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Overvoltage protection for sensitive amplifier applications (2)

Posted: 10 Dec 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:overvoltage protection  shunting overvoltage  Zener diode 

Shunting overvoltage current to the supply rails means the power supplies must absorb the current. Many power supplies cannot sink current. Shunting overvoltage current to a supply that cannot sink current is acceptable if the total load connected to the power supply is larger than the fault current, or if overvoltage protection exists at the supply. If nothing within the circuit can sink the overvoltage current, the supply voltage will rise, causing potential damage to components connected to the supply.

A Zener diode can be used as an overvoltage protector that shunts fault current through ground via a current-limiting resistor. This is the second part of a series that helps you understand diode-based overvoltage protection in amplifier circuits and its implications.

View the PDF document for more information.

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