Explore Different Types of Rectifiers

Types of Rectifiers
Types of Rectifiers

In electronics, it is believed that the rectifier circuit is the most used circuit and the reason behind this is because most of the electronic appliances are operated on directed current. Every specific appliance uses different types of rectifiers.

The classification of types of rectifiers is based on their output. Following is the list of rectifiers:

  • Single-phase rectifier
  • Three-phase rectifier
  • Controlled rectifier
  • Uncontrolled rectifier
  • Half wave rectifier
  • Full wave rectifier
  • Bridge rectifier
  • Center tapped rectifier

So, what exactly is a rectifier? A rectifier can be defined as an electronic device that is made using one or more diodes and is used for the conversion of alternating current into direct current. The process of conversion of alternating current into the direct current is known as rectification.

Classification of rectifiers

The two main classifications of rectifiers are single-phase rectifiers and three-phase rectifiers. They are further divided into uncontrolled rectifiers and controlled rectifiers. Half wave rectifiers and full-wave rectifiers are part of uncontrolled rectifiers.

Half wave rectifier

In half wave rectifier, AC supply is applied at the input, such that only the positive half cycle is visible and the negative half cycle is hidden. The number of diodes used in half wave rectifier is just one. There are three main components of half wave rectifier and they are:

  • A transformer
  • A resistive load
  • A diode

There are a few pros and cons of half wave rectifiers.


  • It is simple because the number of components used are less.
  • Less expensive.


  • The output voltage produced is low.
  • The output current obtained is DC but the number of ripples present is more.
  • They allow only one half-cycle per sinewave making the other half go waste.

Full wave rectifier

In full wave rectifier, both the cycles are visible when an AC supply is applied at the input. Full wave rectifiercan be further divided into two and they are:

  • Centre-tapped full wave rectifier
  • Full wave bridge rectifier

Centre-tapped full wave rectifier consists of centre-tapped transformer, two diodes, and a resistive load. Whereas full wave bridge rectifier consists of four diodes and resistive load.

To learn more about the working principle of half wave rectifier and of full wave rectifier, and the uses of rectifier, stay tuned with BYJU’S.

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