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Subject: Physics , asked on 8/1/12

# what is the difference between half wave rectifier and full wave rectifier??

A Half Wave rectifier only lets either negative or positive polarity of the AC signal to pass through but the full-wave let's both to pass through.

The waveform produces in a half wave has alternate gaps but it is continuous in full wave rectification.

In order to achieve that, a half-wave rectifier has one diode but a full wave has two diodes.

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1. ## Half-wave rectification

A half wave rectifier is a special case of a clipper. In half wave rectification, either the positive or negative half of the AC wave is passed easily, while the other half is blocked, depending on the polarity of the rectifier. Because only one half of the input waveform reaches the output, it is very inefficient if used for power transfer. Half-wave rectification can be achieved with a single diode in a one phase supply.

In half wave rectification, either the positive or negative half of the AC wave is passed, while the other half is blocked. Because only one half of the input waveform reaches the output, it is very inefficient if used for power transfer. Half-wave rectification can be achieved with a single diode in a one phase supply, or with three diodes in a three-phase supply.

in half wave rectifier only one diode is there. The diode will be forward biased in the positive half cycle and reverse biased in the negative half cycle. So the out put will be available only during the positive half cycle and the out put will be unidirectional.

## Full-wave rectification

A full-wave rectifier converts the whole of the input waveform to one of constant polarity (positive or negative) at its output. Full-wave rectification converts both polarities of the input waveform to DC (direct current), and is more efficient. However, in a circuit with a non-center tapped transformer, four diodes are required instead of the one needed for half-wave rectification. (See semiconductors, diode). Four rectifiers arranged this way are called a diode bridge or bridge rectifier:

For single-phase AC, if the transformer is center-tapped, then two diodes back-to-back (i.e. anodes-to-anode or cathode-to-cathode) form a full-wave rectifier (in this case, the voltage is half of that for the non-tapped bridge circuit above, and the diagram voltages are not to scale).

In a full wave rectifier during each half cycle one of the diode will be forward biased and output will be available across the load resistor. So we get continuous dc output throughout the cycle.