Any topic (Writer’s choice)

Introduction

A voltage regulator refers to a device used in maintaining a relatively constant level of voltage or output voltage despite the high variability of its input voltage (Harlow, 2007). There exists a wide variety of particular types of voltage regulators on the basis of the specific methods used in controlling the voltage in a circuit. It may include a negative feedback control loop or a simple feed-forward design (Rashid, 2010). In general, it functions through the comparison of the output voltage it produces to a fixed reference and subsequently reducing the difference with the help of a negative feedback loop. On the other hand, it may use electromagnetic components or electromechanical mechanism. A voltage mechanism may be used for regulating one or more DC or AC voltages depending on their particular design (López et al. 2011).

Electronic voltage components are often found in devices like computer power suppliers. Here, they help in stabilizing the DV voltages the processors and other elements use. They are also used to control the plant output in central power station generator plants. They are installed along distribution lines or at substations in an electric power distribution system to ensure that all customers receive stable or steady voltage regardless of the total power drawn from the line (Rashid, 2010).

Theory and background

Voltage regulators were discovered in 1800 by Alessandro Volta who developed the first electric battery. The invention of transformers, Silicon Controlled Rectifiers (SCR) and programmable digital computers led to the development of the third Generation Voltage Regulator. Within the third generation systems, transformers are used in changing the voltage from one value to the other (López et al. 2011). The increasing demand for electric grew and the increase in transmission distance, necessitated a shift from DC to AC, which generated higher voltage at lower amperage (Harlow, 2007). The higher AC voltage needed to be reduced at the end of the transmission wire to a level that consumers could use, hence the need for transformers which are efficient and cost effective. The voltage regulators were developed to generate fixed, constant output voltage with no regard to the input voltage or the load conditions, to a level that consumers could easily use (Kersting, 2007).

How does it work?

Voltage regulators are the go to components in case a constant, reliable voltage is required. They take an input voltage and then create output voltage that is regulated with no regard to the input voltage at either an adjustable voltage level or fixed voltage level; by selecting the correct outer components (Rashid, 2010). Several feedback techniques are used in handling this automatic regulation of the level of the output voltage, some as straightforward as a zener diode while others incorporate complicated feedback topologies that have the ability to enhance efficiency, performance, and reliability as well as boosting of output voltage over the input voltage to the voltage regulator (López et al. 2011).

Different voltage regulators work in different ways. For instance, linear voltage regulator uses a power transistor, MOSFET or BJT) as a feedback signal to maintain a fixed voltage having uncertain and potentially worse input as the transistor helps in knowing the adjustments that should be made (Rashid, 2010).  The power transistor behaves as the voltage divider network’ s first half whose output acts as a feedback that drives the power transistor suitably to ensure there is a constant, steady output voltage (Harlow, 2007). However, the power transistor results in substantial energy loss since it behaves like a resistor thereby converting the energy to lots of heat. On the other hand, Zener diode is a linear regulator which is a shun regulator providing a path to the ground for the excess current and voltage to flow through. On the contrary, a switching voltage regulators works on a completely different way than the linear one. It stores energy at a define level and then utilizes feedback in maintaining the charge level with minimal voltage ripple (Salivahanan & Bhaaskaran, 2008). The switching regulator is much more efficient than the linear regulator because it turns a transistor entirely on only when a burst of energy is required by the energy storage circuit thereby reducing the total power wasted because of transistors’ resistance. Switching regulators need a way of varying their output voltage in response to the changes in input and output voltages. The main approach is to utilize PWM as it regulates the contribution to the related power switch that then regulates its duty cycle. When operating, the filtered output voltage of the regulator is fed back to the PWM regulator to monitor the duty cycle. In the event that the filtered output has a tendency of changing, the feedback connected to the PWM controller fluctuates the duty cycle to keep up a steady output voltage (Kersting, 2007).

Applications

Voltage regulators are utilized to compensate for the fluctuations in the mains control. For instance, large voltage regulators are permanently introduced on distribution lines while small portable ones are plugged in between equipments that are sensitive and a wall outlet (Salivahanan & Bhaaskaran, 2008). They are installed along distribution lines or at substations in an electric power distribution system to ensure that all customers receive stable or steady voltage regardless of the total power drawn from the line (Harlow, 2007). However, automatic voltage regulators are often used on ships’ generator ships, oil rigs, and emergency power supplies to help in stabilizing fluctuations in the demand for power. For instance, when an extensive machine is turned on, power demand is all of a sudden a lot higher and therefore the voltage regulator is needed to make up for the adjustment in load. In addition, voltage controllers are utilized as a part of gadgets like ventilation systems, televisions, refrigerators or coolers, and so forth so as to shield them from fluctuating input voltage. On the other hand, electronic voltage components are installed in computer power suppliers where they help in stabilizing the DV voltages the processors and other elements use. Additionally, they are used to regulate the plant output in central power station generator plants as well as in the automobile alternators (Kersting, 2007).

Conclusion

A voltage regulator ensures a relatively constant level of voltage or output voltage despite the high variability of its input voltage. It was developed to help reduce a higher AC voltage to a level consumers could use. A linear voltage regulator works by using a power transistor as a feedback signal to maintain a fixed voltage; having uncertain and potentially worse input as the transistor helps in knowing the adjustments that should be made to lower the voltage. Switching voltage regulators uses PWM as it regulates the contribution to the related power switch that then regulates its duty cycle (Salivahanan & Bhaaskaran, 2008). Electronic voltage components are used in computer power suppliers to stabilize the DV voltages the processors and other elements use. Also, they regulate the plant output in central power station generator plants as well as in the automobile alternators. Additionally, they are installed along distribution lines or at substations in an electric power distribution system to ensure that all customers receive stable or steady voltage regardless of the total power drawn from the line.

Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100
Use the following coupon code :
SKYSAVE