Full Wave Bridge Rectifier – Circuit, waveforms and working principle

Full wave bridge rectifier:

This post provides an information about full wave bridge rectifier. We will also see its working principle and advantages and disadvantages.

Full wave bridge rectifier circuit diagram
Full wave bridge rectifier circuit diagram

In full wave Bridge rectifier a transformer and four diodes are used. During the positive half cycle of secondary voltage, the diodes D2 and D4 are forward-biased, but diodes D1 and D3 do no conduct. The current is through D2, R, D4 and secondary winding.

During the negative half cycle, the diodes D1 and D3 are forward-biased, but diodes D2 and D4 do not conduct. The current is through D1, secondary winding, D3 and R.

The load current is in the same direction in both half-cycles. Therefore a unidirectional (d.c.) voltage is obtained across load resistor.

Average voltage = Vdc = 0.636 Vp = 2Vp/p

Where Vp = peak value of secondary voltage.

Since each diode conducts for only half cycle, the current rating (Io) of the diodes must be at least – half of the dc load current. i.e. 0.5 Idc.

Each diode must withstand a peak inverse voltage equal to the peak secondary voltage. PIV = Vp.

Therefore the PIV rating of the diodes must be greater than Vp. As the output is a full-wave signal, the output frequency is double the input frequency.

The maximum efficiency of bridge rectifier is 81.2%

Advantages of full wave bridge rectifier:

  • Centre tap on the secondary of the transformer is not necessary.
  • Small transformer can be used.
  • For a bridge rectifier circuit PIV per diode is one-half of the value for each diode in a full-wave rectifier.

Disadvantages of bridge wave rectifier:

  • In this type two extra diodes are used.
  • The voltage regulation is poor.

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