How TVS Diodes Work To Protect Your Circuit

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Written By Larious

Larious is the Executive Editor of LowkeyTech. He is a tech enthusiast and a content writer. 





Last Updated on March 4, 2020 by Larious

Many electrical devices or electronic circuit requires the protection of a TVS diode. A diode is an electronic device with two transmitting terminals that allow an electrical current to flow in one direction and block it from flowing in another. They protect electronic applications against the damages that could result from overvoltage, electrostatic discharge, or power surges. 

A TVS diode, in particular, is a device that serves as a weak link to suppress overvoltage and promote controlled electric flow. It interrupts any instance of overcurrent by redirecting overvoltage transients within electronics. If you are a tech enthusiast interested in electrical circuit function, continue reading below to learn how TVS diodes work to protect your circuits. 

Widely Varying Currents

TVS diodes protect your circuits against widely varying currents. There are a variety of factors that determine the electrical characteristics of a transient protection circuit. These include doping concentration, substrate resistivity, and junction area.

The protective capabilities of the TVS diode are directly proportional to the junction area they are made with, including large cross-sectional area junctions. This allows them to absorb high transient currents. They are designed, specifically, for the transient voltage suppression of widely varying currents. 

Clamp Transient Overvoltage 

TVS devices work as voltage clamps to limit the amplitude of transients across a circuit. A clamping device limits voltage to a fixed level. As a clamping device, the TVS diode begins clamping when this present threshold voltage is exceeded.

The diode absorbs this overvoltage to protect the electrical circuit. When the induced voltage exceeds the avalanche breakdown voltage, TVS diodes will absorb the excess energy of this overvoltage. It will then automatically reset after the circuit’s overvoltage condition. TVS diodes are robust clamping devices that suppress transient overvoltage.  

Limit Amplitudes To Safe Level

A protection device must work quickly to limit the voltage and current in a circuit. TVS diodes respond rapidly to stimuli to limit amplitudes. They are solid-state PN-Junction diodes that responds to sudden or momentary overvoltage effects by limiting amplitudes to a safe level. They are an essential part of the protective systems for sensitive semiconductors components and circuits. 

These devices provide a wide safety margin within the safe operating area (SOA) to offer fast and reliable overcurrent and overvoltage protection. They are placed in parallel with a circuit to protect it from overvoltage on your best hardware. TVS diodes limit the amplitudes in an electronic circuit to protect it. 

 Prevent Thermal Overload

Diodes also work to protect your circuit against heat. When in action, TVS diodes are consistently working to shield a circuit system against overvoltage and overcurrent. The heat produced in this process is elevated. A TVS diode serves as a protection against thermal overload in a circuit system. It is also important to ensure the prevention of too much heat accumulation in the diode itself.

To prevent TVS diodes from thermal overload, data provides a pulse-power versus temperature curve. An informative data sheet with this information shows the exact limitations of your device. This optimizes its protective capabilities. TVS diodes, when implemented correctly, protect circuit systems against thermal overload.

Choosing The Right TVS Device 

There are various factors to consider when choosing a TVS diode. The best device for you will be the one that works most efficiently with your particular circuit system or semiconductor. It is important when deciding on a TVS diode, to determine the maximum peak operating voltage that might result.

Your TVS component should be able to handle a voltage that is at least 10-15% higher than the rated standoff voltage. You will also need to calculate your system’s maximum clamping voltage and use a TVS diode that is equipped to handle the high voltage impulses that may occur. Choosing the right TVS device for your particular circuit system is an extremely important aspect of functionality and safety. 

Electrical circuits require the protection of a diode. TVS diodes prevent overvoltage and overcurrent to promote controlled electrical flow in a circuit system. They protect against widely varying currents in proportion to their junction area.

These diodes also work as a clamping device to absorb excess energy when the induced voltage exceeds the avalanche breakdown voltage. They are solid-state diodes that limit amplitudes to a safe level and prevent thermal overload in a circuit system.

There are a variety of different specifications for TVS devices and it important to consider these carefully when choosing the right TVS device for you. A TVS diode works in many different ways to protect the electric circuit function. 


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