How Converters Consider Line Regulation and Load Regulation

Line regulation and load regulation are the two most common types of specifications that buyers should consider when selecting converters for various applications. These measurements can be considered important factors in enabling more efficient functioning of the converter.

Line regulation and load regulation are the two most common types of specifications that buyers should consider when selecting converters for various applications. These measurements can be considered important factors in enabling more efficient functioning of the converter.

Line regulation is the ability of the module to maintain a constant output voltage as the line (input) voltage changes. Load regulation refers to the module’s ability to maintain a constant output voltage as the load current changes.

Line regulation and load regulation are the two most common types of converter measurements. Although straightforward, there are some simple guidelines that will help ensure accurate readings.

To check if the module is stable, measure the output voltage on the sense pins (+SENSE and -SENSE). In fact, no current flows through the sense leads, so there is no significant voltage drop between them. Therefore, taking a measurement on the sense pin is equivalent to taking a measurement at the point where the sense lead is connected to the output lead.

Instead, there may be a significant voltage drop between the module’s output terminals and the load. This voltage drop varies with load current and can lead to incorrect regulation values.

Line conditioning

The remote sensing terminal should always be connected to the output at the output terminal or load. (Connect C SENSE to -OUT and +SENSE to +OUT.)


Figure 1 Details of line (input) voltage regulation measurement circuit

Connect the DVM to the sense terminal. Change the input voltage from minimum to maximum. The output voltage change (expressed as a percentage of the nominal output voltage) is the line regulation. See Figure 1.

load regulation


Figure 2 Details of the load regulation measurement circuit

Connect the DVM to the sense terminal. Change the load current from zero to maximum. The output voltage change (expressed as a percentage of the nominal output voltage) is the load regulation. See Figure 2.

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