Mainly we have two types of rectifier :
1.         Half wave rectifier.
2.         Full wave rectifier.
            When a single diode is used as a rectifier, the rectification of
only one­half of the A.C. wave form takes place. Such a rectification
is called half­wave rectification.  The circuit diagram for a half­wave
rectifier is shown in Fig.
Principle :
            It is based upon the principle that junction diode offers low
resistance   path   when   forward   biased,   and   high   resistance   when
reverse biased.
Arrangement :­
             The A.C. supply is applied across the primary coil(P) of a
step down transformer.  The secondary coil(S) of the transformer is
connected to the junction diode and a load resistance RL.  The out
put D.C. voltage is obtained across the load resistance(RL)
 Theory  :
             Suppose   that   during   the   first   half   of   the   input   cycle,   the
junction   diode   gets   forward   biased   the   conventional   current   will
flow in the direction of the arrow­heads.  The upper end of RL will
be at positive potential w.r.t. the lower end.   During the negative
half cycle of the input a.c. voltage, the diode is reverse biased.   No
current flows in the circuit, and therefore, no voltage is developed
across (RL).  Since only the positive half cycle of the input appears
across   the   load,   the   a.c.   input   is   converted   into   pulsating   direct
current (d.c.).

OPERATION . we are giving an alternating current as input.  As the output across  (RL) is negligible. The process of rectification is converting alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC).  The following device is used when a very steady d.              3.c.  voltage  is  not  steady   enough  for some purpose.              2.c. If you look at the above diagram.Disadvantage of Half­Wave­Rectifier :              1. voltage is required. As part of our “Basic Electronics Tutorial” series. Half-Wave Rectifier Circuit Diagram A simple Half Wave Rectifier is nothing more than a single pn junction diode connected in series to the load resistor.          A   small   current   flows   during   reverse   bias   due   to minority charge carriers.          Half wave rectification involves a lot of wastage of energy and hence it is not preferred. we have seen that rectification is the most important application of a PN junction diode.          The  resulting   d. The output voltage is measured across load resistor RL. Input voltage is given to a step down transformer and the resulting reduced output of transformer is given to the diode ‘D’ and load resistor RL.

The input we give here is an alternating current. The ac voltage across the secondary winding changes polarities after every half cycle of input wave. At the same time output is zero or insignificant during negative half cycles of input wave. We take the output across load resistor RL. The primary of the transformer is being connected to the ac supply mains. During the positive half cycles of the input wave.t. The output is positive and significant during the positive half cycles of input wave. In other words.r.The operation of a half wave rectifier is pretty simple. a pn junction diode conducts current only when it is forward biased. The diode is connected in series with the secondary of the transformer and the load resistance RL. Since the diode passes current only during one half cycle of the input wave. we get an output as shown in diagram. the diode ‘D’ will be reverse biased. Working of a Half wave rectifier The half-wave rectifier circuit using a semiconductor diode (D) with a load resistance RL but no smoothing filter is given in figure. when upper end of the secondary winding is positive w. During the positive half-cycles of the input ac voltage i. If the forward resistance of the diode . This input voltage is stepped down using a transformer. The same principle is made use of in a half wave rectifier to convert AC to DC. its lower end. From the theory part. This is called half wave rectification.e. The reduced voltage is fed to the diode ‘D’ and load resistance RL. you should know that a pn junction diode conducts current only in 1 direction. the diode is forward biased and therefore conducts current. the diode ‘D’ will be forward biased and during the negative half cycles of input wave.

. is neglected. but only a pulsating dc wave.This article will help you to understand the pn junction and the underlying theory behind using pn junction as a rectifier. It is obvious from the figure that the output is not a steady dc.e. the diode is reverse biased and so does not conduct. So to understand the underlying theory behind a half wave rectifier. with intervening very small constant negative voltage levels. we have to use a filter across the load.is assumed to be zero (in practice. A half wave rectifier is a device which makes use of key properties of a pn junction diode. being very small in magnitude. We have developed two articles to help you understand both of them.t.r. making its upper end positive w. Thus the output voltage (VL) developed across load resistance RL is a series of positive half cycles of alternating voltage. Thus for the negative half cycles no power is delivered to the load. The reverse current. the current through and voltage across the load remains zero.r. however. you need to understand the pn junction and the characteristics of the pn junction diode. Since only half-cycles of the input wave are used. During the negative half cycles of the input ac voltage i. it is called a half wave rectifier.t. when the lower end of the secondary winding is positive w. its lower end. Thus during the negative half cycles of the input ac voltage. 1)Understanding the PN Junction . To make the output wave smooth and useful in a DC power supply. a small resistance exists) the input voltage during the positive half-cycles is directly applied to the load resistance R L. The waveforms of the output current and output voltage are of the same shape as that of the input ac voltage. Half Wave Rectifier Theory Rectification is an application of the pn junction diode. its upper end.

You can understand the behavior of a diode across various voltage levels and how it conducts. the average and peak currents in the diode. ac components of basic frequency equal to that of the input voltage frequency. which in turn will affect audio quality. High ripple factor will result in noises in input audio signal. Simple because of the straight forwardness in circuit design. The output current in the load contains. simple and easy to construct. in addition to dc component. Mr. Note:. It is cheap because of the low number of components involved. a half wave rectifier has more number of disadvantages than advantages! Disadvantages of Half wave rectifier 1. Russel Ohl. Advantages and Disadvantages of Half wave rectifier: A half wave rectifier is rarely used in practice. Apart from this. It is never preferred as the power supply of an audio circuit because of the very high ripple factor. the regulation and the ripple factor. the peak inverse voltage (PIV) of diode. In the story you will learn how great inventions happen and how some bright minds of the 1930′s like Walter Brattain (one among the 3 who invented transistor) worked together to bring great inventions t our life Power Supply Specifications of a rectifier The most important characteristics which are required to be specified for a power supply are the required output dc voltage. Ripple factor is .2) Characteristics of PN junction diode – This article will help you to understand the characteristics of a pn junction diode with help of graphs. The story revolves around the perseverance of a young scientist at Bell Laboratories in USA. Advantage of a half wave rectifier is only that its cheap.There is an interesting story behind the invention of PN junction diode.

The practical application of any rectifier (be it half wave or full wave) is to be used as a component in building DC power supplies. a full wave rectifier is always preferred. therefore. rectification efficiency is quite low. However for applications in which a constant DC voltage is not very essential. 3. DC saturation of transformer core resulting in magnetizing current and hysteresis losses and generation of harmonics. This is due to the fact that power is delivered only during one half cycle of the input alternating voltage. However it can be used for some applications like battery charging. Transformer utilization factor is low. The DC output available from a half-wave rectifier is not satisfactory to make a general power supply. required to give steady dc output. The power output and. you can use power supplies with half wave rectifier. 2. In order to build an efficient & smooth DC power supply. A half wave rectifier is not special than a full wave rectifier in any terms. 4. therefore. Uses of Half wave rectifier Any rectifier is used to construct DC power supplies. .high and an elaborate filtering is.