A voltage regulator is a device that maintains a steady and reliable voltage in a machine
A voltage regulator is a device that maintains a steady and reliable voltage in a machine. It
automatically keeps the voltage within a prescribed range.
This device is mostly used in the automotive industry. The output voltage is matched to the
electrical load in a motor vehicle to ensure compliance to battery charging specifications. The
devices are also found in computer supplies and power station generators.
Where to buy
The regulators can be bought at different electronic shops.
E-commerce has been embraced worldwide. Online buying and selling of goods has been made
easier. For a good voltage regulator,utsource.net is a recommended site. Here, different types and
prices are listed.
Types of voltage regulators
Various techniques are involved in the automatic regulation of the output levels. The components
used help improve efficiency and performance.
Voltage regulators vary in price and efficiency. The following types of voltage regulators are
available in the market.
· Linear regulators
In regard to price, they are the most affordable regulators. They are also the easiest to use. They
are mainly used low voltage and power systems. In the field of technology, it is often referred to as
a voltage divider circuit. This is mainly because the feedback voltage determines the effective
series resistance of the regulator.
Using a linear regulator has one major limitation. The minimum voltage drop across the regulator
is high. The voltage drop is important in the power distribution. A regulator becomes less
inefficient when the power difference between the input and output voltage is large.
· Switching regulators
Compared to linear regulators, switching regulators are more efficient. This device is highly
efficient when expecting a wide range of input voltage. The power efficiency of this regulator is
very high. The components used in this type of regulators play a major role in determining the
overall performance of the regulator.
One limitation of the switching regulator is the complicated design. It is easy to interfere with the
general performance of the device if one has no full knowledge of how the device works.
· Zener diodes
This is the simplest way of controlling the voltage level in a machine. Many people believe that
because the linear regulator has fewer components and is easy to use, then it means it is the best.
However, the zener diode can use a single component to regulate the voltage adequately.
They are limited to low power appliances only. This is mainly because of the limitation they have
in handling power. Mostly, a resistor is used to control the current that flows through the diode.
How the voltage regulator works
A fixed voltage output with a specific magnitude is generated and remains steady even if the input
voltage is changed. The regulators use capacitors and smaller inductors to achieve higher
frequencies. This causes great noise in the circuit.
A switching regulator uses a PWM to control the power input. The duty cycle is controlled by
feeding back the output voltage to the PWM controller.
For a voltage regulator, output current, input and output voltages are important design