A very simple DC over voltage protector circuit is shown below. The transistor is set to monitor the input voltage applied to it from the left, in case the voltage rises above a specified limit, the transistor conducts, providing the required current to the SCR, which instantly fires, shorting the output and thus protecting the load from the hazard. It's also called a Crowbar circuit.
How the Circuit Works
The circuit shown below is very simple to understand and is quite self explanatory.The working may be understood with the following points:
The supply DC input voltage is applied from the right hand side o the circuit across the SCR.
As long as the input voltage remains under a certain predetermined value, the transistor is unable to conduct and therefore the SCr also remains shut.
The threshold voltage is effectively set by zener diode voltage.
As long as the input voltage stays below this threshold everything goes on fine.
However in case the input crosses the above threshold level, the zener diode starts conducting so that the base of the transistor starts getting biased.
At some point of time the transistor becomes fully biased and pulls the positive voltage to its collector terminal.
The voltage at the collector instantly passes through the gate of the SCR.
The SCR immediately conducts and shorts the input to ground.
This may look a bit dangerous because the situation indicates that the SCR might get damaged as it shorts the voltage directly through it.
But the SCR remains absolutely safe because the moment the input voltage drops below the set threshold the transistor stops conducting and inhibits the SCR from going into damaging extents.