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Full Wave Rectifier Circuit with Working Theory

if you know what is rectifier, then you may know the ways to reduce the ripple or voltage
variations on a direct DC voltage by connecting capacitors across the load resistance. This
method may be suitable for low power applications, but not for applications which need a
steady and smooth DC supply. One method to improve on this is to use every half-cycle of
the input voltage instead of every other half-cycle waveform. The circuit which allows us to
do this is called a Full Wave Rectifier. Lets see full wave rectifier theory in detail. Like the
half wave circuit, working of Full Wave Rectifier circuit is an output voltage or current which
is purely DC or has some specified DC voltage.
Full Wave Rectifier Circuit with Working
Full wave rectifiers have some fundamental advantages over their half wave rectifier
counterparts. The average (DC) output voltage is higher than for half wave rectifier, the
output of the full wave rectifier has much less ripple than that of the half wave rectifier
producing a smoother output waveform.
Full Wave Rectifier Theory
In a full wave rectifier circuit we use two diodes, one for each half of the wave. A multiple
winding transformer is used whose secondary winding is split equally into two halves with a
common center tapped connection. Configuration results in each diode conducting in turn
when its anode terminal is positive with respect to the transformer center point C produces
an output during both half-cycles. Full rectifier advantages are flexible compared to that of
half wave rectifier.
Full Wave Rectifier Circuit
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 resistor. When
point A of the transformer is positive with respect to point A, diode D1 conducts in the
forward direction as indicated by the arrows.When point B is positive in the negative half of
the cycle with respect to C point, the diode D2 conducts in the forward direction and the
current flowing through resistor R is in the same direction for both half-cycles of the wave.
The output voltage across the resistor R is the phasor sum of the two waveforms, it is also
known as a bi-phase circuit.The spaces between each half-wave developed by each diode is
now being filled in by the other. 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 by assuming no losses. VMAX is the maximum peak value in one half of the
secondary winding and VRMS is the rms value.
Working of Full Wave Rectifier
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. To obtain a
different DC voltage output different transformer ratios can be used. The disadvantage of
this type of full wave rectifier circuit is that a larger transformer for a given power output is
required with two separate but identical secondary windings makes this type of full wave
rectifying circuit costly compared to the Full Wave Bridge Rectifier circuit.

Given Circuit gives a overview on working of full wave rectifier. A circuit that produces the
same output waveform as the full wave rectifier circuit a is that of the Full Wave Bridge
Rectifier. Single phase rectifier uses four individual rectifying diodes connected in a closed
loop bridge configuration to produce the desired output wave. The advantage of this bridge
circuit is that it does not require a special center tapped transformer, so it reduces its size
and cost. Single secondary winding is connected to one side of the diode bridge network and
the load to the other side.
The four diodes labelled D1 to D4 are arranged in series pairs with only two
conducting current during each half cycle duration. When the positive half cycle
supply goes, D1, D2 diodes conduct in a series while diodes D3 and D4 are reverse
and the current flows through the load. During the negative half cycle, D3 and D4
conduct in a series and diodes D1 and D2 switch off as they are now reverse

of the

Current flowing through the load is unidirectional mode and the voltage developed across
the load is also unidirectional voltage, same as for the previous two diode full-wave rectifier
model. Therefore the average DC voltage across the load is 0.637V.During each half cycle
the current flows through two diodes instead of just one doide, so the amplitude of the
output voltage is two voltage drops 1.4V less than the input VMAX amplitude, ripple
frequency is now twice the supply frequency 100Hz for a 50Hz supply or 120Hz for a 60Hz
advantages of Full Wave Rectifier
you can use four individual power diodes to make a full wave bridge, readymade bridge
rectifier components are available off-the-shelf in a range of different voltage and current
sizes that can be soldered directly into a PCB circuit board or be connected by spade
connectors.The full-wave bridge rectifier gives us a greater mean DC value with less
superimposed ripple while the output waveform is twice that of the frequency of the input
supply. Therefore increase its average DC output level even higher by connecting a suitable
smoothing capacitor across the output of the bridge circuit.
The 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 circuit. 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.The amount of ripple voltage that is superimposed on top of the DC supply
voltage by the diodes can be virtually eliminated by adding a much improved -filter to the
output terminals of the bridge. Low-pass filter consists of two smoothing capacitors of the
same value and a choke or inductance across them to introduce a high impedance path to
the alternating ripple component.
Alternative is to use an off the shelf 3terminal voltage regulator IC, such as a LM78xx where
xx stands for the output voltage rating for a positive output voltage or its inverse
equivalent the LM79xx for a negative output voltage which can reduce the ripple by more
than 70dB Datasheet while delivering a constant output current of over 1 amp.
It is the basic component to get D.C voltage for the components which operates with D.C
voltage. One can describe its working as a full wave rectifier project.

It is the heart of the circuit. Full wave rectifier uses the diode bridge. Capacitors are used to
get rid of ripples. Based on the requirement of D.C voltage

Answer -

Full Wave Rectifier Circuit with Working Theory

Rectification is the process of converting DC (direct current) to AC (alternating

current). DC always flows in one direction, but AC reverses it direction 60
(home) or 400 (aviation) times per second.
Simple rectification involves adding a diode or rectifier to the circuit so that
the result is the positive half of the AC. The negative half is removed.
Full wave rectification uses a total of two diodes so the positive and negative
halves of the AC are separated. The bottom half of the wave is then inverted
to make it positive. The positive waves and the inverted negative waves are
combined to result in a train of positive pulses, wherein all of the potential
current is preserved.

A rectifier is an electrical device, comprising one or more semiconductive

devices (such as diodes) or vacuum tubes arranged for converting alternating
current to direct current. When just one diode is used to rectify AC (by
blocking the negative or positive portion of the waveform) the difference
between the term diode and the term rectifier is merely one of usage, e.g.,
the term rectifier describes a diode that is being used to convert AC to DC.
Rectification is a process whereby alternating current (AC) is converted into
direct current (DC). Almost all rectifiers comprise a number of diodes in a
specific arrangement for more efficiently converting AC to DC than is possible
with just a single diode. Rectification is commonly performed by
semiconductor diodes. Before the development of solid state rectifiers,
vacuum tube diodes and copper oxide or selenium rectifier stacks were used.
Early radios, called crystal sets, used a "cat's whisker" of fine wire pressing
on a crystal of galena (lead sulfide) to serve as a point contact rectifier or
"crystal detector". In gas heating systems "flame rectification" can be used to
detect a flame. Two metal electrodes in the outer layer of the flame provide a
current path and rectification of an applied alternating voltage, but only while
the flame is present.
A half wave rectifier is a special case of a clipper. In half wave rectification,
either the positive or negative half of the AC wave is passed easily while the
other half is blocked, depending on the polarity of the rectifier. Because only
one half of the input waveform reaches the output, it is very inefficient if used

for power transfer. Half wave rectification can be achieved with a single diode
in a one phase supply.

[edit] Full-wave rectification

Full-wave rectification converts both polarities of the input waveform to DC,
and is more efficient. However, in a circuit with a non-center tapped
transformer, four rectifiers are required instead of the one needed for halfwave rectification. This is due to each output polarity requiring 2 rectifiers
each, for example, one for when AC terminal 'X' is positive and one for when
AC terminal 'Y' is positive. The other DC output requires exactly the same,
resulting in four individual junctions (See semiconductors/diode). Four
rectifiers arranged this way are called a bridge rectifier:

A full wave rectifier converts the whole of the input waveform to one of
constant polarity (positive or negative) at its output by reversing the negative
(or positive) portions of the alternating current waveform. The positive
(negative) portions thus combine with the reversed negative (positive)
portions to produce an entirely positive(negative) voltage/current waveform.
For single phase AC, if the AC is center-tapped, then two diodes back-to-back
(i.e. anodes-to-anode or cathode-to-cathode) form a full wave rectifier.

Full wave rectifier with vacuum tube, having two anodes.A very common
vacuum tube rectifier configuration contained one cathode and twin anodes
inside a single envelope; in this way, the two diodes required only one
vacuum tube. The 5U4 and 5Y3 were popular examples of this configuration.
Three Phase Bridge Rectifier.For three phase AC, six diodes are used. Typically
there are three pairs of diodes, each pair, though, is not the same kind of
double diode that would be used for a full wave single phase rectifier. Instead
the pairs are in series (anode to cathode). Typically, commercially available
double diodes have four terminals so the user can configure them as single
phase split supply use, for half a bridge, or for three phase use.
Disassembled automobile alternator, showing the six diodes that comprise a
full-wave three phase bridge rectifier.Most devices that generate alternating
current (such devices are called alternators) generate three phase AC. For
example, an automobile alternator has six diodes inside it to function as a full
wave rectifier for battery charge applications.

[edit] Peak loss

An aspect of most rectification is a loss from peak input voltage to the peak
output voltage, caused by the threshold voltage of the diodes (around 0.7 V
for ordinary diodes and 0.1 V for Schottky diodes). Half wave rectification and
full wave rectification using two separate secondaries will have a peak
voltage loss of one diode drop. Bridge rectifcation will have a loss of two
diode drops. This may represent significant power loss in very low voltage
supplies. In addition, the diodes will not conduct below this voltage, so the
circuit is only passing current through for a portion of each half-cycle, causing
short segments of zero voltage to appear between each "hump".
[edit] Rectifier output smoothing
While half- and full-wave rectification suffices to deliver a form of DC output,
neither produces constant voltage DC. In order to produce steady DC from a
rectified AC supply, a smoothing circuit is required. In its simplest form this
can be what is known as a reservoir capacitor or smoothing capacitor, placed
at the DC output of the rectifier. There will still remain an amount of AC ripple
voltage where the voltage is not completely smoothed.
Sizing of the capacitor represents a tradeoff. For a given load, a larger
capacitor will reduce ripple but will cost more and will create higher peak
currents in the transformer secondry and in the supply feeding it. In extreme
cases where many rectifiers are loaded onto a power distribution circuit, it
may prove difficult for the power distribution authority to maintain a correctly
shaped sinusoidal voltage curve.
Three phase bridges provide six peaks per cycle rather than two meaning the
capacitor size can be significantly reduced if a 3 phase supply is availible.
To further reduce this ripple, a capacitor-input filter can be used. This
complements the reservoir capacitor with a choke and a second filter
capacitor, so that a steadier DC output can be obtained across the terminals
of the filter capacitor. The choke presents a high impedance to the ripple
If the DC load is very demanding of a smooth supply voltage, a voltage
regulator will be used either instead of or in addition to the capacitor-input
filter, both to remove the last of the ripple and to deal with variations in
supply and load characteristics.
[edit] Applications
A rectifier diode and associated mounting hardware. The heavy threaded stud
helps remove heat.The primary application of rectifiers is to derive usable DC
power from an AC supply. Virtually all electronics requires a DC supply but
mains power is AC so rectifiers find uses inside the power supplies of virtually
all electronic equipment.

Converting DC voltage from one level to another is much more complicated

but rectifiers are usually involved. One method of such DC-to-DC conversion
is to first convert to AC (using a device called an inverter), then use a
transformer to change the voltage, and finally rectify it back to DC.
Rectifiers also find a use in detection of amplitude modulated radio signals.
The signal may or may not be amplified before detection but if unamplified a
very low voltage drop diode must be used. In this case the capacitor and load
resistance must be carefully matched. Too low a capacitance will result in the
high frequency carrier passing to the output and too high will result in the
capacitor just charging and staying charged.
[edit] High power rectification
Vacuum tubes, metal oxide rectifier stacks and semiconductor diodes are
useful in the range of milliamperes to a few hundred amperes of current. In
order to handle thousands of amperes at hundreds of volts or hundreds of
amperes at thousands of volts, some interesting solutions have been devised.
For example, to convert AC current into DC current in electric locomotives, a
synchronous rectifier may be used. It consists of a synchronous motor driving
a set of heavy-duty electrical contacts. The motor spins in time with the AC
frequency and periodically reverses the connections to the load just when the
sinusoidal current goes through a zero-crossing. The contacts do not have to
switch a large current, but they need to be able to carry a large current to
supply the locomotive's DC traction motors. In recent years semiconductor
synchronous rectifiers have been designed, although they still cannot
compete with the low losses offered by the older electromechanical
synchronous rectifiers.
Another type of rectifier used in high voltage power transmission systems
and industrial processing since about 1909 is a mercury arc rectifier or
mercury arc valve. The device is enclosed in a bulbous glass vessel or large
metal tub. One electrode, the cathode, is submerged in a pool of liquid
mercury at the bottom of the vessel and one or more high purity graphite
electrodes, called anodes, are suspended above the pool. There may be
several auxiliary electrodes to aid in starting and maintaining the arc. When
an electric arc is established between the cathode pool and suspended
anodes, a stream of electrons flows from the cathode to the anodes through
the ionized mercury, but not the other way. These devices can be used at
power levels of hundreds of kilowatts, and may be built to handle one to six
phases of AC current. Mercury arc rectifiers have largely been replaced by
silicon semiconductor rectifiers from the mid 1970s onward.
A third type of rectifier, a motor-generator set, is not a rectifier in the strict
sense. Here, an AC motor is mechanically coupled to a DC generator. The DC
generator produces a multiphase alternating current in its windings, but a
commutator is used to convert the alternating currents into a direct current
output. Such devices are useful for producing hundreds of amperes of direct
current at tens to hundreds of volts.

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Explain the principle of full wave rectification?