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Difference Between Regulated and Unregulated Power Supply
In the world of electronics, power supply plays an essential role. It provides the necessary power for electronic devices to function correctly. The power supply can either be regulated or unregulated. Both regulated and unregulated power supply has its advantages and disadvantages, and it's essential to understand the difference between them to make an informed decision on which type of power supply to use.
What is Regulated Power Supply?
Regulated power supply is a type of power supply that provides a constant output voltage despite variations in input voltage, load current, and temperature. The regulated power supply has an active circuit that continuously monitors the output voltage and adjusts it to maintain the specified output voltage. The regulated power supply is widely used in electronic devices that require a stable voltage, such as computers, telecommunication equipment, and industrial machinery.
One of the advantages of a regulated power supply is that it provides a stable output voltage regardless of variations in input voltage or load current. This feature ensures that the electronic device receives a consistent and stable power supply, which is essential in maintaining the reliability and performance of the device. Regulated power supply also offers protection against voltage fluctuations, overloads, and short circuits, which can damage the electronic device.
What is Unregulated Power Supply?
Unregulated power supply is a type of power supply that provides an output voltage that varies with changes in input voltage, load current, and temperature. The unregulated power supply does not have an active circuit that regulates the output voltage, making it simple and less expensive than regulated power supply. Unregulated power supply is commonly used in low-power electronic devices that do not require a stable voltage, such as small radios and toys.
The main advantage of an unregulated power supply is that it is simple and less expensive than regulated power supply. It does not require complex circuits, which makes it easier to design and manufacture. However, the main disadvantage of an unregulated power supply is that it provides an output voltage that varies with changes in input voltage, load current, and temperature. This variation can lead to a reduced performance and reliability of the electronic device.
Differences: Regulated and Unregulated Power Supply
The following table highlights the major differences between Regulated and Unregulated Power Supply −
Regulated Power Supply
Unregulated Power Supply
A regulated power supply is an embedded circuit which produces a constant output voltage irrespective of the changes in the input voltage or frequency and independent of the variations in the output load conditions.
It supplies a stable voltage to a device or circuit that must be operated within specified power supply limits.
An unregulated power supply is the one that provides a predetermined output based on the input and load voltage and even a little variation in the input directly affects the output voltage.
The output voltage of a regulated power supply stays at a predetermined value and is independent of the current drawn from the temperature on the top of any variations in the AC line voltage.
Any variation in the input voltage will not affect the output voltage because of a voltage stabilizing device called voltage regulator used.
The output voltage of an unregulated power supply, on the contrary, is not regulated meaning the output voltage changes as the load varies so they do not have voltage regulation.
The output voltage increases as the output current decreases and vice-versa.
The regulated power supplies are used for all applications that require an exact amount of output voltage such as television, computers, mobile chargers, appliances, medical and measurement devices as well as for electromechanical applications.
Because they maintain voltage at a desired level, they can be used in almost all kinds of electronic devices.
The unregulated power supplies can be used in applications where good regulation or low ripple is not required, such as LED lamps, relays, solenoids, actuators, DC motors and anything that is ideal for non-critical loads.
In summary, the main difference between regulated and unregulated power supply is that regulated power supply provides a stable output voltage, while unregulated power supply provides an output voltage that varies with changes in input voltage, load current, and temperature.
Regulated power supply is commonly used in electronic devices that require a stable voltage, while unregulated power supply is commonly used in low-power electronic devices that do not require a stable voltage.
While both types of power supply have their advantages and disadvantages, the choice of power supply depends on the specific requirements of the electronic device.
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