Bridge Rectifier Circuit

- notes and details of the diode full wave rectifier circuit often used in power supplies and other applications..

The bridge rectifier is one of the most widely used rectifier circuits. It offers a high level of performance when compared to other rectifier circuits.

In view of the high level of use of the bridge rectifier circuit, bridge rectifiers are available as blocks containing all the diodes contained in a single "component" for use within the target circuit assembly.

The use of these bridge rectifiers simplifies their use and the assembly of the final equipment as well as reducing the overall component count.

Bridge rectifier circuits

A diagram of the basic bridge rectifier circuit is shown below. The circuit has the advantage over the full wave rectifier using a centre tapped transformer that there is no centre tapped transformer requirement and that the both halves of the cycle are used in the winding.

Full wave bridge rectifier
Full wave bridge rectifier

The diagram shows the current flow for the different halves of the cycle and in the different arms of the bridge rectifier circuit.

Full wave bridge rectifier with transformer input
Full wave bridge rectifier with transformer input

Split supply bridge rectifier circuit

For many circuits like operational amplifiers, split supplies may be needed. It is possible to create a split supply for these and other applications very easily using a full wave bridge rectifier.

Full wave bridge rectifier providing dual polarity / split supply
Full wave bridge rectifier providing dual polarity / split supply

The circuit operates effectively and efficiently because both halves of the input waveform are sued in each section of the transformer secondary winding.

By Ian Poole

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