This is a general, hypothetical question concerning power dissipation and zener diodes. It's hypothetical in the sense that I don't have the question in front of me and I don't have any further information other than what follows. Say I have a DC source with a sinusoidal ripple, connected to a zener diode with a resistor; there's no load. What would be the average power dissipated in this circuit?

  • \$\begingroup\$ No load, as in open circuit? If that is the case, the answer is 0W (zero watts). \$\endgroup\$ – Dampmaskin May 16 '17 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ It depends. Is the Zener forward or reversed biased? Is it avalanching at any time during operation? If not, what's its leakage current? \$\endgroup\$ – John D May 16 '17 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the circuit is open as otherwise it would indeed be too easy and straightforward. Is there a way to connect a zener diode to a transistor and the two to a DC source+sinusoidal ripple so that the average power dissipated would be other than null? \$\endgroup\$ – peripatein May 16 '17 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ In general, what would be the correct way to calculate the average power dissipated for a DC source with a sinusoidal ripple? \$\endgroup\$ – peripatein May 16 '17 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @peripatein, Power is always I*V. You can work it out from there. Or, if you want our help, include a schematic so we know what circuit your asking about and can address the specifics of that circuit. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon May 16 '17 at 15:08

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