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09-17-2015

Shunt regulator monitors battery voltage

TL431

Vladimir Rentyuk

EDN

A TL431 shunt regulator is a perfect choice for many applications. You can use it as a comparator with hysteresis by taking advantage of its inner voltage reference along with few additional components. You can use this comparator with hysteresis, like a Schmitt trigger, as a simple battery monitor (Figure 1). You calculate the threshold voltage, VT+, of this comparator as

 

where VREF, the internal reference voltage of shunt-regulator TL431, is 2.5 V.

Shunt regulator monitors battery voltage
Figure 1. A shunt regulator and associated circuitry function as a
Schmitt trigger, lighting LED1 when the battery is fully charged.

When the battery voltage is higher than the threshold voltage, the cathode voltage of the TL431 is at its low level of approximately 2 V, and transistor Q1 turns on, lighting LED1. You calculate the release voltage, VT–, of the trigger as

 

When the battery voltage is less than the release voltage, the cathode voltage of the TL431 goes to its high level – to the battery voltage. Transistor Q1 turns off, and LED1 does not shine. LED1 turns on again when the battery voltage, after recharging, exceeds the threshold voltage.

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