We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Power Rectifier?

By Emma G.
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A power rectifier is a device used to turn alternating current (AC) power into direct current (DC) power. A rectifier is the opposite of a power inverter, which turns DC power into AC power. Many small household appliances such as laptops, televisions, and video game systems use these devices to create usable power.

There are two basic kinds of electric power. AC power periodically reverses direction from negative to positive and back. DC current does not reverse direction.

Since AC power can be transferred through wires with minimal losses, the power that goes from the electric company into the average home is AC power. The problem is that most small household devices run off of DC power. A power rectifier must be used to allow these devices to run when plugged into a common wall outlet.

It can be as simple as a single diode. A diode is a small glass and wire component that conducts electricity in only one direction. The single diode can act as a rectifier by blocking either the negative or the positive AC current.

A power rectifier that uses a single diode performs half-wave rectification. This means that only half the wave reaches the output. It is inexpensive and easy, but very inefficient.

Efficiency can be increased by using several diodes. A full-wave power rectifier converts the whole AC signal into DC power. This method requires four diodes in a formation called a diode bridge.

A full wave rectifier similar to the diode bridge can be made using a transformer and two diodes. The transformer must have a center tapped secondary winding. This means that a connection is made half way along the transformer. This is more efficient than the single diode but more expensive than the diode bridge method. Other forms of rectifiers exist, but these are the most commonly used.

The main problem with any rectifier is that AC power has peaks and troughs. DC made from this kind of power does not have a constant voltage. This can cause complications with electrical equipment.

To produce a steady DC signal, the power rectifier must be coupled with some sort of smoothing circuit or filter. The simplest of these is a reservoir capacitor placed at the power rectifier output. The larger the capacitor, the more the ripple will be smoothed. The drawback is that a large capacitor will create higher peak currents.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.