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Chapter 6

Voltage Regulators
- Part 1-

VOLTAGE REGULATION
Two basic categories of voltage regulation are:
line regulation;
load regulation.
The purpose of line regulation is to maintain a
nearly constant output voltage when the input
voltage varies.
The purpose of load regulation is to maintain a
nearly constant output voltage when the load varies.

Line Regulation

Figure 62
Line regulation. A change in input (line)
voltage does not significantly affect the output
voltage of a regulator (within certain limits).

Line Regulation
Line regulation can be defined as the percentage
change in the output voltage for a given change in
the input voltage.

VOUT
Line regulation
VIN

x100%

(6-1)

means a change in.


Line regulation in %/V can be calculated using the
following formula:

VOUT / VOUT x100%


Line regulation
VIN

(6-2)

Load Regulation

Figure 63
Load regulation. A change in load
current has practically no effect on the output
voltage of a regulator (within certain limits).

Load Regulation
Load regulation can be defined as the percentage
change in the output voltage from no-load (NL) to
full-load (FL).

VNL VFL
x100%
Load regulation
VFL

where
VNL = the no-load output voltage
VFL = the full-load output voltage

(6-3)

Load Regulation
Sometimes the equivalent Thevenin resistance of
a supply is specified in place of a load regulation
specification.
In this case, VOUT can be found by applying the
voltage divider rule:
VOUT

RL
VNL

R
L
OUT

Power
Supply

RTH = ROUT
VOUT

In terms of resistances, load


regulation can be expressed
as:
ROUT
Load regulation
100%
RFL

VTH = VNL

RL

TYPES OF REGULATOR
The fundamental classes of voltage regulators are linear regulators
and switching regulators.
Two basic types of linear regulator are the series regulator and
the shunt regulator.
The series regulator is connected in series with the load and the
shunt regulator is connected in parallel with the load.

Figure 6.4

Series and shunt regulators.

Basic Linear Series


Regulators

Series Regulator Circuit

Figure 6.5 Block diagram of the basic connection of a series


regulator circuit.

The control element is a pass transistor in series


with the load between the input and output.
The error detector compares the sample voltage
with a reference voltage and causes the control
element to compensate in order to maintain a
constant output voltage.

Basic Op-amp Series


Regulator

Figure 6.6 Basic op-amp series regulator.

The resistor R2 and R3 sense a change in the output voltage


and provide a feedback voltage. The error detector compares
the feedback voltage with a Zener diode reference voltage.
The resulting difference voltage causes the transistor Q1
controls the conduction to compensate the variation of the
output voltage. The output voltage will be maintained at a

VOUT

R2
1 VREF
R3

The closed-loop voltage gain is:

R2
ACL 1
R3

(6-5)

EXAMPLE
Determine the output voltage for the
regulator in Figure below.

Answer: VOUT = 10.2 V

Series Regulator with constant-current


limiting
Current limiting prevents excessive load current. Q2
will conduct when the current through R4 develops 0.7
V across Q2s VBE. This reduces base current to Q1,
limiting the load current.
The current limit is:

I L(max)

0.7 V

R4

For example, a 1.4


resistor, limits current
to about 0.5 A.

Q1

VIN
R1

R4

VOUT

Q2
+

R2
Current limiter

R3

Regulator with Fold-back current


limiting
Fold-back current limiting drops the load current well
below the peak during overload conditions. Q2 conducts
when VR5 +VBE = VR4 and begins current limiting. VR5 is
found by applying the voltage-divider rule:

R5
VOUT
R

R
6
5

VR5

An overload causes VR5


to drop because VOUT
drops. This means that
less current is needed
to maintain conduction
in Q2 and the load
current drops.

Q1

R4

+VIN

VOUT

R5

R1
+

R2
R6

Q2

D1
R3