Simple AC to DC converter using bridge rectifier

Summary

By: 
Himanshu Choudhary

An AC power source is required for powering major appliances but almost all electronic circuits require a steady DC supply. A simple rectifier circuit described in this project converts the input from AC source to DC voltage. Firstly, the AC input from mains is stepped down to a lower value of voltage. This AC supply is then passed through a rectifier circuit to remove the negative cycle of AC waveform. The resulting signal is then filtered to get the DC output. The major part of the circuit is connected to the secondary coil of the transformer which is comprised by diodes and capacitor. While the diodes act as actifiers, capacitor filters out the DC component from the circuit.

 

 

Description

 

In this project, the input mains supply is stepped down from 230 V AC to a desired level (depending upon the rating of the load connected). Peak voltage across the load is matched to the peak value of AC voltage from output of a transformer. This is achieved here by using a step down transformer 12-0-12V of 500mA rating. The reduced voltage level (12V) appears on the secondary winding of the transformer. This AC signal has alternating positive and negative waveform cycle while the desired output should always be positive. Therefore the signal is rectified using a bridge rectifier to block the negative portion of the waveform. Almost all rectifiers comprise a number of diodes in a certain arrangement for converting AC to DC than is possible with only one diode. Here, four 1N4007 diodes (D1-D4) have been used as shown in the circuit diagram. The bridge rectifier rectifies the stepped down AC to pulsating DC which contains ripples. So a filter capacitor C1(1uF) is connected across the output of the rectifier so as to bypass the AC component present in it. The output obtained can now be used to power electronic devices/circuits.

 

Circuit Diagram

Components

Capacitor image
Capacitor

Capacitor is a passive component used to store charge. The charge (q) stored in a capacitor is the product of its capacitance (C) value and the voltage (V) applied to it. Capacitors offer infinite reactance to zero frequency so they are used for blocking DC components or bypassing the AC signals. The capacitor undergoes through a recursive cycle of charging and discharging in AC circuits where the voltage and curre...

1N4001 Diode Image
Diode 1N4001

1N4001 is a member of 1N400x diodes. Diode is a rectifying device which conducts only from anode to cathode. Diode behaves open circuited for the current flow from cathode to anode. 1N4001 is a 1A diode with low forward voltage drop and high surge current capability. It comprises of diffused PN junction and has low reverse leakage current of 5µA. Its DC blocking voltage is 50V.

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