Bridge rectifier diodes are semiconductor diodes that primarily function as an AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) converter using rectifier bridges. They are essential components of power supplies, particularly the ones that provide the needed DC voltage for electronic devices. Bridge rectifier diodes typically have four or more diodes.
The four diodes in bridge rectifiers - D1, D2, D3, and D4 - are responsible for the supply voltage conversion from AC to DC. Aside from the diodes, the bridge rectifier also has an RL (load resistor). The diodes are linked through a closed-loop pattern, which allows efficient AC to DC conversion.
The bridge rectifier circuit generates output signals that are of the same polarity regardless of the input signal polarities.
Bridge rectifier diodes are ideal for high voltage applications. Aside from converting high AC to low DC voltage, they are also essential components for power supplies, wind turbines, battery chargers, and for detecting modulating signals’ amplitude. Bridge rectifiers are used in welding – it supplies steady and polarized DC voltage.
There are several types of bridge rectifiers. They are classified according to the number and structure of supply voltage phases, number of half-wave rectification voltage, and load type.
Bridge rectifiers classified according to the number and structure of supply voltage phases include single phase bridge rectifiers and multi-phase bridge rectifiers. Two-phase and three-phase bridge rectifiers are identified as multi-phase bridge rectifiers.
Bridge rectifiers classified according to the number of half-wave rectification voltage are the half-wave rectifier (also known as single bridge) and the full-wave rectifier (or double bridge). There are combination circuits as well, which combines the phase number and the number of rectifiers (ex. single phase half-wave rectifiers).
Bridge rectifiers are also classified according to their load type. They can be capacitive, resistive, or inductive.