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What is the difference or similarity between a DC-DC Converter and a Voltage regulator?

Are they the same thing?

I know that dc-dc- converter can raise/lower the voltage accordingly.

But what about the voltage regulator ?

What does that do in accordance with the DC-DC Converter?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A voltage regulator is strictly a DC device. Look at it as a variable resistor in series with the input voltage. A feedback loop adjusts the resistance (actually a power transistor) so that the output voltage is maintained at the desired value.

    A voltage regulator can only lower the voltage, and it needs about 3 volts across it to operate. The input current is equal to the output current, and the reduced voltage is lost as heat.

    A DC-DC converter is more complicated. Basically the input DC voltage is converted to AC then sent to a transformer or choke to be changed to a higher or lower voltage, which is then rectified and filtered to produce the output DC voltage. A feedback loop controls the input chopper to adjust the output voltage to the desired value.

    DC-DC converter is much more expensive than a linear regulator, but much more efficient. It can convert, for example, 15 volts at 1 amp to 5 volts at 3 amps (or 2.7 amps for 10% losses) whereas a linear regulator can output only 5 volts at 1 amp.

    The DC-DC converter can also step up the voltage and provide isolation, neither of which the linear regulator can do.


  • 5 years ago

    A DC-DC converter actually is a type of voltage regulator. However, it specifically converts DC to AC (or pulsed DC) and then back to DC again at a different potential. Therefore, the output DC voltage may be either greater (boost regulator) or lesser (buck regulator) than was the input DC voltage. Commonly though, when one says, "voltage regulator" it brings to mind an output (regulated) voltage that will be lower then the input (raw) voltage, as in a the operation of a linear regulator. WK

  • krk
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Dc-Dc converter woks only on Dc potential.where as, a voltage regulator maintains voltage at a designed level.Ac voltage regulator and Dc voltage regulator both are different in working principles.

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