We know that the core use of rectifier is to convert AC current into DC current. The rectifier consists of semiconductor diodes to do this function. There are various types of rectifiers namely: half wave, full wave and full-wave bridge. Before we understand the applications of the rectifier, let us quickly refresh what a rectifier is.
What is a Rectifier?
A rectifier is an electrical component that converts alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). A rectifier is analogous to a one-way valve that allows an electrical current to flow in only one direction. The process of converting AC current to DC current is known as rectification. A rectifier can take several physical forms such as solid-state diodes, vacuum tube diodes, mercury-arc valves, silicon-controlled rectifiers and various other silicon-based semiconductor switches. Having discusssed what a rectifier is, let us look at a few of its applications in the next section:
Applications and Uses of Rectifiers
The primary application of the rectifier is to derive DC power from AC power. Rectifiers are used inside the power supplies of almost all electronic equipment. In power supplies, the rectifier is normally placed in series following the transformer, a smoothing filter and possibly a voltage regulator. Below, we have discussed a few rectifier applications:
Rectifier is used for powering appliances
As we are aware that all electrical appliances uses DC power supply to function. Using a rectifier in the power supply helps in converting AC to DC power supply. Bridge rectifiers are widely used for large appliances, where they are capable of converting high AC voltage to low DC voltage.
These are used with transformers
Use of a half wave rectifier can help us achieve the desired dc voltage by using a step down or step up transformers. Full wave rectifiers are even used for powering up motor and led, which works on DC voltage.
Uses of rectifier while soldering
Half wave rectifier are used in soldering iron types of circuit and is also used in mosquito repellent to drive the lead for the fumes. In electric welding, bridge rectifier circuits are used to supply steady and polarized DC voltage.
It is also used in AM radio
A half wave rectifiers are used in AM radio as a detector because the output consists of an audio signal. Due to the less intensity of current, it is of very less use to the more complex rectifier.
Uses of Rectifier in circuits
A half wave rectifier is used in firing circuits and pulse generating circuits.
It is used for modulation
For demodulating the amplitude of a modulated signal, a half wave rectifier is used. In a radio signal, to detect the amplitude of a modulating signal, a full wave bridge rectifier is used.
It is used in voltage multiplier
For the purpose of voltage multiplier, a half wave rectifier is used.
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