Uses of Rectifier

Uses of Rectifier

We know that the core use of a 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 bridges. Before we understand the applications of the rectifier, let us quickly refresh what a rectifier is.

Table of Contents

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 discussed 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:

A rectifier is used for powering appliances

As we know, all electrical appliances use a 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, which can convert high AC voltage to low DC voltage.

These are used with transformers

Using a half-wave rectifier can help us achieve the desired dc voltage by using step-down or step-up transformers. Full-wave rectifiers are even used for powering up the motor and led, which works on DC voltage.

Uses of rectifier while soldering

A half-wave rectifier is used in soldering iron types of circuits 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 rectifier is used in AM radio as a detector because the output consists of an audio signal. Due to the less intensity of the current, it is of very little 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

A half-wave rectifier is used to demodulate the amplitude of a modulated signal. In a radio signal, a full-wave bridge rectifier is used to detect the amplitude of a modulating signal.

It is used in the voltage multiplier

For the purpose of the voltage multiplier, a half-wave rectifier is used.

These were the applications of rectifiers if you wish to know more, download BYJU’S The Learning App.


Power Of Alternating Current Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC)
Modulation and Demodulation Uses of Transformer
Full Wave Rectifier Half Wave Rectifier

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What is a rectifier?

A rectifier is one or more diodes that are used for the conversion of AC into DC.


Mention three advantages of a bridge rectifier.

Following are the three advantages of a bridge rectifier:

  • The rectification efficiency of the bridge rectifier is double that of the half-wave rectifier.
  • A simple filtering circuit is used in the case of a bridge rectifier as the ripple voltage is low.
  • The TUF (Transformer Utilization Factor) is high.

What is the alternative for a bridge rectifier?

The alternative for the bridge rectifier is a full-wave rectifier.


Name the three basic types of rectifiers.

The three basic types of rectifiers are half-wave rectifiers, full-wave centre-tapped rectifiers, and full-wave bridge rectifiers.


What is the efficiency of a rectifier?

The efficiency of a rectifier is defined as the ratio of DC output power to the applied AC input power.

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