Voltage Regulators: The function of a voltage regulator is to provide a stable dc voltage to electronic circuits and capable of providing substantial

output current. If the element or component used for voltage regulation is connected series with the load, then it is called series voltage regulator and if it is connected across the load, it is called as shunt voltage regulator. 1. Zener diode voltage regulator 2. Transistor voltage regulator Zener diode voltage regulator: A Zener diode is a silicon P-N junction diode which is generally operated in reverse break down region. Zener diode is a specially designed P-N junction diode which is heavily doped in reverse biased condition. It allows the current to keep the voltage constant across the Zener diode at the Zener break down voltage. For example, A zener diode Fz 9.1V will maintain a constant voltage of 9.1V across the diode if the input greater than 9.1V. The Zener diode is therefore ideal for applications such as generating reference voltage in an amplifier or a voltage stabilizer for low-current applications. Generally the zener diode is connected in parallel with the load and hence it sis called as shunt regulator. A resistance RS is connected in series with the zener to limit the current flows in the circuit. Hence the resistance is called as series current limiting resistor. The output voltage (Vo) is taken across the load resistance (RL). Since the reverse bias characteristics of zener diode are used in voltage regulation, the input voltage is always maintained greater than zener voltage (Vz) for proper regulation. The circuit diagram for zener voltage regulator is shown in the fig.

Fig ± Zener voltage regulator The input current passing through the current limiting resistor RS is obtained as follows: 

where Vs ± the DC input voltage applied Vz ± the voltage across zener Ideally zener diode acts as a constant voltage source Vz. But practically there is a small resistance across zener causes a little voltage drop across it (Iz Rz). Therefore VL = Vz + Iz Rz Assume Rz 0 then the above equation becomes VL Vz .