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Difference between Unregulated and Regulated Power Supplies

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In general, a power source is an electrical device or circuit that provides power to another electrical device. There are two types of power supplies based on the type of output; Regulated and unregulated power supplies. The key difference between these two categories is that the output DC voltage in the regulated power supplies is regulated so that a change in input voltage is not reflected in the output. While the unregulated power supplies do not have a voltage regulation on the output. Although there are AC power supplies in use, regulated and unregulated power supplies generally refer to DC power supplies.

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What is a regulated power supply?

Voltage regulation refers to keeping the voltage at the desired level, which is suitable for the connected device. Regulated power supplies maintain voltage to provide a uniform voltage supply to sensitive electrical and electronic devices. The production of the regulated DC voltage is made possible through a series of sub-functions in a power supply.

 

What is an unregulated power supply?

There is no voltage regulation involved in the unregulated power supply. Apart from the voltage regulation block, all the blocks in the regulated power supply are also available in an unregulated power supply.

 

What is the difference between regulated and unregulated power supply?

Regulated vs unregulated power supply

Regulated power supplies can supply regulated DC voltage to sensitive electronic devices. Unregulated power supplies do not have a voltage regulation circuit; therefore, any variations in the AC input will be reflected in the output.

 

Cost

The unregulated power supplies are expensive as the production of the voltage regulation circuits is relatively costly.

Unregulated power supplies do not contain voltage regulation hence, are cheaper to produce.

 

Use

Regulated power supplies can be used on electronic devices such as televisions, computers, etc.

Unregulated power supply can be used on electrical devices that are not sensitive to small voltage variations like LED lamps, DC motors.

 

Output voltage:

In the regulated power supply, the current consumed by the load do not vary with the output voltage. That is, the voltage is independent of the charging current.

 

Summary

Power supplies are used to supply power to electrical and electronic devices. Most electronic devices use DC power for operation, and this DC power must have a clean and constant voltage.

Regulated power supplies convert the main AC voltage to a clean and constant DC voltage. The variations and noise in the input AC voltage are avoided at the output with the use of a voltage regulator circuit.

In contrast, the unregulated DC power supply does not have a voltage regulation circuit. However, it rectifies and filters the AC hence providing a rippled DC voltage. The output of the unregulated power supply will reflect variations and noise at the AC input unlike the regulated power supply. Output. However, these AC distortions can be mitigated by using smoothing capacitors at the output.

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