We are aware that there are different types of electricity. The electricity that is used for electric power transmission over long distances may not be appropriate for household appliances like phone and television sets. The electricity that is transmitted from power stations has to be converted into a more appropriate form for household appliances. An electronic device known as the rectifier is used to convert electricity from one form to another. A rectifier converts alternating current to direct current. Generally, a bridge rectifier or a rectifier diode is employed for rectification purpose.
Bridge rectifiers using its system of diodes convert AC to DC. Each of these diodes are made of semiconductors. Semiconductors are materials that are made of metals like Gallium and metalloids like Silicon and are contaminated with materials like phosphorous to control the flow of current. Bridge rectifiers are more advantageous than other rectifiers because they can output more voltage and power than other rectifiers.
Silicon and Germanium Diodes
These diodes take advantage of the p-n junction to convert AC to DC. These diodes allow current to flow only in one direction. Forward biased diodes allow current to flow while reverse biased diodes block the flow of current. For silicon diodes, the forward voltage is 0.7 V while the forward voltage for the Germanium diode is 0.3 V.
Some Applications of Rectifier Circuits
The primary application of the rectifier is to derive DC power from AC power. Below we have listed few more noteworthy applications of rectifiers:
In addition to the applications already discussed, rectifiers find use in AM radio signals, soldering equipment, voltage multipliers, pulse generators and power supply circuits.
- Soldering irons connect parts of electric circuits together. They use half-wave rectifiers for a single direction of the input AC.
- Electric welding techniques use bridge rectifiers for providing a steady supply of DC.
- AM radios make use of half-wave rectifiers to detect changes in the input signal
- Pulse generators make use of half-wave rectifiers for changing the input signal.
- DC power from power stations is sent across a long distance before it is converted into AC power supply for household electronic appliances. Bridge rectifiers are used for the rectification in this case.
There are many such scientific principles that we witness on a regular basis and are unaware of. One such principle is the Hall effect. Hall effect is a conduction phenomenon which is different for different charge carriers. The effect is used to study the details of conduction in semiconductors and other materials which show a combination of positive and negative charge because hall voltage has different polarity towards positive and negative charge. To learn many more principles like these, subscribe to BYJU’S youtube channel.