Switching power supplies

Dariusz Czarkowski, Mariusz Bojarski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Power supplies for modern electronic systems should be small, lightweight, reliable, and efficient. Linear power regulators, whose principle of operation is based on a voltage or current divider, are inefficient. They are limited to output voltages smaller than the input voltage. Also, their power density is low because they require low-frequency (50 or 60 Hz) line transformers and filters. Linear regulators can, however, provide a very high-quality output voltage. Their main area of application is at low power levels as low dropout voltage regulators. Semiconductor components in linear regulators operate in their active (linear) modes. At higher power levels, switching regulators are used. Switching regulators use power electronic semiconductor switches in on and off states. Since there is a small power loss in those states (low voltage across a switch in the on state, zero current through a switch in the off state), switching regulators can achieve high-energy conversion efficiencies. Modern power electronic switches can operate at high frequencies. The higher the operating frequency, the smaller and lighter the transformers, filter inductors, and capacitors. In addition, dynamic characteristics of converters improve with increasing operating frequencies. The bandwidth of a control loop is usually determined by the corner frequency of the output filter. Therefore, high operating frequencies allow for achieving a fast dynamic response to rapid changes in the load current and/or the input voltage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPower Electronic Converters and Systems
Subtitle of host publicationFrontiers and Applications
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781849198271
ISBN (Print)9781849198264
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • DC-DC power convertors
  • Input voltage
  • Linear regulators
  • Load current
  • Low dropout voltage regulators
  • Power electronic semiconductor switches
  • Power semiconductor switches
  • Switched mode power supplies
  • Switching power supplies
  • Switching regulators
  • Voltage regulators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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