 Voltage regulator
- Input supply
All these components are configured to make circuitry. The value of the voltage at input provides the constant voltage according to the circuit’s demands.
What are Switching Regulators
The switching voltage regulator has somewhat more complicated circuitry than other regulators or linear regulators and it needed outer components parameters to control lops for stability purposes and design properly configured. These regulators come in step-down converter circuits, step-up converted, or in some applications lie in both structures. these circuits’ combination makes them more effective and versatile than linear regulators
These regulators have high efficiency, good operation in high-temperature conditions, and are used for high current circuits. Their efficiency is increased by up to ninety-five percent can be obtained.
These circuits need some extra components like inductors, capacitors, FETs, and feedback resistance. Here we have created a circuit through the use of components listed here
- HF920 Regulators
- Zener diode
Voltage Regulator Disadvantages
Their major drawback is that they can be ineffective since they dissipate larger power in some applications. The voltage loss of the linear regulator can be fid by finding the loss across the resistance. Let us suppose that we have ten volts of input supply and output we have seven volts which means three volts drop across the terminals which affects its efficiency since some volts are losses and not a hundred percent efficiency obtained. So these circuits are suitable for projects that have less Vin/Vout differentials.
So there must be an estimation of power dissipation done of the linear regulator during operation through the use of high inputs voltages causes high power losses which can damage the components.
Another disadvantage of voltage regulators is that they are only applicable for step-down conversion than switching regulators that also have step-up and buck-boost conversion.
Switching regulators are effective but have some drawbacks that have expensive circuits larger structures, and complicated designs. They also produce noise if the components configured are not accurately connected.
Voltage Regulators Applications
Some applications of voltage regulators are explained here. Voltage regulators are now significant components of electronic engineering and are used commonly in different projects.
- The voltage regulator is the main part of the mobile charger. As the input of the charger is ac supply but the voltage regulator regulates the signal to dc that is used by the components of the charger
- Each type of power supply that we use in projects comes with regulators to maintain the output voltages that are needed to operate the connected devices with the power supply. This feature is employed for the operation of different devices like computers, TVs LEDs, etc
- These regulators are the main part of the power generation system that regulates the power generated at the power plant to the required level during the transmission to longer distances
- The voltage regulators are commonly employed for dc to dc power conversion some come with the structure of ac to ac conversion and some types of regulators are used for ac to dc power conversion
How to Select the Voltage Regulator
During the selection of an accurate voltage regulator for proper operation during the project circuit must take into effect some points such as input volts, output volts, and output current. With that some other factors like charges, operation, and efficiency of the system.
After defining these parameters use the search table to search for accurate modules to fulfill the required needs. Features or parameters are the finest tools for engineers to make the design of circuits according to the project’s demand. Each type of MPS comes with a datasheet that provides complete information on components required for project creation and also their rating is mentioned on the datasheet which is helpful for getting their desired operation, and accurate design construction. Datasheet is also helpful for finding the values of output inductance, resistance, and other parameters.