Foldback Current Limited High Voltage Regulator

This circuit is high voltage regulator which has foldback current limiter protection. This circuit uses LM10 comparator with voltage reference, and this core integrated circuit is connected directly to high voltage circuitry. This high voltage direct connection is possible since the IC is inserted to a bias network and directly drop the applied voltage, so this IC is only suffering small voltage across its supply pins.

The foldback current limiter is different with ordinary current limiter in the way the limiter responds to dynamic load. When we plot the regular current limiter, when the load draw a linearly increasing current, the plot of the current will be linear ramp which stops at a specified level determined by the limiter. A foldback current limiter will give same response until the current reach the maximum level, but will fold the current back to a much lower current level if the load try to further increase the current. This foldback action will prevent the final driverĀ  transistor in the regulator from overheating. [Circuit’s schematic diagram source: National Semiconductor Application Note]