Comparison of Full Wave and Half Wave Rectifier

       We will assume that the full-wave and half-wave circuits use identical diodes, identical load resistance and the voltages across half the secondary winding of transformer used in full-wave circuit is the same as the voltage across the secondary winding of the transformer used in half-wave circuit.
(1) In a half rectifier, one diode is used and the load current flows during the positive half cycles of the input voltage. In a full-wave rectifier, two diodes are employed and the load current flows during the whole cycle of the input voltage.
(2) Unlike a half-wave rectifier, a full-wave rectifier circuit requires a centre-tapped transformer.
(3) The peak-inverse voltage (PIV) in a half-wave rectifier is the maximum voltage across the transformer secondary. In a full-wave circuit, the PIV for each diode is two times the maximum voltage between the centre tap and either end of the transformer secondary.
(4) The frequency of the load current is the same as as the frequency of the input supply for a half-wave circuit, and twice the frequency of the input supply for a full-wave circuit.
(5) The d.c. load current and the conversion efficiency for a full rectifier are twice those of a half-wave rectifier. The ripple factor of a full-wave circuit is also less, so that its performance is better than that of the half-wave circuit.
(6) In a full-wave circuit, the two diode currents flow through the two halves of the centre-tapped transformer secondary in opposite directions, so that there is no net direct-current magnetization of the core. The transformer losses being smaller, a smaller transformer can be used for a full-wave rectifier. This is an important advantage over a half-wave rectifier.
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