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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2-25V 5A Power Supply Using LM338

This circuit is a circuit diagram power supply circuit uses a LM338 adjustable 3 terminal regulator to supply a current of up to 5A over a variable output voltage of 2V to 25V DC. It will come in handy to power up many electronic circuits when you are assembling or building any electronic devices. The schematic and parts list are designed for a power supply input of 240VAC. Change the ratings of the components if 110V AC power supply input is required. The mains input is applied to the circuit through fuse F1. The fuse will blow if a current greater than 8A is applied to the system. Varistor V1 is used to clamp down any surge of voltage from the mains to protect the components from breakdown. Transformer T1 is used to step down the incoming voltage to 24V AC where it is rectified by the four diodes D1, D2, D3 and D4. Electrolytic capacitor E1 is used to smoothen the ripple of the rectified DC voltage.
Diodes D5 and D6 are used as a protection devices to prevent capacitors E2 and E3 from discharging through low current points into the regulator. Capacitor C1 is used to bypass high frequency component from the circuit. Ensure that a large heat sink is mounted to LM338 to transfer the heat generated to the atmosphere.
2-25V Power Supply Parts List

Regulated 12 Volt Supply

This circuit above uses a 13 volt zener diode, D2 which provides the voltage regulation. Aprroximately 0.7 Volts are dropped across the transistors b-e junction, leaving a higher current 12.3 Volt output supply. This circuit can supply loads of up to 500 mA.This circuit is also known as an amplified zener circuit.

Transformerless Power Supply

If you are not experienced in dealing with it, then leave this project alone.Although Mains equipment can itself consume a lot of current, the circuits we build to control it, usually only require a few milliamps. Yet the low voltage power supply is frequently the largest part of the construction and a sizeable portion of the cost.
This circuit will supply up to about 20ma at 12 volts. It uses capacitive reactance instead of resistance; and it doesn't generate very much heat.The circuit draws about 30ma AC. Always use a fuse and/or a fusible resistor to be on the safe side. The values given are only a guide. There should be more than enough power available for timers, light operated switches, temperature controllers etc, provided that you use an optical isolator as your circuit's output device. (E.g. MOC 3010/3020) If a relay is unavoidable, use one with a mains voltage coil and switch the coil using the optical isolator.C1 should be of the 'suppressor type'; made to be connected directly across the incoming Mains Supply. They are generally covered with the logos of several different Safety Standards Authorities. If you need more current, use a larger value capacitor; or put two in parallel; but be careful of what you are doing to the Watts. The low voltage 'AC' is supplied by ZD1 and ZD2.
The bridge rectifier can be any of the small 'Round', 'In-line', or 'DIL' types; or you could use four separate diodes. If you want to, you can replace R2 and ZD3 with a 78 Series regulator. The full sized ones will work; but if space is tight, there are some small 100ma versions available in TO 92 type cases. They look like a BC 547. It is also worth noting that many small circuits will work with an unregulated supply. You can, of course, alter any or all of the Zenner diodes in order to produce a different output voltage. As for the mains voltage, the suggestion regarding the 110v version is just that, a suggestion. I haven't built it, so be prepared to experiment a little.

I get a lot of emails asking if this power supply can be modified to provide currents of anything up to 50 amps. It cannot. The circuit was designed to provide a cheap compact power supply for Cmos logic circuits that require only a few milliamps. The logic circuits were then used to control mains equipment (fans, lights, heaters etc.) through an optically isolated triac. If more than 20mA is required it is possible to increase C1 to 0.68uF or 1uF and thus obtain a current of up to about 40mA. But 'suppressor type' capacitors are relatively big and more expensive than regular capacitors; and increasing the current means that higher wattage resistors and zener diodes are required. If you try to produce more than about 40mA the circuit will no longer be cheap and compact, and it simply makes more sense to use a transformer.

Dual Regulated Power Supply

In this circuit, the 7815 regulatates the positive supply, and the 7915 regulates the negative supply. The transformer should have a primary rating of 240/220 volts for europe, or 120 volts for North America. The centre tapped secondary coil should be rated about 18 volts at 1 amp or higher,allowing for losses in the regulator. An application for this type of circuit would be for a small regulated bench power supply.

12 Volt 30 amp Supply

The input transformer is likely to be the most expensive part of the entire project. As an alternative, a couple of 12 Volt car batteries could be used. The input voltage to the regulator must be at least several volts higher than the output voltage (12V) so that the regulator can maintain its output. If a transformer is used, then the rectifier diodes must be capable of passing a very high peak forward current, typically 100amps or more. The 7812 IC will only pass 1 amp or less of the output current, the remainder being supplied by the outboard pass transistors. As the circuit is designed to handle loads of up to 30 amps, then six TIP2955 are wired in parallel to meet this demand. The dissipation in each power transistor is one sixth of the total load, but adequate heat sinking is still required. Maximum load current will generate maximum dissipation, so a very large heat sink is required. In considering a heat sink, it may be a good idea to look for either a fan or water cooled heat sink. In the event that the power transistors should fail, then the regulator would have to supply full load current and would fail with catastrophic results. A 1 amp fuse in the regulators output prevents a safeguard. The 400mohm load is for test purposes only and should not be included in the final circuit.