How Do Voltage Regulators Work?

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How Do Voltage Regulators Work?
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Basics

A voltage regulator is a device inside an electronic device to make sure that the device maintains a consistent voltage level. A voltage regulator can regulate both AC and DC current. Some regulators are designed to measure multiple sources of AC and DC current.

How It Works

Voltage regulators work by gauging the actual voltage output of a device against a reference voltage inside of the device. If there is a difference between the actual voltage and the reference voltage, that difference is amplified and used to reduce voltage errors. The more stable a voltage regulator is, the slower it is to respond. This is because of the regulator is either increasing the gain of the input on the device or lowering the gain of the device at the output level. Some regulators will shut down the device they are installed in if the current draw exceeds a certain level.

Where Voltage Regulators are Used

All electrical devices have a voltage regulator circuit. The reason for this is that if a device were to lack a voltage regulator it would constantly be susceptible to damage from receiving too much voltage or would be underpowered due to a lack of voltage. Voltage regulators keep electrical devices running efficiently, requiring less maintenance and lasting longer.

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