Bridge Rectifier

A bridge rectifier is a type of diode bridge, an electrical component made up of an arrangement of four (or more) diodes in a bridge configuration. Bridge rectifiers are the most common type of diode bridges, and are used to convert alternating current (AC) input to direct current (DC) output.

Bridge Rectifier Company Links

  • C&H Technology, Inc. is an industry leader in power electronic components and assemblies, boasting one of the world’s largest portfolios of components specifically for heavy industrial applications.

About Bridge Rectifiers

Bridge rectifiers are full-wave rectifiers—they convert the whole of the input waveform into one of constant electrical polarity (either positive or negative) at its output. Both polarities of the input waveform are converted to DC output. Because they do not employ center tapped transformers, four diodes are required.

Bridge rectifiers provide full-wave rectification from a two-wire AC input. This results in lower cost and lighter weight in comparison to designs which do use center-tapped transformers.

Prior to the 1950s, bridge rectifiers were constructed from four separate diodes. Since the invention of the integrated circuit, standard configuration has been a single four-terminal component containing four connected diodes. Modern bridge rectifiers are available in a wide range of voltage and current ratings.

Multiple designs are available, as well. Bridge rectifiers can be found in single phase diode, three phase diode, and three phase thyristor models, among other variations.

All rectifiers experience a loss of voltage between peak input and peak output, caused by built-in voltage drops across the diodes. Because of their design, bridge rectifiers tend to lose two “diode drops” (one diode drop is approximately 0.7V for most diodes). In low voltage applications, this may represent substantial power loss.

Bridge Rectifier Applications 

  • Welding
  • Generators
  • Batterychargers
  • AC motor drives

Bridge rectifiers can be used in many other applications as well.

see also: Rectifier


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