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Final Project

SCR DC Power Supply Design and Implementation

I.

Objective:

1. To understand the theory behind the SCR.


2. To design and implement a SCR driven DC power supply with specification of 500W or more and 48 volts
DC output.
3. To test and run the SCR DC power supply.

II.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

III.

List of Apparatus and Equipment:


SCR: MCR25B (4)
Potentiometer Resistor, 500k
Capacitors: 56nF and assorted
Isolation Transformer
Wire
Load
Digital Multimeter

Theory

1. SCR
A silicon controlled rectifier or semiconductor-controlled rectifier is a four-layer solid-state currentcontrolling device. The name "silicon controlled rectifier" is General Electric's trade name for a type of thyristor.
The SCR was developed by a team of power engineers led by Gordon Hall and commercialized by Frank W. "Bill"
Gutzwiller in 1957.
2. Construction
The silicon control rectifier (SCR) consists of four layers of semiconductors, which form NPNP or PNPN
structures have three P-N junctions labeled J1, J2 and J3, and three terminals. The anode terminal of an SCR is
connected to the p-type material of a PNPN structure, and the cathode terminal is connected to the n-type
layer, while the gate of the SCR is connected to the p-type material nearest to the cathode.
An SCR consists of four layers of alternating p- and n-type semiconductor materials. Silicon is used as the
intrinsic semiconductor, to which the proper dopants are added. The junctions are either diffused or alloyed
(alloy is a mixed semiconductor or a mixed metal). The planar construction is used for low-power SCRs (and all
the junctions are diffused). The mesa-type construction is used for high-power SCRs. In this case, junction J2 is
obtained by the diffusion method, and then the outer two layers are alloyed to it, since the PNPN pellet is
required to handle large currents. It is properly braced with tungsten or molybdenum plates to provide greater
mechanical strength. One of these plates is hard-soldered to a copper stud, which is threaded for attachment of
heat sink. The doping of PNPN depends on the application of SCR, since its characteristics are similar to those of

the thyristor. Today, the term "thyristor" applies to the larger family of multilayer devices that exhibit bistable
state-change behavior that is, switching either on or off.
The operation of an SCR and other thyristors can be understood in terms of a pair of tightly coupled bipolar
junction transistors, arranged to cause the self-latching action:

3. SCR Triggering
The method of securing SCR conduction is called triggering, and it is by far the most common way that
SCRs are latched in actual practice. In fact, SCRs are usually chosen so that their breakover voltage is far beyond
the greatest voltage expected to be experienced from the power source, so that it can be turned on only by an
intentional voltage pulse applied to the gate.
It should be mentioned that SCRs may sometimes be turned off by directly shorting their gate and
cathode terminals together, or by reverse-triggering the gate with a negative voltage (in reference to the
cathode), so that the lower transistor is forced into cutoff. I say this is sometimes possible because it involves
shunting all of the upper transistors collector current past the lower transistors base. This current may be
substantial, making triggered shut-off of an SCR difficult at best. A variation of the SCR, called a Gate-Turn-Off
thyristor, or GTO, makes this task easier. But even with a GTO, the gate current required to turn it off may be as
much as 20% of the anode (load) current! The schematic symbol for a GTO is shown in the following illustration:
(Figure below)
4. SCR as Power Supply
In any bridge rectifier circuit, the rectifying diodes must conduct in opposite pairs. SCR1 and SCR3 must
be fired simultaneously, and SCR2 and SCR4 must be fired together as a pair. As you will notice, though, these
pairs of SCRs do not share the same cathode connections, meaning that it would not work to simply parallel
their respective gate connections and connect a single voltage source to trigger both:

Figure 1: SCR with common bridge rectifier

Although the triggering voltage source shown will trigger SCR4, it will not trigger SCR2 properly because
the two thyristors do not share a common cathode connection to reference that triggering voltage. Pulse
transformers connecting the two thyristor gates to a common triggering voltage source will work, however
Transformer coupling of the gates allows triggering of SCR2 and SCR4.

Figure 2: SCR Bridge with isolation transformer

The connection above will work in this scenario which will be use in this project. The details of the pulse
voltage source are showed in the figure below. Using a basic light dimmer controller in which the load is
replaced with an isolation transformer which sends the pulse of voltage to the SCR.

Figure 3: Trigger Circuit

To reduce the AC component or ripple in the output of the SCR Bridge we add capacitor in parallel and
series inductor. The effect of this will increase the average output voltage and provide current when the voltage
drops. The capacitor value are said to be about 1F per 1KW of output power but in this experiment we used the
highest available value and the inductor are salvage from an old power supply unit of a computer.

Figure 4: DC filter circuit

Limitation of said design for a DC power supply includes the current limit in the on-state with respect to
the conduction angle or trigger angle as shown in the figure below which lowers the output power of the circuit.

Figure 5: On State Power Dissipation

IV.

Experiment Results

This section analyses the results of the experimental project. The project didnt go as expected output
specification of 500 watts and 48 volts DC due to multiple restrain of the type of power supply. First, the SCR
conduction angle will significantly reduce the output current. Second, the trigger or conduction angle cant be
done in electronic circuit as it required an isolation transformer to properly trigger in a bridge connection; hence
the DC electronic trigger will not work in a transformer in simple manner. Third, it is not safe type of power
supply where the DC output is directly connect to the AC source of the circuit.

V.

Conclusion:
The result of the project concluded with a very high DC output. About 150 to 360 volts DC in the

multimeter but was unable to lower the voltage to expect 48 volts due to SCR trigger restrain and current curve
of the SCR that can affect the average on-state current at very low conduction angle. Any lower conduction will
only decrease the current output of the said circuit to counter it is recommended to use multiple parallel bridge
or replace the SCR to higher current rating.