Summary And Applications

In this first of two experiments in AC energy you were introduced to a fundamental concept in AC to DC conversion, rectification. Using a simple passive component called a diode, the conversion from AC to DC is made possible.

Beginning with vacuum tubes, diodes have been with us ever since radio was invented. In addition to their application in power supplies, diodes are also used to capture the signal portion of amplitude modulated, AM, radio waves. Every radio uses a diode circuit to "de-modulate" the AM carrier wave to create the audio that we hear. What is important to note, however, is that prior to the 1940's there were essentially no oscilloscopes around to view the voltage characteristics of AC signals. Engineers and scientists used crude meters and incandescent lamps to "measure" these signals. As a matter of fact, the first oscilloscopes were thought to be toys by engineers, and not worthy of their academic "predictions" of waveforms. Fortunately, science has progressed to the point that waveform measurement using oscilloscopes is now commonplace. And you are fortunate to benefit from these technical advances.

In this experiment you used small-signal silicon diodes, which are also the same variety of diodes used in radios, televisions and stereos. On the other end of diode technology are the power diodes that handle large currents, sometimes in the kilo-amp range. Regardless of their current handling capabilities, all diodes operate in the same way allowing current to pass only in one direction, from anode to cathode. Therefore, by learning how diodes work to rectify AC signals, you are ready to expand this learning into the many and varied applications for diodes.

While half wave rectification is simpler than full wave rectification, full wave rectification is preferred for modern power supplies. By learning the fundamentals of both half and full wave rectification, you have learned the basis for standard linear power supply design.

DIY Battery Repair

DIY Battery Repair

You can now recondition your old batteries at home and bring them back to 100 percent of their working condition. This guide will enable you to revive All NiCd batteries regardless of brand and battery volt. It will give you the required information on how to re-energize and revive your NiCd batteries through the RVD process, charging method and charging guidelines.

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