6 Difference Between Shunt Voltage Regulator And Series Voltage Regulator

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A voltage regulator is an electronic device which can sustain the voltage of power supply within required limits. When a reliable and steady reliable is required, then the voltage regulator is the preferred device. It gives a fixed output voltage that remains constant for any changes in an input voltage or load conditions. It acts as shield for protecting components from damages.

The main property of the DC voltage regulator is, if there is any change in the I/P voltage, the O/P of the voltage regulator will be constant. And further we can adjust the O/P voltage according to our requirements. There are two main types of DC voltage regulator depending upon the type of connection:

  • Series Voltage Regulator
  • Shunt Voltage Regulator

Shunt Voltage Regulator

A shunt voltage regulator operates by providing a path from the supply voltage to the ground through a variable resistance.  From the load, current is shunted away from the load to the ground. Shunt regulators are widely used because they are cheap, effective and simple sometimes consists of just a voltage-reference diode and is used in very low-powered circuits wherein the wasted current is too small to be of concern. A shunt regulator can only sink (absorb) current.

Shunt regulators are used in:

  • Precision current limiters
  • Analog and digital circuits that require precision references
  • Error Amplifiers
  • Current source and sink circuits
  • Voltage monitoring
  • Adjustable voltage or current linear and switching power supplies

There are two types of Shunt Voltage Regulator, they include:

  • Discrete Transistor Shunt Voltage Regulator
  • Zener Controlled Transistor  Shunt Voltage Regulator

What You Need To Know About Shunt Voltage Regulator

  1. Shunt voltage regulator is connected in parallel/shunt with the load.
  2. Shunt voltage regulator has good voltage regulation even at high load currents.
  3. The regulator is suitable for light loads.
  4. In the shunt voltage regulator, the output DC voltage is constant.
  5. In the shunt voltage, the control element has to bear the load voltage across it. Therefore, it is a high voltage low current device.
  6. Shunt voltage regulator has good efficiency for low load current.

What Is A Series Voltage Regulator?

The series voltage regulator also referred to as the series pass regulator and is the most preferred approach for providing the final voltage regulation in a linear regulated power supply and is able to provide high level of performance, especially when low noise, ripple and transients are required in the regulated output. Depending on the design, it may be used to regulate one or more AC or DC voltages.

Voltage regulators are used in:

  • Used in devices such as computer power supplies where they stabilize the DC voltages used by the processor and other elements.
  • In automobiles alternator of internal combustion engines to regulate the alternator output.
  • Central power station generator plants
  • Electric power system

There are two types of Series Voltage Regulator, they include:

  • Discrete Transistor Series Voltage Regulator
  • Zener Diode as voltage regulator

What You Need To Know About Series Voltage Regulator

  1. Series voltage regulator is connected in series with the load.
  2. Series voltage regulator does not have an effective voltage regulation at high load currents.
  3. The regulator is suitable for heavy loads.
  4. In the series voltage regulator, the output DC voltage is not constant.
  5. In the series voltage, the control element has to carry the load current. Therefore, it is high current low voltage device.
  6. Series voltage regulator has good efficiency for higher load currents.

Difference Between Shunt Voltage Regulator And Series Voltage Regulator In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON SHUNT VOLTAGE REGULATOR SERIES VOLTAGE REGULATOR
Connection Shunt voltage regulator is connected in parallel/shunt with the load.   Series voltage regulator is connected in series with the load.  
High Load Currents Shunt voltage regulator has good voltage regulation even at high load currents.   Series voltage regulator does not have an effective voltage regulation at high load currents.  
Suitability The regulator is suitable for light loads.   The regulator is suitable for heavy loads.  
Output DC In the shunt voltage regulator, the output DC voltage is constant.   In the series voltage regulator, the output DC voltage is not constant.  
Control Element In the shunt voltage, the control element has to bear the load voltage across it. Therefore, it is a high voltage low current device.   In the series voltage, the control element has to carry the load current. Therefore, it is high current low voltage device.  
Efficiency Shunt voltage regulator has good efficiency for low load current.   Series voltage regulator has good efficiency for higher load currents.