The LM317 specifies that is an adjustable three-terminal positive-voltage regulator capable of supplying more than 1.5 A over an output-voltage range of 1.25 V to 37 V. It is exceptionally easy to use and requires only two external resistors to set the output voltage. Furthermore, both line and load regulation are better than standard fixed regulators.
- output voltage range adjustable from 1.25V to 37V
- output current greater than 1.5A
- internal short-circuit current limiting
- thermal overload protection
- output safe-area compensation
The LM317 is versatile in its applications, including uses in programmable output regulation and local on-card regulation. Or, by connecting a fixed resistor between the ADJUST and OUTPUT terminals, the LM317 can function as a precision current regulator. An optional output capacitor can be added to improve transient response. The ADJUST terminal can be bypassed to achieve very high ripple-rejection ratios, which are difficult to achieve with standard three-terminal regulators.
Working of Voltage Regulator LM317 Circuit
The LM317 regulator can provide excess output current and hence with this capacity, it is conceptually considered as an operational amplifier. The adjustment pin is the inverting input of the amplifier and to produce a stable reference voltage of 1.25V, an internal bandgap reference voltage is used to set the non-inverting input.
The output pin voltage can be continuously adjusted to a fixed amount using a resistive-voltage divider between the output and ground, which will configure the operational amplifier as a non-inverting amplifier.
A bandgap reference voltage is used to produce constant output voltage irrespective of the changes in supply power. It is also called as temperature independent reference voltage frequently used in integrated circuits.
The output voltage (ideally) of the LM317 voltage regulator circuit
Vout = Vref * (1+ (RL/RH))
An error term is added because some quiescent current flows from the adjustment pin of the device.
Vout = Vref * (1+(RL/RH)) + IQR
For achieving more stable output, the LM317 voltage regulator circuit diagram is designed such that to make the quiescent current less than or equal to 100 micro Ampere. Thus, in all practical cases the error can be ignored.
If we replace the low-side resistor of the divider from the LM317 voltage regulator circuit diagram with the load, then the resulting configuration of the LM317 regulator will regulate the current to a load. Hence, this LM317 circuit can be treated as LM317 Current Regulator Circuit.