power supply differences? in simple terms please

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Jim Nelson 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #7535

    Jeff Diaz
    Participant

    What is the difference between a regulated and unregulated power supply, in simple terms?


  • #7536

    Jim Nelson
    Participant

    With an unregulated power supply, the output voltage will vary depending on both input voltage and load. Even if the input voltage is fixed, the output voltage will be higher if lightly loaded or lower if heavily loaded. An unregulated power supplies would be a transformer, bridge rectifier or capacitor.

    With a regulated power supply, there is an additional voltage regulator in either linear or switch-mode. Voltage regulators use a feedback loop to constantly adjust voltage drop or duty cycle – for linear and switch modes, respectively – so that the output voltage will be constant regardless of load and input voltage.


  • #7537

    Jeff Diaz
    Participant

    Thank you!

    And, follow up question: are batteries regulated or unregulated? sorry if that’s a silly question.


  • #7538

    Jim Nelson
    Participant

    Batteries are not regulated because their output voltage changes with state of charge and load.


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