Constructing a Universal Power Supply using LM317

This is a basic,  Universal Power Supply voltage regulator circuit using an LM317, 3-terminal regulator in a TO-220package. The Universal Power Supply output voltage can be set to anywhere in the range one.5V to 30V by selecting resistances. By using a potentiometer, R2, as of the resistors you can dial up the output voltage wanted. Either AC or DC input can be supplied to the PCB by a socket or terminal block. Connection can be either way around. This is because they have provided a bridge rectifier on board. The input DC voltage to the regulator must be at least two.5V above the necessary output voltage. An off/on switch is provided.

For lots of applications (say 12V at 60mA) a heat sink won't be required. The LM317 will provide slightly higher output voltages than 30 volts. However, for most hobbyists over 30V won't be needed. So to make a small PCB they have used some electrolytic capacitors rated to 35 volts. To be safe for continuous operation the maximum input DC voltage to the regulator ought to not be over 33V. With a two.5V to three.0V drop across the regulator this will give a regulated output of 30V. You can draw up to one.5A from the LM317. In case you need higher then use an LM338T rated to 5A.

When outside capacitors are used with any IC regulator it is lovely practice to add protection diodes to prevent the capacitors discharging back in to the regulator in the event of abnormal operating conditions, like a sudden short circuit on the input or the output, or a back emf from an inductive load. That is the function of D one and D Two.

The worth of R1 can range anywhere from 120R to 1200R However, circuits from most other sources settle on using either 220R or 250R. They have used 240R or 250R. The voltage drop across R1is one.25V for all values, and this is the key to the design. one.25V is the reference voltage of the regulator. Whatever current flows through R1 also flows through R2, and the sum of the voltage drops across R1 and R2 is the output voltage. (Additional current Id also flows in R2 but it is usually 50uA so is negligible.)

The design formula are:
VOUT = 1.25 (1 + R2/R1) volts, or alternatively
R2/R1 = (VOUT/1.25) - 1

So in case you know VOUT & R1 is 250R then you can calculate R2. In case you find that the 5K potentiometer used forR2 does not give you the degree of fine control over the voltage output range that you need then you can use these formula to fine-tune R1 & R2 to better suited values.

Universal Power Supply Schematic Diagram


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