Engineering Q&A
What are the disadvantages of the linear regulator? how are they overcome in the switching regulator? What is continuous and discontinuous mode switching regulator?
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Disadvantages of the linear regulator:

  • Linear regulator waste power in the form of heat.
  • Linear regulator has very low efficiency.
  • Linear regulator cannot be used for the step-up purpose.
  • Linear regulator is not suitable for large power applications.
  • Linear regulator has only one output.

Advantages of switching regulator over linear regulator:
  • Switching regulator have more efficiency than the linear regulator. Switching regulator have about 70 to 90 percent efficiency.
  • Switching regulator is used for both step-up and step-down operations.
  • The cost and size of the switching regulator are advantageous as compared to the linear regulator for larger applications.
  • By adding windings switching regulator can provide more than one output voltage.

Continuous mode and discontinuous mode switching regulator:
  • In the continuous mode switching regulator, the switch is turned on before the stored energy in secondary winding gets empty.
  • In Discontinuous mode switching regulator switch is turn on after the stored energy in secondary winding gets empty.
  • This is the difference between continuous mode and discontinuous mode switching regulator.
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