In some applications, a regulator may spend most of its life shut off (in standby mode) and only supply load current when a main regulator fails. In these cases, the quiescent current determines the battery life.
In series regulation the control element is placed between the unregulated voltage source and the load and the current through the element is controlled so that the voltage across the load is held constant. A feedback control system is used where the difference between the output voltage and a reference voltage is applied to a high gain amplifier that drives the current control element such as to maintain the setpoint output voltage. The majority of voltage regulators are of the series type.
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