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A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current into direct current. The direct current flows in one direction, and the inverter performs the reverse operation. The straightening of the current direction is known as rectification. Read More…
RectifierA rectifier contains sets of diodes that change AC power into DC power, allowing current to flow in one direction but not in the other. This process is known as rectification.
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A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current into direct current. The direct current flows in one direction, and the inverter performs the reverse operation. The straightening of the current direction is known as rectification.
The physical appearance of rectifiers has numerous forms such as wet chemical cells, selenium oxide plates, mercury arc valves, stacks of copper, semiconductor diodes, vacuum tube diodes, and silicon controlled rectifiers.
Rectifiers consist of many different uses, but they are mostly used as direct current transmission system components. They are also used as power transmission systems for direct currents with very high voltages.
Other than its use as a direct current generator, rectification can also be used as a source of power. Rectifiers are also used to detect flames when dealing with gas heating systems.
How Rectifiers Function
Half wave rectifiers, which are the simplest type, function by eliminating one part or half of the alternating current.This will allow only a single direction of current to pass through.
These half wave rectifiers, however, produce very inefficient output of direct current. This is because almost half of the alternating current is not being used in the rectification process.
The process of full wave rectification is more efficient as compared to the former, and it produces a very high output. This is because all of the input alternating current waveform is being used.
Types of Rectifiers
Rectifiers are grouped into many designs depending on a number of factors, such as components used, nature of control, and bridge configuration. The majority of them, however, are classified as single phase and three phase rectifiers.
Additionally, the rectifiers are divided under controlled and uncontrolled. Uncontrolled rectifiers are those whose output voltage cannot be controlled.
Half Wave Rectifier
When using a half wave rectifier after the alternating current is applied to the input, the negative half circle is blocked while the positive half circle is the one which is visible across the load.
The requirements needed here are a single diode in a single phase supply and three diodes in a three phase supply. The circuits of the half wave rectifier need continuous filtration to reduce harmonics of the alternating current.
Full Wave Rectifier
On a full wave rectifier, the current in the load flows in one direction when the alternating current is applied to the input. The resulting output voltage produced by this circuit is high as compared to the former.
This is achieved by making use of both the polarities of the input current to yield the direct current. The requirements for this rectifier are two diodes. A full wave rectifier can further be classified into the two below:
A bridge rectifier consists of four diodes which are used to change all of the alternating current into the output direct current. The output consists of fewer ripples than that of a half wave rectifier, but it is not stable or level.
Tapped Full Wave Rectifier
This rectifier makes use of a transformer that consists of a secondary winding at the tapped center point. It also uses two diodes that are connected to the circuit.
Each of the diodes uses half of the input current, and this circuit is highly efficient because the alternating current supplies power to both valves.
Applications and Uses of Rectifiers
Rectifiers are used to detect radio signals, which are amplitude modulated. They are also suppliers of voltage, which is polarized for welding activities.
A rectifier serves three main purposes, which are:
Converting alternating current to direct current
Changing the voltage by using a transformer
Converting DC back to AC current
Rectifiers are of great significance in the technological and digital world, and they are used widely inside all electronic devices and power supplies.