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What about Zener diodes to regulate

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  • What about Zener diodes to regulate

    So how about a Zener diode used to regulate the voltage at 12V? If I remember correctly zener diodes regulate at a specified voltage, in this case it would be 12Vs. I believe the only requirement is the input voltage has to be above 12V. Are there power draw concerns I am overlooking?

    I dont believe the solution would be that simple but I have been reading this forum for a while and it is burning me up why I have not heard anyone mention this yet?
    1999 Ford Contour SVT
    Via M9000

  • #2
    Most zener diodes can only dissipate a small amount of power (1W seems to be the biggest commonly available). Most three terminal fixed voltage regulators are essentially a zener diode with a transistor to allow it to pass higher currents. The problem is a single zener cant handle the current required and adding the transistor produces a voltage drop and requires a higher input voltage.


    • #3
      Also a car can drop below 12v at idle and starting so it would do nothing for that and would not filter small spikes and other noise.