Working Principle Of Bridge Rectifier and Zener Diode


AC is the most common power supply that is seen everywhere. AC power is used in residential as well as commercial buildings. When an AC source is available, and you need to power up an electronic circuit that requires a rectified DC power supply, the rectifiers come into the picture. Rectifiers are the devices that convert an AC power to a DC power. Amidst several rectifiers, bridge rectifiers stand out as the most efficient rectifiers. 

The device which converts alternating (AC) current to a direct (DC) current is known as a bridge rectifier. Let us know the construction and working of the bridge rectifier and also learn what is zener diode in this article.

Construction And Working

Diode bridge arrangement is seen in the construction of bridge rectifiers. Diodes are arranged in the form of a bridge in a closed-loop using diodes D1, D2, D3, and D4. RL the load resistor is connected between the bridge. 

Bridge rectifiers are economical and are an affordable solution since they use minimal components that are easily available. In place of using a centre-tapped transformer, load resistor RL is used. The below picture shows the bridge rectifier. 

The input signal is applied across terminals A and B, and the output DC signal is observed across the RL. Load resistor RL is connected between terminals C and D. Diodes are arranged in a pattern, when electricity is passed only two diodes conduct during each half cycle. Diodes D1 and D3 conduct when electric current is passed during the positive half cycle. Diodes D2 and D4 conduct when electric current is passed during a negative half cycle. Depending on the load current requirements, a proper bridge rectifier is selected. 

Now let us know what is zener diode and its uses.

Special Type Of Diode – Zener diode

A Zener diode is a specifically designed diode that allows current to flow in the backwards direction, when a set reverse voltage, called as the Zener voltage, is reached. It is manufactured with a wide range of voltage specifications. Zener voltage is also referred to as knee voltage. These devices are widely used in electronic equipment of all kinds and are one of the basic building blocks of electronic circuits. When the zener diode exceeds the zener voltage the voltage across the load becomes stable.

Zener diode is used instead of shunt voltage regulator mainly for regulating voltage across small loads. The breakdown voltage remains constant for a wide range of current in zener diodes. The V-I characteristic graph shows the working of zener diodes. When connected in forwarding bias, it behaves like an ordinary diode. Zener diode is used as voltage stabilizer, for meter protection and wave shaping. Zener diodes can convert the sine wave into the square wave. It is used in multimeters for controlling the accidental overloads. It is also used for regulating the voltage. 

To know more about zener diodes and bridge rectifiers in detail, visit the most trusted learning app – BYJU’S.


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