Load Regulation

NI DC Power Supplies and SMUs Help (NI-DCPower)

Edition Date: January 2018

Part Number: 370736U-01

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Load regulation is a measure of the ability of an output channel to remain constant given changes in the load. Depending on the control mode enabled on the output channel, the load regulation specification can be expressed in one of two ways:

  • In constant voltage mode, variations in output current result in changes in the output voltage. This variation is expressed as a percentage of output voltage range per amp of current change or as a change in voltage per amp of current change, and is synonymous with a series resistance.

    When using local sense in constant voltage mode, the load regulation specification defines how close the output series resistance is to 0 Ω—the series resistance of an ideal voltage source. Many supplies have protection circuitry at the output that slightly increases the output series resistance. You can use Remote Sense, if supported by your device, to improve the load regulation performance, even while maintaining a 2-wire configuration. Configure the channel for Remote Sense and connect the sense terminals externally to their respective output terminals (connect Sense – to Output –, and Sense + to Output +).

  • In constant current mode, variations in load voltage result in changes to the output current. This variation is typically expressed as a percentage of output current range per volt of output change, and is synonymous with a resistance in parallel with the output channel terminals. In constant current mode, the load regulation specification defines how close the output shunt resistance is to infinity—the parallel resistance of an ideal current source. In fact, when load regulation is specified in constant current mode, parallel resistance is expressed as 1/load regulation.

Related Topics

Constant Current Mode

Constant Voltage Mode

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