voltage drop across the zener

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by samjesse, Aug 23, 2009.

1. samjesse Thread Starter Active Member

Sep 14, 2008
202
0
Hi
what is the voltage drop across a 9.1v Zener connected in a circuit which has a battery of 18v.
is it 8.9 i.e. (18 - 9.1) or is it 9.1v which is what the Zener suppose to maintain across its terminals all the time regardless of the source voltage?

thx

2. hgmjr Moderator

Jan 28, 2005
9,030
214
Connecting a 9.1 volt zener directly across an 18V battery will most likely damage/destroy the zener. A zener, like a diode, is intended to be used with a current limiting resistance in series with it and the voltage source.

hgmjr

3. samjesse Thread Starter Active Member

Sep 14, 2008
202
0
I understand the connection but the questions was about something else. it is weather the voltage drop across the zener is 9.1v or it drops the voltage by 9.1v and lets the rest passes.

4. Ron H AAC Fanatic!

Apr 14, 2005
7,050
657
The short answer is that the voltage across the zener is the zener voltage rating.

The drop across the zener will be nominally 9.1V, but even if you have the zener current set exactly at spec, a 5% tolerance part could drop between 8.65V and 9.55V.

5. rspuzio Active Member

Jan 19, 2009
77
0
The voltage drop has a slight dependence on current (but much
less than a resistor or a regular diode, which is why Zener diodes are
used as voltage references) so, to get 9.1 volts (or whatever the
exact value happens to be for your unit), you need to operate
the diode at close to the recommended current. (This is the Zener
current referred to in the previous post.) In the scenario you
describe with the battery, an easy way to do this would be to put an
appropriate resistor in series with the diode.

Last edited: Aug 23, 2009