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Full Wave Rectifier

In a Full-wave rectifier circuit two diodes are used, together with a transformer whose secondary winding is split equally into two and has a common centre tapped connection, (C). Now each diode conducts in turn when its Anode terminal is positive with respect to the centre pointC.

The circuit consists of two Half-wave rectifiers connected to a single load resistance with each diode taking it in turn to supply current to the load. When point A is positive with respect to point B, diodeD1conducts in the forward direction as indicated by the arrows. When point B is positive (in the negative half of the cycle) with respect to point A, diode D2 conducts in the forward direction and the current flowing through resistor R is in the same direction for both circuits. As the output voltage across the resistor R is the sum of the two waveforms, this type of circuit is also known as a "bi-phase" circuit.

As the spaces between each half-wave developed by each diode is now being filled in by the other diode the average DC output voltage across the load resistor is now double that of the single half-wave rectifier circuit and is about 0.637Vmax of the peak voltage, assuming no losses.

The peak voltage of the output waveform is the same as before for the half-wave rectifier provided each half of the transformer windings have the same rms voltage value. To obtain a different d.c. voltage output different transformer ratios can be used, but one main disadvantage of this type of rectifier is that having a larger transformer for a given power output with two separate windings makes this type of circuit costly compared to a "Bridge Rectifier" circuit equivalent.
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