LM317 Regulator Question

Thread Starter


Joined Feb 9, 2008
With regard to the LM317 regulator circuit attached below,
could somebody tell me is it possible to connect another LM317 regulator ic in parallel to the one in this diagram, to achieve a regulator circuit capable of handling 3A, instead of 1.5A.

Can LM317 regulators be connected directly in parallel to one another in order to handle more current?

Thanks for your help.
Regards NM
Hi NM,

The datasheet for the LM317 shows how to connect three in parallel to boost the current to 4A. Several additional components are necessary in order to keep them regulated and for compensating for output variations.

It also shows how to do it with one regulator and some bypass elements.

The datasheet can be found here: http://www.national.com/ds/LM/LM117.pdf


Joined Jul 17, 2007
You could use an LM338 5A positive regulator: http://octopart.com/search?q=LM338
or an LM350 3A positive regulator: http://octopart.com/search?q=LM350

You'll need to watch your power dissipation. If you're considering using a circuit like this in an automotive application, the system voltage will be around 14. With a 7v output, the regulator will be dissipating as much power as the load; with a 3A draw, that's 21 Watts. You'll need a big heatsink.


Joined May 22, 2008
Why don't you better try LM2576.It can provide 3A output current.It has fixed 5v output voltage version as well as 3.3V, 5V, 12V, 15V, and adjustable output versions.
LM2576 Wide input voltage range, 40V up to 60V.


Thread Starter


Joined Feb 9, 2008
Why is the method ruleworld stated not recommended?

I take it that when
3 of them in parallel
is mentioned, he means setting up three lm317 regulator circuits, then paralleling their output pins.

Will the regulator break down after time, by doing it this way?

Could someone tell me why this is not done.
Regards NM


Joined Jan 26, 2008
Could someone tell me why this is not done.
Regards NM
Current hogging. In a parallel arrangement, if one regulator starts "hogging" the load current the other regulators may not carry their portion of the load current. The one that is "hogging" more than its share of the load current may overheat with unsatifactory results. The additional components in circuits with parallel series pass transistors, regulators, etc. are intended to balance the currents in the parallel branches. Regards. JJ