Enginursday: Linear Regulator Thermal Tests

This Enginursday tests a 7805 regulator with various heat sinks.

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It's Enginursday again!

Today I'd like to show that it's not hard to collect thermal data, and that temperatures can vary wildly depending on how the heat can (or can't) escape. I apply several types of heat-sinking materials to a TO-220 7805 and see how it responds. If you've never taken the temperature of a component before, this will be a good introduction.

Tools used:

Software used:

Keep on testing,

Comments 7 comments

  • Member #14799 / about 8 years ago / 1

    One thing to keep in mind is that linear regulators can be replaced with switching regulators for a penalty in price and space. eg Cui V7805-1000 (around $8) But the big advantage of switching regulators is no more heat.

  • alohawild / about 8 years ago / 1

    Excellent display of engineering. We makers sometimes forget about heat and long running issues. Nice to see a study like this.

  • Sembazuru / about 8 years ago / 1

    Typo-o in the first paragraph. "TO-220 7804" should be "TO-220 7805"

    • Fixed. Thank you!

    • ME heat o nator / about 8 years ago / 1

      Ha Ha Ha! As simple as that mistake is, it is a crying shame to discover after a month of testing ...I know ;(

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