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# Chapter 1

## Common Diode Applications

Basic Power Supply Circuits
Power Supply
A group of circuits used to convert ac to dc.
Rectifier Converts ac to pulsating dc.
Filter Reduces variations in the rectifier output.
Voltage regulator Maintains a constant dc output
voltage.
Transformers
Transformers are described in terms of the relationship
between secondary voltage (V
S
) and primary voltage (V
P
).
Step-up V
S
is greater than V
P
.
Step-down V
S
is less than V
P
.
Isolation V
S
is approximately
equal to V
P
.
Transformer Voltage and Current
Ratios
S
P
P
S
P
S
I
I
V
V
N
N

Half-wave Rectifiers
Half-wave rectifier A diode placed in series between
a transformer (or ac line input) and its load.
Positive Half-wave Rectifiers
This circuit converts an
ac input to a series of
positive pulses.
Average voltage (V
ave
) The dc equivalent of a
voltage waveform.
Average current (I
ave
) The dc equivalent of a
current waveform.

For the output from a half-wave rectifier:

pk
V
V
ave

pk
I
I
ave

Negative Half-wave Rectifiers
This circuit converts an
ac input to a series of
negative pulses.
Peak Inverse Voltage (PIV)
Peak inverse voltage (PIV) The maximum diode
reverse bias produced by a given circuit.

For the diode in a half-wave rectifier:
(pk)
PIV
S
V
Full-wave Rectifier
Full-wave Rectifier Operation
Diodes conduct during
alternate half cycles of
the input signal.
V
L(pk)
is approximately
half the value of V
S(pk)
.

The circuit produces
two positive half-cycles
for each input cycle.
Average voltage (V
ave
) The dc equivalent of a voltage
waveform.
Average current (I
ave
) The dc equivalent of a current
waveform.

For the output from a full-wave rectifier:

pk
2V
V
ave

pk
2I
I
ave

Peak Inverse Voltage (PIV)
Peak inverse voltage (PIV) The maximum diode
reverse bias produced by a given circuit.

For the diode in a full-wave rectifier:
(pk)
PIV
S
V
(pk)
2 PIV
L
V
Negative Full-wave Rectifiers
The negative full-wave rectifier converts an
ac input to a series of negative pulses.

Full-Wave Bridge Rectifiers
The most commonly used because:
It does not require the use of a center-tapped transformer.
It can be coupled directly to the ac power line.
It produces a higher dc output than a comparable full-wave
center-tapped rectifier.
Bridge Rectifier Operation
Conduction alternates between two diode pairs.
current relationships
V 7 . 0 PIV

2
V 4 . 1
S(pk)
ave
ave
) (pk
ave
(pk) ) (pk

V
R
V
I
V
V
V V
L
L
S L
Working with Rectifiers
Rectifiers are high current circuits, so I
F
R
B
can have a
significant impact on diode forward voltage (V
F
).
Cooling is often used to minimize the effects of high
power rectifier reverse current. Components may be
cooled using a fan and/or a heat sink.
High transformer tolerances can introduce significant
discrepancies between calculated and measured
current and voltage values.

Integrated Rectifiers
Integrated Rectifier A rectifier circuit that is etched
on a single piece of silicon (housed in a single case).
IC rectifiers are:
Cheaper to produce
Easier to troubleshoot
The diodes in an IC rectifier operate at the same
temperature, so they have equal values of forward
voltage and leakage current.
IC rectifier cases are designed to be attached easily
to a heat sink.

Filters
A filter reduces the voltage and current variations
in the output from a rectifier.
Ripple Voltage (V
r
)
Ripple voltage (V
r
) The variation in the filter output
voltage.
The Basic Capacitive Filter
The capacitor:
charges through the
rectifier diode.
discharges through
1
1 1
5
5
C R T
C R T
L D
D C

Surge Current
The high initial current through a power supply.
Surge current lasts only long enough for the
filter capacitor to charge.
B W
S
R R
V
I

) pk (
surge
Limiting Surge Current
Surge current can be limited by:
Inserting a current limiting resistor between the filter
capacitor and the rectifier.
Using a low-value filter capacitor (which shortens the
duration of the surge).
Using an inductive filter.
Filter output voltages
C
t I
V
V
V V
L
r
r

2
pk dc
Filtering and Half-wave
Rectifier PIV
) pk (
2 PIV
S
V
LC Filters
Voltage Regulators
Voltage regulator The final circuit in the dc power
supply.
Zener Voltage Regulators
Regulator Response to
Zener Reduction of V
r

r
S L Z
L Z
r
V
R R Z
R Z
V

) || (
||
(out)
A Basic DC Power Supply