Unregulated Power Supply Definition & Meaning

An unregulated power supply is a system that transforms input voltage into direct current voltage without regulating one constant voltage. Unregulated power supplies are not as complex as regulated power supplies, and because they require less material and are less complex, they’re also cheaper.currentc

What do unregulated power supplies do?

Though an electrical item with an unregulated power supply will list one ideal output voltage from the manufacturer, its true output will depend on multiple factors, including the initial input voltage, current, and atmospheric conditions. The fluctuation of output voltage, due to the changes in input voltage, is called ripple.

Within an unregulated power supply are the transformer and the rectifier. The transformer steps down alternating current, which carries electrical signals across long distances and between buildings. This transmission requires a very high voltage, but circuits inside houses and businesses cannot handle it. The transformer decreases the voltage of alternating current (AC), and the rectifier forces AC to travel in one direction, changing it to direct current. Electrical circuits inside buildings use direct current (or DC).

Difference between an unregulated power supply and a regulated power supply

Unregulated power supplies are useful for electrical systems that don’t require one steady voltage. This can include some kinds of lamps and outdoor water systems.

Regulated power supplies contain a voltage regulator that constantly monitors voltage so that it’s constant. Regulated power supplies are required for all devices and technology. They’re also necessary for any electrical circuit that requires one constant voltage.

 

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Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

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