You are on page 1of 7

Power Section

Theoretical Development

Basically, DC Power supplies are designed to convert high voltage AC mains

electricity to a suitable low voltage supply for electronic circuits and other devices. A
power supply can be broken down into a series of blocks, each of which performs a
particular function.

Fig. 2.1: Block Diagram of a Regulated Power Supply System

Below is the summary of the functions of each component of the block diagram

 Transformer - steps down high voltage AC mains to suitable low voltage AC.

 Rectifier - converts AC to DC, but the DC output is varying.

 Filter - reduces the DC output from varying greatly to a small ripple.

 Regulator - eliminates ripple by setting DC output to a fixed voltage.



A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another
through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the
first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus
a varying magnetic field through the secondary winding. This varying magnetic field
induces a varying electromotive force (EMF), or "voltage", in the secondary winding. This
effect is called mutual Induction.

Fig.2.2: A Transformer

Transformers convert AC electricity from one voltage to another with little loss of power.
Transformers work only with AC and this is one of the reasons why mains electricity is

Step-up transformers increase voltage while step-down transformers reduce voltage.

Most power supplies use a step-down transformer to reduce the dangerously high mains
voltage (220/240V in Nigeria) to a safer low voltage.

The input coil is called the primary and the output coil is called the secondary. There is
no electrical connection between the two coils; instead they are linked by an alternating
magnetic field created in the soft-iron core of the transformer.
Transformers waste very little power so the power out is (almost) equal to the power in.
Note that as voltage is stepped down current is stepped up.

Basic Working Principle of a Transformer

The transformer is based on two principles: first, that an electric field can produce
a magnetic field (electromagnetism), and second that a changing magnetic field within a
coil of wire induces a voltage across the ends of the coil (electromagnetic induction).
Changing the current in the primary coil changes the magnetic flux that is developed. The
changing magnetic flux induces a voltage in the secondary coil.

The Press power supply uses a 220V/12V transformer. This means that the primary
winding of the transformer produces a voltage of 220V AC Mains and the secondary 12V
AC. Below is the transformer specification:

Primary Voltage – 220V AC

Secondary Voltage – 12V-0V AC

Current – 4A

Power Output rating - 48VA

Frequency – 50Hz


A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current (AC), which periodically
reverses direction, to direct current (DC), which is in only one direction, by a process
known as rectification. Rectifiers have many uses including as components of power
supplies and as detectors of radio signals. Rectifiers may be made of solid state diodes,
silicon-controlled rectifiers, vacuum tube diodes, mercury arc valves and other

A device which performs the opposite function (converting DC to AC) is known as an

Full Wave Rectification

While the half-wave rectifier is very simple and does work, it isn't very efficient. It only
uses half of the incoming AC cycle, and wastes all of the energy available in the other half.
For greater efficiency, it would be important to utilize both halves of the incoming AC.
One way to accomplish this is to double the size of the secondary winding and provide a
connection to its centre. Then it can use two separate half-wave rectifiers on alternate half-
cycles, to provide full-wave rectification.

For single-phase AC, if the transformer is centre-tapped, then two diodes back-to-back (i.e.
anodes-to-anode or cathode-to-cathode) can form a full-wave rectifier. Twice as many
windings are required on the transformer secondary to obtain the same output voltage
compared to the bridge rectifier that would be later explained.

Fig. 2.4: Full-wave rectifier

Because both half-cycles are being used, the DC component of the output waveform is
given as:

2 𝑥 𝑉𝑝⁄𝜋 = 0.6366 𝑉𝑝 − − − − − − − −(2.3)

Where Vp is the peak voltage output from half the transformer secondary winding, because
only half is being used at a time.

This rectifier configuration, like the half-wave rectifier, calls for one of the transformer's
secondary leads to be grounded. The rectifier used is a full wave bridge rectifier.

A filter is used in DC power supply to filter (smooth) out ripples from the DC
waveform (4). This is carried out due to charging and discharging of the capacitor.

The capacitor is placed at the output of the full-wave rectifier, it charges to the peak voltage
of each half-cycle, and then will discharge more slowly through the load while the rectified
voltage drops back to zero before beginning the next half-cycle. Thus, the capacitor helps
to fill in the gaps between the peaks. This is shown on the diagram below.

Fig 2.7: Smoothing Effect of a Filter Capacitor

Smoothing is not perfect due to the capacitor voltage fall a little as it discharges,
giving a small ripple voltage. For many circuits a ripple which is 10% of the supply voltage
is satisfactory and the equation below (2.4) gives the required value for the smoothing

In order to produce steady DC from a rectified AC supply, a smoothing circuit or

filter is required. The capacitors C1 is used. In its simplest form this can be just 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. The
purpose of the filter capacitor is to remove or smooth out the ripple in the rectified AC
voltage. The residual amount of ripple is determined by the value of the filter capacitor;
the larger the value of the filter capacitor the smaller the ripple.

To further reduce this ripple, a capacitor-input filter can be used (C2). This
complements the reservoir capacitor with a choke (inductor) and a second filter capacitor,
so that a steadier DC output can be obtained across the terminals of the filter capacitor. The
choke presents high impedance to the ripple current.

The formula shown in equation (3.1) is used to calculate the value of the filter capacitor C1
for 11% ripple:

0.11 𝑥 𝑖
𝐶 = 𝑉𝑝 𝑥 2𝑓 ……………. (3.1)

For this dual power supply, 𝑖 = 4𝐴, 𝑓 = 50𝐻𝑧 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑉𝑝 = 1.6𝑉

∴ 𝐶 = 0.11˟ 4⁄100 ˟1.6

∴ 𝐶 = 0.44⁄160

∴ 𝐶 = 2.75 ˟10−3 𝐹

𝐶 = 2750µ𝐹

Preferably, 𝟐𝟐𝟎𝟎µ𝑭 filter capacitor is chosen because it is the nearest in value.

C2 is calculated considering 1% 0f C1.

C2 ∴= 27.500µ𝐹

A 𝟐𝟐µ𝑭 filter capacitor is chosen

The output voltage of the capacitor is 1.4 x rectifier peak output voltage

Rectifier output = 13.6𝑉

𝑐𝑎𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑜𝑟 𝑜𝑢𝑡𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑒 = 1.4 ˟ 13.6 = 19.04𝑉

Hence, a 𝟓𝟎𝑽 capacitor is chosen.

Diode Protection

1N4001 diodes are placed at the final output of the power supply. The basic purpose
of the diode is mainly to prevent against back e.m.f which may come back into the power
supply when it supplies power to inductive loads

A Led is connected in series to a current limiting resistor and both placed across each output to
indicate that there is output.

Current limiting resistor = ------------------------------(2.5)

A Led is connected in series to a current limiting resistor and both placed across each output to
indicate that there is output. Given that

Vf =2V = led forward voltage

If =2mA=Led forward currents

V−Vf 12−2
Current limiting resistor = = 0.001 = 5000Ω = 5𝑘Ω but 4.7kΩ was chosen.