What Is the Difference Between Full Wave & Bridge Rectifier Circuits?

••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Many electrical devices run on DC or direct currents, but the signal coming out the wall is AC or alternating current. Rectifier circuits are used to convert AC currents to DC currents. There are many types, but two common ones are full-wave and bridge.

Construction

Rectifier circuits are constructed with the use of diodes as a basis. This is because diodes have the ability to change AC to DC.

Significance

Rectifiers make it possible for electronic devices, such as portable 12-volt DC power drills, to use the 120-volt AC that is supplied from wall outlets. Other important roles include surge protection and battery charging.

Full-Wave Rectifiers

Full-wave rectifiers use two diodes where one conducts on the positive half cycle of the AC wave, and the other conducts on the negative half cycle. The current that is rectified thus continues to flow throughout the entire cycle of the input.

Bridge Rectifiers

Bridge rectifiers, sometimes referred to as full-wave bridges, are similar to full-waves in that they produce currents that flow throughout an entire circuit. They use four diodes, where two conduct on the positive half cycle, and the other two conduct on the negative half cycle.

Features

Both full-wave and bridge rectifiers may be constructed from circuit diagrams. They are used in high or voltage situations. Bridge rectifiers are available as modules, where small ones may have current ratings of 1 amp, and giant ones may be as small as 25 amps.

Related Articles

How Does a Rectifier Work?
What Are the Functions of a Zener Diode?
The Advantages & Disadvantages of Series and Parallel...
The Advantages of MOSFET Over BJT
How to Connect Diodes
How to Make a DC Voltage Regulator
How Do Batteries Work? Parts, Types & Terminology (w/...
What Is a Varactor Diode?
What Is the Difference Between an Inductor & a Choke?
The Uses of NPN Transistors
How to Read Transistor Data
What Are Resistors Used for?
How Does a DC Power Supply Work?
The Difference Between AC Batteries & DC Batteries
Input & Output Characteristics of Common Emitter NPN...
How Is a Parallel Circuit Different From a Series Circuit?
Electronics Projects Using 4047 or 4027 IC
How to Read Transistors
How to Calculate Three Phase Amperage
How to Connect Two DC Power Supplies in Parallel

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!