Voltage Regulator Losses

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Dawud Beale, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Dawud Beale

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    275
    7
    I was just wondering, do you lose anything form using a voltage regulator? I'm using a 9V battery in a circuit with an IC that requires 5V and Im not sure whether to use the voltage regulator on the whole circuit or just the IC components?

    As your losing 4V is that just simply lost? as I have to power a fair bit of components on my circuit I dont want to end up with a weak brightness on my LED's or anything
     
  2. Dawud Beale

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    275
    7
    Also won't the potential difference of the circuit be a lot less than 9v by the time it gets to the IC as it has to go through a 555 timer etc which has 1k resistors, capacitors etc, so wouldnt the potential going into the IC be a lot less than 9V?
     
  3. StayatHomeElectronics

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    864
    40
    The 4 volts dropped across the regulator results in power loss as well. Power is the current through the regulator multiplied by the voltage dropped across the regulator. If you power your entire circuit through the regulator you will be losing nearly 45% of your battery power to heat in the regulator. This may or may not be acceptable for your design.

    You can possibly gain some efficiency by powering other components directly from the battery, depends on the design.
     
  4. Dawud Beale

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    275
    7
    Oh and does it matter if all of the components pass through the GND pin of the voltage regulator before going to ground (negative pin of 9V battery)
     
  5. StayatHomeElectronics

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    864
    40
    Everything can, and in most cases should, be connected to the same ground point. As long as your components are connected with wire back to the battery negative terminal, the regulator ground can be in the wire path, you should be o.k.

    Provide a schematic if you have more specific questions...
     
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