The main difference between conventional rectifier and bridge rectifier is that it produces almost double the output voltage as a full wave center-tapped transformer rectifier using the same secondary voltage. The advantage of using this circuit is that no center-tapped transformer is required. In center tapped rectifier each diode uses only one-half of the transformer secondary voltage, so the DC output is comparatively small, also it is difficult to locate the center-tap on secondary winding of the transformer and the diodes used must have high Peak-inverse voltage.During the positive half cycle of the supply, diodes D1 and D2 conduct in series while diodes D3 and D4 are reverse biased and the current flows through the load During the negative half cycle of the supply, diodes D3 and D4 conduct in series, but diodes D1 and D2switch “OFF” as they are now reverse biased. The current flowing through the load is the same direction as before.
The smoothing capacitor converts the full-wave rippled output of the rectifier into a smooth DC output voltage. Generally for DC power supply circuits the smoothing capacitor is an Aluminum Electrolytic type that has a capacitance value of 100uF or more with repeated DC voltage pulses from the rectifier charging up the capacitor to peak voltage. However, there are two important parameters to consider when choosing a suitable smoothing capacitor and these are its Working Voltage, which must be higher than the no-load output value of the rectifier and its Capacitance Value, which determines the amount of ripple that will appear superimposed on top of the DC voltage.
Advantages of bridge rectifier
• The rectification efficiency of full-wave rectifier is double of that of a half-wave rectifier.
• Higher output voltage, higher output power and higher Transformer Utilization Factor in case of full-wave rectifier.
• The ripple voltage is low and of higher frequency in case of full-wave rectifier so simple filtering circuit is required
• No center tap is required in the transformer secondary so in case of a bridge rectifier the transformer required is simpler. If stepping up or stepping down of voltage is not required, transformer can be eliminated even.
• For a given power output, power transformer of smaller size can be used in case of the bridge rectifier because current in both primary and secondary windings of the supply transformer flow for the entire ac cycle
Disadvantages of Bridge Rectifier
• It requires four diodes.
• The use of two extra diodes cause an additional voltage drop thereby reducing the output voltage.
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