What are the Pros and Cons of Bridge Rectifier?

Before we get into the core of working of a bridge rectifier, let us understand what a rectifier is. A rectifier is an electrical circuit that turns an alternating current voltage input into a direct current voltage at the output terminal. In regular parlance, AC voltage is converted into DC voltage by a rectifier. The rectified output voltage is the name given to this output. Rectifiers are primarily used in power supplies, supplying DC voltage to electronic equipment.

Electronic circuits primarily need rectifiers to power electronic components, whereas DC powering happens from the available AC mains supply. Of the rectifiers, bridge rectifiers are known to be the most effective circuits. They fall under the full-wave rectifier category. In the ensuing sections, let us learn more about the working of bridge rectifiers. Besides, the bridge rectifier circuit diagram is also made available for better understanding through an illustration. The article also clearly covers the characteristics of the full-wave bridge rectifier.

So, rectifiers are primarily classified into two categories, based on their operation-

Half Wave Rectifiers
Full-Wave Rectifiers
Full-wave rectifiers are more effective than half-wave rectifiers in increasing the efficiency of the rectification. Full-wave rectifiers generate an output voltage by using both positive and negative half cycles of the input voltage.

Full-wave rectifiers are in turn classified into two types:
Bridge full-wave Rectifier
Centre tap full-wave rectifier
Let us know more about full-wave bridge rectifiers before we attempt to get deeper into learning about bridge rectifiers.

A full wave rectifier is a rectifier that transforms both halves of each alternating wave cycle (alternating current) into a pulsing DC (direct current) signal.

Full-wave rectifiers are used for a smoother and more consistent supply of power. Full-wave rectifiers are used to convert a whole cycle of alternating current voltage (AC) to direct current voltage (DC).

The differentiation between these two types of full-wave rectifiers goes a long way in understanding effectively the full-wave rectifier working

In a center-tapped full-wave rectifier, the system is made up of a center-tapped transformer, two diodes, and a resistive load. Whereas, under a full-wave bridge rectifier, the architecture features four diodes or more, and the resistive load. The diodes are named A, B, C and D, and form a bridge circuit.

A bridge rectifier is a full-wave rectifier that use four diodes to create a close-loop bridge. The diodes operate in pairs during each positive and negative half cycle, resulting in no power waste.

A bridge rectifier does not require a center tap over the transformer’s secondary winding. The input is sent through a transformer to the diode bridge’s diagonal. Unlike the center tap rectifier, which consumes 50% of the transformer, the transformer in this circuit is constantly busy since it delivers power during both cycles of input AC.

Pros and Cons of Bridge Rectifier
Advantages of Full Wave Bridge Rectifier
The efficiency of a bridge rectifier is greater than that of a half-wave rectifier. The rectifier efficiency of the bridge rectifier and the center-tapped full-wave rectifier, on the other hand, is the same.
The bridge rectifier’s DC output signal is smoother than the DC output signal of a half-wave rectifier.
A half-wave rectifier uses just half of the incoming AC signal and blocks the other half. A half-wave rectifier wastes half of the input signal. A bridge rectifier lets electricity flow through both the positive and negative halves. As a result, the output DC signal is almost equivalent to the input AC signal.
Disadvantages of Bridge Rectifier

A bridge rectifier’s circuit is more complicated than that of a half-wave rectifier or a center-tapped full-wave rectifier. Bridge rectifiers require four diodes, whereas half-wave and center-tapped full-wave rectifiers need just two.
As more diodes are utilized, more power is lost. Only one diode is conducted during each half cycle of a center-tapped full-wave rectifier. With a bridge rectifier, on the other hand, two diodes linked in series conduct throughout each half cycle. As a result, the voltage drop is larger with a bridge rectifier.
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