A crowbar circuit is a power supply protection circuit that rapidly short-circuits ("crowbars") the supply line if the voltage and/or current exceeds defined limits. In practice, the resulting short blows a fuse or triggers other protection, effectively shutting down the supply.
It is usually achieved by an SCR or other silicon device, or by a mechanical shorting device.
Probably named for the concept of using a big metal bar to mechanically provide the short circuit, as might be used done in a high-current application; or from the appearance of a crowbar circuit's I-V curve.
See: Protection and Isolation products.
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