Comparison Between Half-Wave and Full-Wave Voltage Doublers

The heavy threaded stud attaches the device to a heatsink to dissipate heat. The process is known as rectification, since it “straightens” the direction of current. Rectifiers have many uses, but are often found serving as components of DC power supplies and high-voltage direct current power transmission systems. Rectification may serve in roles other than to generate direct current for use comparison Between Half-Wave and Full-Wave Voltage Doublers a source of power.

Because of the alternating nature of the input AC sine wave, the process of rectification alone produces a DC current that, though unidirectional, consists of pulses of current. More complex circuitry that performs the opposite function, converting DC to AC, is called an inverter. Before the development of silicon semiconductor rectifiers, vacuum tube thermionic diodes and copper oxide- or selenium-based metal rectifier stacks were used. Other devices that have control electrodes as well as acting as unidirectional current valves are used where more than simple rectification is required—e. High-power rectifiers, such as those used in high-voltage direct current power transmission, employ silicon semiconductor devices of various types. In half-wave rectification of a single-phase supply, either the positive or negative half of the AC wave is passed, while the other half is blocked.

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Full-wave rectifier, with vacuum tube having two anodes. Mathematically, this corresponds to the absolute value function. Graetz bridge rectifier: a full-wave rectifier using four diodes. Twice as many turns are required on the transformer secondary to obtain the same output voltage than for a bridge rectifier, but the power rating is unchanged. Full-wave rectifier using a center tap transformer and 2 diodes. Very common double-diode rectifier vacuum tubes contained a single common cathode and two anodes inside a single envelope, achieving full-wave rectification with positive output.

Single-phase rectifiers are commonly used for power supplies for domestic equipment. However, for most industrial and high-power applications, three-phase rectifier circuits are the norm. As with single-phase rectifiers, three-phase rectifiers can take the form of a half-wave circuit, a full-wave circuit using a center-tapped transformer, or a full-wave bridge circuit. Thyristors are commonly used in place of diodes to create a circuit that can regulate the output voltage. Many devices that provide direct current actually generate three-phase AC.

For example, an automobile alternator contains six diodes, which function as a full-wave rectifier for battery charging. An uncontrolled three-phase, half-wave midpoint circuit requires three diodes, one connected to each phase. This is the simplest type of three-phase rectifier but suffers from relatively high harmonic distortion on both the AC and DC connections. DC voltage profile of M3 three-phase half-wave rectifier. If the AC supply is fed via a transformer with a center tap, a rectifier circuit with improved harmonic performance can be obtained. This rectifier now requires six diodes, one connected to each end of each transformer secondary winding. This circuit has a pulse-number of six, and in effect, can be thought of as a six-phase, half-wave circuit.

Before solid state devices became available, the half-wave circuit, and the full-wave circuit using a center-tapped transformer, were very commonly used in industrial rectifiers using mercury-arc valves. With the advent of diodes and thyristors, these circuits have become less popular and the three-phase bridge circuit has become the most common circuit. Disassembled automobile alternator, showing the six diodes that comprise a full-wave three-phase bridge rectifier. For an uncontrolled three-phase bridge rectifier, six diodes are used, and the circuit again has a pulse number of six. For this reason, it is also commonly referred to as a six-pulse bridge. The B6 circuit can be seen simplified as a series connection of two three-pulse center circuits.

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For low-power applications, double diodes in series, with the anode of the first diode connected to the cathode of the second, are manufactured as a single component for this purpose. Some commercially available double diodes have all four terminals available so the user can configure them for single-phase split supply use, half a bridge, or three-phase rectifier. For higher-power applications, a single discrete device is usually used for each of the six arms of the bridge. DC voltage profile of B6 three-phase full-wave rectifier.


The common-mode voltage is formed out of the respective average values of the differences between the positive and negative phase voltages, which form the pulsating DC voltage. The controlled three-phase bridge rectifier uses thyristors in place of diodes. The above equations are only valid when no current is drawn from the AC supply or in the theoretical case when the AC supply connections have no inductance. Although better than single-phase rectifiers or three-phase half-wave rectifiers, six-pulse rectifier circuits still produce considerable harmonic distortion on both the AC and DC connections. For very high-power rectifiers the twelve-pulse bridge connection is usually used.

The simple half-wave rectifier can be built in two electrical configurations with the diodes pointing in opposite directions, one version connects the negative terminal of the output direct to the AC supply and the other connects the positive terminal of the output direct to the AC supply. By combining both of these with separate output smoothing it is possible to get an output voltage of nearly double the peak AC input voltage. A variant of this is to use two capacitors in series for the output smoothing on a bridge rectifier then place a switch between the midpoint of those capacitors and one of the AC input terminals. With the switch open, this circuit acts like a normal bridge rectifier. With the switch closed, it act like a voltage doubling rectifier.

These circuits are capable of producing a DC output voltage potential up to about ten times the peak AC input voltage, in practice limited by current capacity and voltage regulation issues. It has been suggested that Transformer utilization factor be merged into this section. This section is missing information about conversion ratios for at least three-phase half-wave and full-wave rectification, since these rectifiers have their own sections in this article. Please expand the section to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page.

DC output power to the input power from the AC supply. AC power rather than DC which manifests as ripple superimposed on the DC waveform. The ratio can be improved with the use of smoothing circuits which reduce the ripple and hence reduce the AC content of the output. For a half-wave rectifier the ratio is very modest. Three-phase rectifiers, especially three-phase full-wave rectifiers, have much greater conversion ratios because the ripple is intrinsically smaller.

Unlike an ideal rectifier, it dissipates some power. Half-wave rectification and full-wave rectification using a center-tapped secondary produces a peak voltage loss of one diode drop. Non-linear loads like rectifiers produce current harmonics of the source frequency on the AC side and voltage harmonics of the source frequency on the DC side, due to switching behavior. This section does not cite any sources.

Ripple voltage be merged into this section. Note the ripple in the DC signal. While half-wave and full-wave rectification deliver unidirectional current, neither produces a constant voltage. There is a large AC ripple voltage component at the source frequency for a half-wave rectifier, and twice the source frequency for a full-wave rectifier. Ripple voltage is usually specified peak-to-peak. The filter capacitor releases its stored energy during the part of the AC cycle when the AC source does not supply any power, that is, when the AC source changes its direction of flow of current. The above diagram shows reservoir performance from a near zero impedance source, such as a mains supply.

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As the rectifier voltage increases, it charges the capacitor and also supplies current to the load. At the end of the quarter cycle, the capacitor is charged to its peak value Vp of the rectifier voltage. These circuits are very frequently fed from transformers, and have significant resistance. Transformer resistance modifies the reservoir capacitor waveform, changes the peak voltage, and introduces regulation issues.

It has been suggested that Filter capacitor be merged into this section. It has been suggested that Capacitor-input filter be merged into this section. For a given load, sizing of a smoothing capacitor is a tradeoff between reducing ripple voltage and increasing ripple current. The peak current is set by the rate of rise of the supply voltage on the rising edge of the incoming sine-wave, reduced by the resistance of the transformer windings. It is also possible to put the rectified waveform into a choke-input filter. The advantage of this circuit is that the current waveform is smoother: current is drawn over the entire cycle, instead of being drawn in pulses at the peaks of AC voltage each half-cycle as in a capacitor input filter. Offsetting this is superior voltage regulation and higher available current, which reduce peak voltage and ripple current demands on power supply components.

Inductors require cores of iron or other magnetic materials, and add weight and size. In cases where ripple voltage is insignificant, like battery chargers, the input filter may be a single series resistor to adjust the output voltage to that required by the circuit. A resistor reduces both output voltage and ripple voltage proportionately. A disadvantage of a resistor input filter is that it consumes power in the form of waste heat that is not available to the load, so it is employed only in low current circuits. To further reduce ripple, the initial filter element may be followed by additional alternating series and shunt filter components, or by a voltage regulator.

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The filter may raise DC voltage as well as reduce ripple. A more usual alternative to additional filter components, if the DC load requires very low ripple voltage, is to follow the input filter with a voltage regulator. A voltage regulator operates on a different principle than a filter, which is essentially a voltage divider that shunts voltage at the ripple frequency away from the load. Rather, a regulator increases or decreases current supplied to the load in order to maintain a constant output voltage. A simple passive shunt voltage regulator may consist of a series resistor to drop source voltage to the required level and a Zener diode shunt with reverse voltage equal to the set voltage.

When input voltage rises, the diode dumps current to maintain the set output voltage. This kind of regulator is usually employed only in low voltage, low current circuits because SS diodes have both voltage and current limitations. A more efficient alternative to a shunt voltage regulator is an active voltage regulator circuit. An active regulator employs reactive components to store and discharge energy, so that most or all current supplied by the rectifier is passed to the load. Rectifiers are used inside the power supplies of virtually all electronic equipment. DC power supplies may be broadly divided into linear power supplies and switched-mode power supplies.

Converting DC power from one voltage to another is much more complicated. Rectifiers are also used for detection of amplitude modulated radio signals. The signal may be amplified before detection. If not, a very low voltage drop diode or a diode biased with a fixed voltage must be used. Rectifiers supply polarised voltage for welding. Thyristors are used in various classes of railway rolling stock systems so that fine control of the traction motors can be achieved.

Gate turn-off thyristors are used to produce alternating current from a DC supply, for example on the Eurostar Trains to power the three-phase traction motors. Before about 1905 when tube type rectifiers were developed, power conversion devices were purely electro-mechanical in design. These mechanical rectifiers were noisy and had high maintenance requirements. The moving parts had friction, which required lubrication and replacement due to wear. Opening mechanical contacts under load resulted in electrical arcs and sparks that heated and eroded the contacts. They also were not able to handle AC frequencies above several thousand cycles per second.

To convert alternating into direct current in electric locomotives, a synchronous rectifier may be used. It consists of a synchronous motor driving a set of heavy-duty electrical contacts. A vibrator battery charger from 1922. It produced 6A DC at 6V to charge automobile batteries. These consisted of a resonant reed, vibrated by an alternating magnetic field created by an AC electromagnet, with contacts that reversed the direction of the current on the negative half cycles. They were used in low power devices, such as battery chargers, to rectify the low voltage produced by a step-down transformer.

A motor-generator set, or the similar rotary converter, is not strictly a rectifier as it does not actually rectify current, but rather generates DC from an AC source. In an “M-G set”, the shaft of an AC motor is mechanically coupled to that of a DC generator. The electrolytic rectifier was a device from the early twentieth century that is no longer used. When two different metals are suspended in an electrolyte solution, direct current flowing one way through the solution sees less resistance than in the other direction.

Electrolytic rectifiers most commonly used an aluminum anode and a lead or steel cathode, suspended in a solution of tri-ammonium ortho-phosphate. The rectification action is due to a thin coating of aluminum hydroxide on the aluminum electrode, formed by first applying a strong current to the cell to build up the coating. There is also a breakdown voltage where the coating is penetrated and the cell is short-circuited. Similar electrolytic devices were used as lightning arresters around the same era by suspending many aluminium cones in a tank of tri-ammonium ortho-phosphate solution. Unlike the rectifier above, only aluminium electrodes were used, and used on A. The modern electrolytic capacitor, an essential component of most rectifier circuit configurations was also developed from the electrolytic rectifier. The development of vacuum tube technology in the early 20th century resulted in the invention of various tube-type rectifiers, which largely replaced the noisy, inefficient mechanical rectifiers.

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150 kV mercury-arc valve at Manitoba Hydro power station, Radisson, Canada converted AC hydropower to DC for transmission to distant cities. 1909 to 1975 is a mercury-arc rectifier or mercury-arc valve. The device is enclosed in a bulbous glass vessel or large metal tub. 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 been replaced by silicon semiconductor rectifiers and high-power thyristor circuits in the mid 1970s. The 0Z4 was a gas-filled rectifier tube commonly used in vacuum tube car radios in the 1940s and 1950s. The electrodes were shaped such that the reverse breakdown voltage was much higher than the forward breakdown voltage.

The thermionic vacuum tube diode, originally called the Fleming valve, was invented by John Ambrose Fleming in 1904 as a detector for radio waves in radio receivers, and evolved into a general rectifier. Thermionic diode rectifiers were widely used in power supplies in vacuum tube consumer electronic products, such as phonographs, radios, and televisions, for example the All American Five radio receiver, to provide the high DC plate voltage needed by other vacuum tubes. Full-wave” versions with two separate plates were popular because they could be used with a center-tapped transformer to make a full-wave rectifier. The crystal detector was the earliest type of semiconductor diode. Looking for Latest Electronics Project Kits? A study of  various Clipping Circuits This article explains the working of different diode clipper circuits like Positive and Negative Diode Clippers, Biased Clipper circuit, and Combinational Clipper Circuit with the help of circuit diagrams and waveforms.

In order to fix the clipping level to the desired amount, a dc battery must also be included. When the diode is forward biased, it acts as a closed switch, and when it is reverse biased, it acts as an open switch. Different levels of clipping can be obtained by varying the amount of voltage of the battery  and also interchanging the positions of the diode and resistor. The series configuration is defined as one where diode is in series with the load, while the shunt clipper has the diode in a branch parallel to the load. In a positive clipper, the positive half cycles of the input voltage will be removed. The circuit arrangements for a positive clipper are illustrated in the figure given below. As shown in the figure, the diode is kept in series with the load.

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D’ is reverse biased, which maintains the output voltage at 0 Volts. Thus causes the positive half cycle  to be clipped off. This is the diagram of a positive shunt clipper circuit. D’ is forward biased and the diode acts as a closed switch. This causes the diode to conduct heavily. This causes the voltage drop across the diode or across the load resistance RL to be zero. Thus output voltage during the positive half cycles is zero, as shown in the output waveform.

The negative clipping circuit is almost same as the positive clipping circuit, with only one difference. In all the above discussions, the diode is considered to be ideal one. 7 V for silicon and 0. A biased clipper comes in handy when a small portion of positive or negative half cycles of the signal voltage is to be removed. When a small portion of the negative half cycle is to be removed, it is called a biased negative clipper.

The circuit diagram and waveform is shown in the figure below. This causes it to act as an open-switch. Some of other biased clipper circuits are given below in the figure. While drawing the wave-shape of the output basic principle discussed above are followed. The diode has been considered as an ideal one. The circuit for such a clipper is given in the figure below.

The action of the circuit is summarized below. OFF’ position, there will be no transmission of input signal to output. But in case of high frequency signals transmission occurs through diode capacitance which is undesirable. This is the drawback of using diode as a series element in such clippers.

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Clipping circuits using Transistors, Applications of Diode clippers etc. You are right, the biased negative clipper output wave form doesnt clipped off. I feel gud to read all this. Now they are clear and perfect. Thanks a lot to every one who commented. Hi you have to sufficiently amplify the signal before feeding to this clipping circuit if input is less than 600mV nothing will happen to the waveform as the diode cannot conduct. R when shut clipper is considered.

When will you tell the diode is forward biased if the drop across R is not known? Looking for Latest Electronics Project Kits? Clipping Circuits This article defines the basics of Clipper Circuit, classifications according to the devices used, biasing, configuration, level used and so on. Clipping circuit is a wave-shaping circuit, and is used to either remove or clip a portion of the applied wave in order to control the shape of the output waveform. One of the most basic clipping circuit is the half-wave rectifier. A half-wave rectifier clips either the negative half cycle or the positive half cycle of an alternating waveform, and allows to pass only one half cycle. Classifications Of Clippers Clipping circuit consists of non-linear and linear devices.

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