Mouser has an entire section devoted to TVS Diodes and it looks like they have fairly specific voltage targets. So I think this is the thing to use over just a 1N4004 or Zener diode? I have seen designs using just an 1N4004 and according to what I have found, using one may work, but could destroy the diode in the process as they are not built to sustain avalanche breakdown?
I also want to make sure I understand things right, during normal operation, the TVS diode stops current flow to ground but since current is now flowing through (like it would be in-line), there is no voltage drop on the supply. If the breakdown voltage is reached, current explodes through the diode in the opposite direction, causing a short to ground which then should blow a fuse. One thing I read is that avalanche diodes are also used in situations that need to generate noise. I assume that is only when the breakdown voltage is met or exceeded (and that they do not contribute adversely to noise otherwise)?
Anyone have any thoughts? I don't want to just stick a random diode somewhere without knowing the right kind to use and its intended purpose. The designs that use a 1N4004 in this way confuse me given what I have read about those diodes compared to TVS / avalanche diodes.
Attached is my current design with this in use. My plan is to make this a sort of template board that I can use and plug in various values for the resulting voltage and load. It's sort of the basis for a semi-modular PSU design I am working on for my band's live stage rack. Since my requirements can change as I add more components, trying to have something modular (at the expense of space) is worth it over trying to design one big PSU that has all the voltages I may ever need. Or so is the idea.
Thoughts or suggestions?