A device for controlling the rate of working of machinery or for controlling fluid flow, in particular a handle controlling the supply of steam to the cylinders of a steam engine.
In automatic control, a regulator is a device which has the function of maintaining a designated characteristic. It performs the activity of managing or maintaining a range of values in a machine.
A voltage regulator is an electronic circuit that provides a stable dc voltage independent of the load current, temperature and ac line voltage variations. A voltage regulator may use a simple feed-forward design or may include negative feedback. It may use an electromechanical mechanism, or electronic components. Depending on the design, it may be used to regulate one or more AC or DC voltages.
Electronic voltage regulators are found in devices such as computer power supplies where they stabilize the DC voltages used by the processor and other elements. In automobile alternators and central power station generator plants, voltage regulators control the output of the plant. In an electric power distribution system, voltage regulators may be installed at a substation or along distribution lines so that all customers receive steady voltage independent of how much power is drawn from the line.