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Bridge Rectifiers use four diodes that are arranged cleverly to convert the AC supply voltage to a DC supply voltage. The output signal of such a circuit is always of the same polarity regardless of the polarities of the input AC signal. Figure 2 depicts the circuit of a bridge rectifier with diodes interlocked in a bridge configuration. The AC signal is applied at the input terminals a and b, and the output is observed across the load resistor R1.




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The bridge rectifier just discussed is a single-phase type, however, it can also be extended to a three-phase rectifier. These two types can be further classified into full controlled, half controlled, or uncontrolled bridge rectifiers. The circuit that we just discussed is uncontrolled since we cannot control the biasing of the diode, but if all the four diodes are replaced with a thyristor, its biasing can be controlled by controlling its firing angle via its gate signal. It results in a fully controlled bridge rectifier. In a half controlled bridge rectifier, half of the circuit contains diodes, and the other half has thyristors.


Bridge rectifiers are discrete semiconductors as they have a single semiconductor device i.e. a diode and are the opposite of an integrated circuit semiconductor which has various devices on a single piece of semiconductor. RS offer an extensive range of high-quality components from leading brands including ON Semiconductor, Vishay, IXYS and Semikron.


The diode bridge circuit was invented in 1895 and Leo Graetz designed a similar circuit, so they can also be known as a Graetz circuit or Graetz bridge. A bridge rectifier is built out of 4 or more diodes that are arranged in a specific configuration: the namesake bridge. This diode bridge can convert an input of alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC), a basic function for most electronic devices. It also provides the same output polarity for either input polarity. These devices work with a two-wire AC input, have two diode drops in their design and offer full-wave rectification.


Bridge Rectifiers are commonly used in power supplies that provide necessary DC voltage for the electronic components or devices and are found in various applications such as home appliances and white merchandise. Also, such devices are popular with electronic hobbyists who enjoy constructing circuits. Rectifiers are usually classified into single-phase and three-phase and then split again into uncontrolled, half controlled and full controlled rectifiers. They come in various package and mounting types including screw mount, surface mount and through-hole.


Disadvantages of bridge rectifiers More expensive than other rectifiers as it requires four diodes Not ideal when a small voltage is required to be rectified Since bridge rectifiers are discrete devices, some of them need to be purchased along with other devices to achieve the desired functionality for which they are intended. For some engineering needs, the ability to purchase discrete semiconductors makes prototyping and production more affordable.


The full wave rectifier converts both halves of each waveform cycle into pulsating DC signal using four rectification diodes. In the previous power diodes tutorial we discussed ways of reducing the ripple or voltage variations on a direct DC voltage by connecting smoothing capacitors across the load resistance.


Like the half wave circuit, a full wave rectifier circuit produces an output voltage or current which is purely DC or has some specified DC component. Full wave rectifiers have some fundamental advantages over their half wave rectifier counterparts. The average (DC) output voltage is higher than for half wave, the output of the full wave rectifier has much less ripple than that of the half wave rectifier producing a smoother output waveform.


This configuration results in each diode conducting in turn when its anode terminal is positive with respect to the transformer centre point C producing an output during both half-cycles, twice that for the half wave rectifier so it is 100% efficient as shown below.


The full wave rectifier circuit consists of two power diodes connected to a single load resistance (RL) with each diode taking it in turn to supply current to the load. When point A of the transformer is positive with respect to point C, diode D1 conducts in the forward direction as indicated by the arrows.


As the spaces between each half-wave developed by each diode is now being filled in by the other diode the average DC output voltage across the load resistor is now double that of the single half-wave rectifier circuit and is about 0.637Vmax of the peak voltage, assuming no losses.


The peak voltage of the output waveform is the same as before for the half-wave rectifier provided each half of the transformer windings have the same rms voltage value. To obtain a different DC voltage output different transformer ratios can be used.


The main advantage of this bridge circuit is that it does not require a special centre tapped transformer, thereby reducing its size and cost. The single secondary winding is connected to one side of the diode bridge network and the load to the other side as shown below.


As the current flowing through the load is unidirectional, so the voltage developed across the load is also unidirectional the same as for the previous two diode full-wave rectifier, therefore the average DC voltage across the load is 0.637Vmax.


The image to the right shows a typical single phase bridge rectifier with one corner cut off. This cut-off corner indicates that the terminal nearest to the corner is the positive or +ve output terminal or lead with the opposite (diagonal) lead being the negative or -ve output lead. The other two connecting leads are for the input alternating voltage from a transformer secondary winding.


We saw in the previous section that the single phase half-wave rectifier produces an output wave every half cycle and that it was not practical to use this type of circuit to produce a steady DC supply. The full-wave bridge rectifier however, gives us a greater mean DC value (0.637 Vmax) with less superimposed ripple while the output waveform is twice that of the frequency of the input supply frequency.


We can improve the average DC output of the rectifier while at the same time reducing the AC variation of the rectified output by using smoothing capacitors to filter the output waveform. Smoothing or reservoir capacitors connected in parallel with the load across the output of the full wave bridge rectifier circuit increases the average DC output level even higher as the capacitor acts like a storage device as shown below.


The smoothing capacitor converts the full-wave rippled output of the rectifier into a more smooth DC output voltage. If we now run the Partsim Simulator Circuit with different values of smoothing capacitor installed, we can see the effect it has on the rectified output waveform as shown.


The blue plot on the waveform shows the result of using a 5.0uF smoothing capacitor across the rectifiers output. Previously the load voltage followed the rectified output waveform down to zero volts. Here the 5uF capacitor is charged to the peak voltage of the output DC pulse, but when it drops from its peak voltage back down to zero volts, the capacitor can not discharge as quickly due to the RC time constant of the circuit.


The effect of a supplying a heavy load with a single smoothing or reservoir capacitor can be reduced by the use of a larger capacitor which stores more energy and discharges less between charging pulses. Generally for DC power supply circuits the smoothing capacitor is an Aluminium Electrolytic type that has a capacitance value of 100uF or more with repeated DC voltage pulses from the rectifier charging up the capacitor to peak voltage.


However, there are two important parameters to consider when choosing a suitable smoothing capacitor and these are its Working Voltage, which must be higher than the no-load output value of the rectifier and its Capacitance Value, which determines the amount of ripple that will appear superimposed on top of the DC voltage.


The main advantages of a full-wave bridge rectifier is that it has a smaller AC ripple value for a given load and a smaller reservoir or smoothing capacitor than an equivalent half-wave rectifier. Therefore, the fundamental frequency of the ripple voltage is twice that of the AC supply frequency (100Hz) where for the half-wave rectifier it is exactly equal to the supply frequency (50Hz).


Why not test your knowledge about full wave rectifier circuits using the Partsim Simulator Tool today. Try different values of smoothing capacitor and load resistance in your circuit to see the effects on the output waveform.


The 10, 13, 16 and 20 amp full wave rectifier systems will not charge a battery that if fully discharged because the regulator/rectifier requires 6 or 7 volts to activate it. True or False.Thank You


Rectifiers are circuits that convert an AC voltage into a DC voltage. Basically, they are always present in DC power supplies that operate from an AC voltage source. The ability of a diode to allow current to flow in one direction and block it in the other direction makes them very useful in rectifier circuits. When a diode is used in the rectification process, it is typically referred to as a rectifier.


RectifierThe rectifier, which we will discuss more later, converts the AC voltage across the secondary side of the transformer into a pulsating DC voltage. It could be a half-wave or full-wave rectifier type, but in this tutorial we will just focus on the half-wave type.


RMS, Peak, and Average ValueAC voltages can be specified in terms of its peak or rms (root-mean-square) value. However, the AC voltage from the wall outlet is in rms as well as the secondary voltage of the transformer. To calculate the output voltage of a half-wave rectifier, we need to calculate first the peak value of the transformer secondary voltage by multiplying the rms value of its voltage by 1.414. Then after that, subtract the barrier potential, which is usually 0.7V from the peak value of the secondary voltage. 041b061a72


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