Kularatna, N. & Fernando, J. (2009). A supercapacitor technique for efficiency improvement in linear regulators. In Proceedings of IECON ’09 35th Annual Conference of IEEE Industrial Electronics, 3-5 November 2009 (pp. 132-135). Washington, DC, USA: IEEE.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4609
Paper describes a novel supercapacitor based approach to recover the wasted energy in linear regulators. In this US patent pending technique, a single supercapacitor or an array of supercapacitors could be coupled with a linear series or shunt regulator, where the supercapacitors are charged by the input current of the regulator. This supercapacitor technique, by maintaining the dropout voltage limit before a new capacitor is placed in the series path, recovers the energy and does not use the supercapacitors for voltage conversion. Average efficiency of the overall circuit is improved by a significant amount, while maintaining the useful hall marks of a linear regulator. An example of a 12 to 5 volt proof of concept circuit is detailed with an overall efficiency improvement from 42% to over 78%. The technique is versatile, and, can be developed further to compete with the higher efficiency switching power supplies.