TVS (transient voltage suppression) diodes protect electronics from spikes in voltage. They are widely used as they’re considered one of the best means of dealing with “overvoltage events,” quickly suppressing electrical flow and protecting components and entire circuits from damage by absorbing high volumes of transient energy. You might also find TVD diodes labelled as transils or thyrectors.
How do TVS diodes work?
TVS diodes have larger cross-sectional areas than normal diodes, allowing them to absorb higher levels of current and conduct them to ground. TVS diodes direct high voltage away from circuits to prevent them burning out or components becoming damaged.
Why are TVS diodes used?
TVS diodes are used to protect semi-conductor components within circuits, as well as circuits themselves, from spikes in voltage that have the potential to blow them out or lead to them wearing out quicker. TVS diodes are typically chosen in place of other diodes for their ability to absorb and conduct higher levels of electrical current.
Do TVS diodes have polarity?
Yes. If they are fitted onto a circuit incorrectly, they won’t conduct electricity and therefore won’t offer protection to your circuit. If replacing a TVS diode yourself, you should ensure you fit it the right way round to maintain protection against overvoltage events.
How can I identify a TVS diode?
TVS diodes are usually, but not always, located near the power connector. They are usually surface mounted and either cylindrical or rectangular shaped. As they’re small parts, they will usually be marked with an abbreviated part number.