Electronic – How to decide between a TVS or Zener diode for overvoltage protection


I'll leave my specific circuit out of this for a more broad question:

What criteria does one use when deciding whether to use a Zener diode or a transient voltage suppressor, for overvoltage protection on a particular application? Also when would one use a bidirectional TVS?

Best Answer

The characteristics of TVS diodes are similar to those of zener diodes. However, the TVS diodes are specifically designed, characterized and tested for transient voltage suppression. Zener diodes are designed towards voltage regulation.