Technical Documentation

The portfolio of rectifiers from onsemi includes Single, Ultrafast, Standard Recovery, Fast Recovery, Bridge, Single Common Anode, Dual Common, Cathode, Schottky, Series, Ultrasoft, and Extremefast rectifiers. Their ideal performance characteristics of low power loss and high efficiency make them superior solutions for switching power supplies, inverters, converters, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), ultrasonic systems, choppers, low RF interference, and as freewheeling diodes and clamping diodes. These rectifiers excel in use as freewheeling of boost diode in switching power supplies and other power switching applications. Their low stored charge and hyperfast soft recovery minimize electrical noise in many power switching circuits reducing power loss in the switching transistors. The portfolio also includes AEC-Q101 Qualified and PPAP Capable options specifically engineered and qualified for automotive industry applications. Additional standards met by the portfolio include UL 94 V-0, MIL-STD-202, and MSL 1 per J-STD-020.

What Does a Rectifier Do?

A rectifier is a device capable of changing alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC). It does this by using a diode in a process called rectification. The rectifier circuit is commonly used in electronic devices to adapt their input to an outlet’s output.This is the reason the rectifier has become the ideal solution for both industrial and residential AC to DC conversions. Even small electronic appliances use rectifiers to change the current coming from homes into something they can use.

Types of Rectifiers

Rectifiers are separated into several categories based on the control, materials, and bridge configurations. Most of these designs serve the same general purpose of converting a current, but specifics greatly differ. Additionally, rectifiers are commonly divided into two general categories: controlled and uncontrolled rectifiers. Each of which comes with wave variations.

Uncontrolled Rectifiers

An uncontrolled rectifier is a rectifier that has an output voltage that cannot be changed. A typical rectifier works with or without switches that are capable of alternating between an “on” or “off” state. When the output of a rectifier will only move in one direction due to the lack of switches, then it is called an uncontrolled rectifier. Adding to this, a diode with only two terminals serves only to enable the flow of an electric current in a single direction. Essentially, this type of rectifier does not come with a method to manage its functionality.

Uncontrolled rectifiers come in two separate categories: full and half-wave.

1) Half Wave Rectifiers

When an AC is fed into the input of a half-wave rectifier, the positive half of the cycle will appear through the load and the negative half cycle will be covered up. A half-wave rectifier has its issues, as only half of the input waveforms will reach the output. It requires additional filtering to decrease the number of ripples produced.

2) Full Wave Rectifier

When both half cycles of an AC are supplied to the input of a full-wave rectifier, the current flowing through the load will go in one direction. This type of circuit will result in a much higher quality of voltage output by changing the polarities of the input waveforms into pulsating DC. In this type of rectifier, when the AC supply is applied to the input, the flow of current through the load flows in the same direction. Full-wave rectifiers do come with a disadvantage, as their design requires a transformer with a center-tapped secondary winding. The significance of the transformer’s size has a correlating relationship with the power of a full-wave rectifier.

Controlled Rectifiers

If the output voltage of a rectifier can change, then it is known as a controlled rectifier. It was the shortcomings of uncontrolled rectifiers that brought the need for controlled versions. There are devices that can be used to convert a rectifier from uncontrolled to controlled, such as a silicon controlled rectifier (SCR), among others. You can use these SCRs to be in an "on" or "off" position to have full control of the rectifier. For the most part, controlled rectifiers are preferred over their uncontrolled counterparts. Additionally, an SCR is also known as a thyristor and is composed of three terminals: cathode, anode, and gate.

Similar to the uncontrolled variant, the controlled rectifier also comes in two categories: half-wave and full-wave controlled rectifiers. Each of these versions has its advantages. For instance, the full-wave rectifier has greater efficiency compared to the half-wave rectifier as it utilizes both half-cycles of the input wave. The downside to this improved performance is that a controlled full-wave rectifier needs four diodes.

How Are Rectifiers Used in Telecommunication?

Rectifiers are a vital part of the telecommunication sector since they are used heavily in the creation of network systems. Their versatility when it comes to switching currents allows companies to quickly change up the layout of their network without having to start creating a new one. The uses of rectifiers in the telecommunication industry are diverse in application but still follow the general purpose of providing stability and versatility to the network as a whole. Rectifiers can give networks a stable power source while being able to manage and decrease power consumption. Naturally, due to the wide range of rectifier types and the more precise advantages of each, telecommunication companies should keep their needs in mind before altering their systems with them.

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