Power supply protection circuit

Posted on Oct 4, 2012

When using a regulated supply to reduce a supply voltage there is always the danger of component failure in the supply and consequent damage to the equipment. A fuse will protect when excess current is drawn, but might be too slow to cope with overvoltage conditions. The values shown are for a 12 V supply being dropped to 5 V. The trip voltage is set to 5.7 V to protect the equipment in the event of a regulator fault. The 330 ohm resistor and the 500 ohm potentiometer form a potential divider which samples the output voltage as set by adjustment of the potentiometer. The SCR is selected to carry at least twice the fuse rating.

Power supply protection circuit
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The full supply voltage is connected to the input of the regulator. The 2N2906 is held bias off by the 10 k resistor and the SCR so that the LED is held off. If the output voltage rises above a set trip value then the SCR will conduct, the fuse will blow, and the 2N3906 will be supplied with base current via the 10 k resistor, and the LED will light up.

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