# Stability of voltage regulators

#### swagguy8

Dec 10, 2014
73
Hey guys
is it safe to put a 16v rated capacitor behind (to the output) of a 7815/7915 dual supply regulator? I have some lelons laying around that i want to use for the a hifi project. will the capacitors blow, or is the regulator stable enough to be at a constant 15v?

thanks

#### cjdelphi

Oct 26, 2011
1,166
If it's a linear, it will only output 15v max so it's safe, just keep an eye on the cap make sure it's not getting too warm

I have a 16v on a 19v feed (but with a constant load most of the time lol) works fine

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,043
Hey guys
is it safe to put a 16v rated capacitor behind (to the output) of a 7815/7915 dual supply regulator? I have some lelons laying around that i want to use for the a hifi project. will the capacitors blow, or is the regulator stable enough to be at a constant 15v?

thanks

you should be using a cap rated at around double the working voltage
so a 25 - 35V rated cap

If it's a linear, it will only output 15v max so it's safe, just keep an eye on the cap make sure it's not getting too warm

I have a 16v on a 19v feed (but with a constant load most of the time lol) works fine

seriously !! , that is not good advice

Dave

#### cjdelphi

Oct 26, 2011
1,166
Why not? 16v cap is fine for a 15v supply... it's done all the time, will it last as long? Prob not but that was not the question

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,043
it's done all the time,

not by any professional and qualified techs that are worth their salt

#### swagguy8

Dec 10, 2014
73
you should be using a cap rated at around double the working voltage
so a 25 - 35V rated cap

seriously !! , that is not good advice

Dave

i see where you're coming from, but i see big tech companies like hp and dell use 25v capacitors for their 20v power supplies all the time (i've opened up their power supplys). They also have a regulated circuit. Is 2 times the original really necassary, after it is linearly regulated. I know that it is not very advisable to do so, as it will suffer from longevity issues, but the high end capacitors like lelons supposedly are very stable and accurate.

#### AnalogKid

Jun 10, 2015
2,665
The vast majority of electronic components way outlast their ratings, life cycles, and other datasheet data. That's why a TV lasts 10 years when everything inside is rated for 1 year or less. And an amateur is free to run at the edge of the envelope with no serious consequences. But for a professional, serious means having to fly to Australia to repair a multimillion dollar system that is down because someone used a $1 part instead of a$3 part. It's a local call for Daven, but Ohio is 12 time zones and one hemisphere away.

Yes, according to the manufacturer, 16 V cap will be just fine on a 15 V regulator output - for 42 days. After that, all bets are off, there is no warranty coverage, and you are on the hook for any damage caused by the component's failure. 1000 hours, 6 weeks, good night. Sure it's done all the time, by people in situations where the total cost of a failure can be absorbed.

ak

Last edited:

Oct 26, 2011
1,166
Look, if this is powering a $$system then sure, a 19 - 24v is better than 16v but i kinda presumed it's not... As for professionals, absolutely they do, the amount of caps from samsung, acer who use 22v caps on 20v so many it's not funny and then i agree with you completely ... But is this a$$$tv/amp/etc or just a linear regulator to power a simple circuit? If so then 16v is absolutely fine, just don't expect it to last 10 years... I still stand by my answer in this instance... #### swagguy8 Dec 10, 2014 73 Look, if this is powering a $$system then sure, a 19 - 24v is better than 16v but i kinda presumed it's not... As for professionals, absolutely they do, the amount of caps from samsung, acer who use 22v caps on 20v so many it's not funny and then i agree with you completely ... But is this a$$$ tv/amp/etc or just a linear regulator to power a simple circuit? If so then 16v is absolutely fine, just don't expect it to last 10 years...

I still stand by my answer in this instance...

Don't worry, only a pair of NE5532s. and i have other capacitors that are less expensive ones before it, and they are rated @ 25v. i just want a cleaner signal, by getting rid of the fine residue with a lelon. I might considering not putting the lelon there, but i might just put it there and give it a shot, after all, the 7815/7915 is relatively stable.

#### Arouse1973

Dec 18, 2013
5,177
For what it's worth, I personally choose a support capacitor with a working voltage at least 50% higher than required. It does depend also on the circuit and load. You might need to go even higher than 50%. You see it's not just the regulator that can cause issues with cap ratings.

Example: 12V Wall wart supplying 2 Amps in pulses to a regulator supplied with a 1 m cable. So we choose a 16 Volt capacitor because the input is only 12 Volts right?......Wrong! The inductance of the cable can cause considerable fly-back voltages which could approach 50 Volts. So over time the capacitor fails and no one knows why. The same can happen on the output of the regulator.

I think it's even more important if you are going to be driving different loads with varying frequency.

The cost of the capacitor won't always be significant. Actually my boss would be pleased for me to increase the voltage on a capacitor. As the 35 Volt one I found was cheaper than the 25 Volt one specified for the same value

Just my opinion.

Thanks

Last edited:

#### cjdelphi

Oct 26, 2011
1,166
However, we're talking about a linear reg, if that starts outputing > 15v something failed in which case the capacitor is least of your worries...

#### Arouse1973

Dec 18, 2013
5,177
However, we're talking about a linear reg, if that starts outputing > 15v something failed in which case the capacitor is least of your worries...

Yes agreed CJ. I was merely sharing another view point of voltage rating of capacitors that can be overlooked.

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,043
However, we're talking about a linear reg, if that starts outputing > 15v something failed in which case the capacitor is least of your worries...

that's not even related to the discussion ... wouldn't matter what type of PSU, linear or switching

#### swagguy8

Dec 10, 2014
73
For what it's worth, I personally choose a support capacitor with a working voltage at least 50% higher than required. It does depend also on the circuit and load. You might need to go even higher than 50%. You see it's not just the regulator that can cause issues with cap ratings.

Example: 12V Wall wart supplying 2 Amps in pulses to a regulator supplied with a 1 m cable. So we choose a 16 Volt capacitor because the input is only 12 Volts right?......Wrong! The inductance of the cable can cause considerable fly-back voltages which could approach 50 Volts. So over time the capacitor fails and no one knows why. The same can happen on the output of the regulator.

I think it's even more important if you are going to be driving different loads with varying frequency.

The cost of the capacitor won't always be significant. Actually my boss would be pleased for me to increase the voltage on a capacitor. As the 35 Volt one I found was cheaper than the 25 Volt one specified for the same value

Just my opinion.

Thanks

thank you for your explanation, can you elaborate a little more on the part that you said about the fly back voltages, or lead me to some reference?

#### Arouse1973

Dec 18, 2013
5,177
No I don't have a reference but here is an example. 24 Volts with a rise time of 1 us and wire inductance of 200 nH. The output shows nearly 40 Volts, I know it only for a short amount of time but worse cases can damage capacitors over time. The capacitor can be its own demise.

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