# Full Wave Diode Bridge Rectifier Circuit

These rectifiers have some fundamental advantages over their half-wave rectifier counterparts. The average (DC) output voltage is higher.  For the half-wave rectifier, the output of this rectifier has much less ripple than that smoother output waveform.

We use four diodes, one for each half of the wave. Diode  conducts in turn when its anode terminal is positive. It respect to the transformer center point. This circuit gives an overview of the working of a full-wave rectifier. A circuit that produces the same output waveform as the full-wave rectifier circuit is that of the Full Wave Bridge Rectifier.

### Difference between Full Wave Rectifier and Half Wave Rectifier:

Based on different parameters, the difference between the full-wave and the half-wave rectifier is discussed below. The difference between these two rectifiers includes the following.

 Half Wave Rectifier Full Wave Rectifier Half wave rectifier current only during the positive half cycle of the applied input, therefore, it shows unidirectional characteristics. Full-wave rectifier, both the halves of the input signal is utilized at the same time of operation, therefore it shows bidirectional characteristics. This half-wave rectifier circuit can be built using one diode This full-wave rectifier circuit can be built with two or four diodes The transformer utilization factor for HWR is 0.287 The transformer utilization factor for FWR is 0.693 The basic ripple frequency of the HWR is ‘f’ The basic ripple frequency of the FWE is ‘2f’ The peak inverse voltage of the half-wave rectifier is high with the supplied input value. The peak inverse voltage of the full-wave rectifier is double the supplied input value. Voltage regulation of half-wave rectifier is good Voltage regulation of half-wave rectifier is better The peak factor of a half-wave rectifier is 2 The peak factor of this rectifier is 1.414 In this rectifier, transformer core saturation is possible In this rectifier, transformer core saturation is not possible The cost of the HWR is less The cost of the FWR is high In HWR, the center tapping is not required In FWR, the center tapping is required The ripple factor of this rectifier is more The ripple factor of this rectifier is less The form factor of HWR is 1.57 The form factor of FWR is 1.11 The highest efficiency used for rectification is 40.6% The highest efficiency used for rectification is 81.2% The average current value of HWR is Imav/π The average current value of FWR is 2Imav/π

To rectify both half-cycles of a sine wave, the bridge rectifier uses four diodes.  A “bridge” configuration  is secondary winding of the transformer connect on one side of the diode bridge. It network and the load on the other side.

### During positive half cycle:

This circuit’s operation is easily understood one half-cycle at a time. During positive half cycle of the source, diodes D1 and D2 conduct while D3 and D4 are reverse biased. This produces a positive load voltage across the load resistor (note the plus-minus polarity across the load resistor).

### During the next half-cycle:

the source voltage polarity reverses. Now, D3 and D4 are forward biased while D1 and D2 are reverse biased. This also produces a positive load voltage across the load resistor as before.

### DC Value of a Full-Wave Signal:

Because a bridge rectifier produces a full-wave output, the formula for calculating average DC value is the same as that given for the full-wave rectifier:

This equation tells us that the DC value of a full-wave signal is about 63.6 percent of the peak value. For example, if the peak voltage of the full-wave signal is 10V, the dc voltage will be 6.36V when we measure the half-wave signal with a DC voltmeter, the reading will equal the average DC value.

### A Second-order Approximation

In reality, we do not get a perfect full-wave voltage across the load resistor. Because of the barrier potential, the diode does not turn on until the source voltage reaches about 0.7V. And as the bridge rectifier operates two diodes at a time, two diode drops (0.7 * 2 = 1.4V) of the source voltage are lost in the diode. So the peak output voltage is given by:

### Output Frequency:

The full-wave rectifier inverts each negative half cycle, doubling the number of positive half cycles. Because of this, full-wave output has twice as many cycles as the input.

Therefore the frequency of the full-wave signal is double the input frequency.

For example, if the line frequency is 60Hz, the output frequency will be 120Hz.

## Filtering the Output of a Rectifier

The output we get from a full-wave rectifier is a pulsating DC voltage that increases to a maximum and then decreases to zero.

We do not need this kind of DC voltage. What we need is a steady and constant DC voltage, free of any voltage variation or ripple, as we get from the battery.

To obtain such a voltage, we need to filter the full-wave signal. One way to do this is to connect a capacitor, known as a smoothing capacitor, across the load resistor as shown below.

Initially, the capacitor is uncharged. During the first quarter-cycle, diodes D1 and D2 are forward biased, so the capacitor starts charging. The charging continues until the input reaches its peak value. At this point, the capacitor voltage equals Vp. After the input voltage reaches its peak, it begins to decrease. As soon as the input voltage is less than Vp, the voltage across the capacitor exceeds the input voltage which turns off the diodes. As the diodes are off, the capacitor discharges through the load resistor and supplies the load current, until the next peak is arrived. When the next peak arrives, diodes D3 and D4 conduct briefly and recharges the capacitor to the peak value.