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Basic Power Supply Circuits
• Transformers
• Half-wave rectifiers
• Full-wave rectifiers
• Full-wave bridge rectifiers
• Working with rectifiers
• Filters
• Voltage regulators
• Power supply
– A group of circuits that convert ac energy povided by
the wall outlet to dc energy
• Two basic types
– Linear power supply
– Switching power supply
• Linear power supply
– One that provides a constant current path between its
input and its load
• Switching power supply
– Provides an intermittent current path between its input
and load
Linear power supply
• Three groups: • Rectifier
– Diode circuit that converts
– Rectifier ac to pulsating dc
• Filter
– Filter – Circuit that reduces the
variations in the output of a
– Voltage rectifier
• Voltage regulator
regulator – Circuit designed to
maintain a constant power
supply output voltage
• Transformer is used to connect
the power supply to the ac line
• Transformers are made up of
inductors, not electrically
connected, whereby alternating secondary
voltage applied in the primary
induces alternating voltage in (input) (output)
the secondary
• Transformer provides ac
coupling from primary to
secondary while providing
physical isolation between the
two circuits
• Three types: Transformer symbol
– Step-up
– Step-down
– isolation
Three types of transformers
• Step-up transformer
– Provides secondary voltage that is greater than the
primary voltage
• Step-down transformer
– Provides secondary voltage that is less than the
primary voltage
• Isolation transformer
– Provides an output voltage that is equal to the input
– Used for protecting the power supply from problems
originating from the ac line
Turns Ratio
• Turns ratio
– Ratio of number of turns in the primary to the
number of turns in the secondary
– Equal to the voltage ratio of the component

NS = VS NS = number of turns in the secondary
NP VP NP = number of turns in the primary
VS = secondary voltage
VP = primary voltage
Current Ratio
• Ideally, transformers are 100% efficient
• Ideal transformers transfer 100% of its input power to
the secondary:


The current ratio is the inverse of the voltage ratio.

1. Given: Solution:
Step-down transformer with 120vac VS = (NS/NP)VP
input, turns ratio= 1:4 = ¼ (120vac)
= 30 vac
Required: secondary voltage

2. Given: Solution:
Turns ratio= 1:4 IS = (NP/NS)IP
fuse with IP limit of 1 A = ¼ (1 A)
= 250 mA
Required: secondary current limit
Half-Wave Rectifiers
* Diode placed in series between a
transformer (or ac line input) and its load
* eliminates either the positive or negative
alternation of the input
Half-wave rectifier
• The output from a positive HW rectifier is a series of
positive pulses
• The output from a negative HW rectifier is a series of
negative pulses.
Basic circuit operation
Positive HW rectifier Negative HW rectifier
Diode VD1 VL Diode VD1 VL
condition (ideal) (ideal) condition (ideal) (ideal)
Forward 0 v VS Reverse VS 0v
biased biased
Reverse VS 0v Forward 0 v VS
biased biased
Circuit recognition:
1. When the diode points toward the load (RL), the output from the rectifier will be
2. When the diode points toward the source, the output from the rectifier will be
Vpk = √2 Vrms Half Wave Rectifier
Vs NsVp/Np
rms value corresponds to the
equivalent dc value that will
produce the same heating effect
Vs(pk) √2 Vs
Peak value – maximum value in a VL(pk) Vs(pk) - VB
sine wave

Vave = Vpk / π Vdc VL(pk) / π

Average voltage IL Vdc / RL
– value that will be measured with
a dc voltmeter Idiode IL
- dc equivalent of an ac (or other)
PIV Vs(pk)
fout fin
Why use peak values?
• Knowing peak values of the circuit
voltages allows us to effectively analyze
the circuit operation with an oscilloscope
• Average (dc) voltage and current values
are commonly defined in terms of (and are
calculated using) peak values.s
Half Wave Rectifier
Turns ratio= 3:1, HW rectifier, Si diode,
120v 60 Hz power line, load of 100 ohms Vs NsVp/Np
Vs(pk) √2 Vs
VL(pk) Vs(pk) - VB
Vdc VL(pk) / π

IL Vdc / RL
Vs, Vdc , IL, Idiode , PIV, and fout Idiode IL
Ans: PIV Vs(pk)
40 vac , 17.76 v, 177.6 mA, 177.6 mA, 56.56 v, 60 Hz
fout fin
Full Wave Rectifier

Full Wave Rectifier: CT
Center-tapped transformer – a transformer with an
output lead connected to the center of the
secondary winding
- the voltage is always half the total secondary
FW rectifier : CT

Full-wave center-tap rectifier:

Top half of secondary winding
conducts during positive half-
cycle of input, delivering
positive half-cycle to load..

Full-wave center-tap rectifier:

During negative input half-
cycle, bottom half of
secondary winding conducts,
delivering a positive half-cycle
to the load.
Dual Polarity FW CT Rectifier

The full-wave center-tapped rectifier polarity at the load may be reversed by

changing the direction of the diodes. Furthermore, the reversed diodes can be
paralleled with an existing positive-output rectifier. The result is dual-polarity full-
wave center-tapped rectifier
Half Wave Rectifier FW CT
Vs NsVp/Np Vs NsVp/Np
Vs(pk) √2 Vs Vs(pk) √2 Vs
VL(pk) Vs(pk) - VB VL(pk) Vs(pk) /2 - VB
Vdc VL(pk) / π Vdc 2 VL(pk) / π
IL Vdc / RL IL Vdc / RL each diode
supplies half
Idiode IL Idiode IL /2 waveform to
the load
PIV Vs(pk) PIV Vs(pk) - VB
fout ThefinFW rectifier has twice
fout the output2frequency
fin of the HW
Vs NsVp/Np
Vs(pk) √2 Vs
VL(pk) Vs(pk) /2 - VB
Vdc 2 VL(pk) / π
Turns ratio= 3:1, 120vac , 60Hz, RL = 100 ohms
IL Vdc / RL
Required: Idiode IL /2
Vdc , IL, Idiode , PIV for D1, fout
PIV Vs(pk) - VB
Ans: 17.54v, 175.4 mA, 87.7 mA, 55.86 v,
120 Hz fout 2 fin
• One disadvantage of this full-wave rectifier
design is the necessity of a transformer with
a center-tapped secondary winding.
• If the circuit in question is one of high power,
the size and expense of a suitable
transformer is significant.
• Consequently, the center-tap rectifier design
is only seen in low-power applications.
Full Wave Rectifiers

Bridge Type
FW Bridge Rectifier
• Why are bridge rectifiers preferred over
other FW rectifiers?
– It does not require the use of center-tapped
transformer and therefore can be coupled
directly to the ac power line (if desired).
– When connected to a transformer with the
same secondary voltage, it produces nearly
twice the peak output voltage of the
conventional FW rectifier. This results in a
higher dc output voltage from the supply.
FW Bridge Rectifier

When a bridge rectifier, as opposed to the 2 diode FW rectifier, is used, the

same dc output voltage can be obtained with a transformer having a urns ratio
Np/Ns. Meaning, fewer turns are needed in the secondary transformer. Hence,
bridge rectifiers may be smaller, lighter, and probably costs less.
FW bridge
Circuit operation
Full-wave bridge
rectifier: Electron
flow for positive

Full-wave bridge
rectifier: Electron
flow for negative
Alternate layout style
Vs NsVp/Np NsVp/Np NsVp/Np
Vs(pk) √2 Vs √2 Vs √2 Vs
VL(pk) Vs(pk) - VB Vs(pk) /2 - VB Vs(pk) – 2 VB
Vdc VL(pk) / π 2 VL(pk) / π 2 VL(pk) / π
IL Vdc / RL Vdc / RL Vdc / RL
Idiode IL IL /2 IL /2
PIV Vs(pk) Vs(pk) - VB Vs(pk) - VB
fout fin 2 fin 2 fin
FW Bridge
Vs NsVp/Np
Vs(pk) √2 Vs
VL(pk) Vs(pk) – 2 VB
Vdc 2 VL(pk) / π
IL Vdc / RL
Turns ratio= 3:1, 120vac , 60Hz, RL = 100 ohms
Required: Idiode IL /2
Vdc , IL, Idiode , PIV for each diode, fout PIV Vs(pk) - VB
Ans: 35.08 v, 350.8 mA, 175.4 mA, 55.86 v,
120 Hz fout 2 fin
• Rectification is the conversion of alternating
current (AC) to direct current (DC).
• A half-wave rectifier is a circuit that allows only
one half-cycle of the AC voltage waveform to be
applied to the load, resulting in one non-
alternating polarity across it. The resulting DC
delivered to the load “pulsates” significantly.
• A full-wave rectifier is a circuit that converts both
half-cycles of the AC voltage waveform to an
unbroken series of voltage pulses of the same
polarity. The resulting DC delivered to the load
doesn't “pulsate” as much.

Capacitive Filter
• Filters reduce the variations in the rectifier
output signal.
• Since our goal is to produce a constant dc
output voltage, it is necessary to remove
as much of the rectifier output variation as
• Also known as peak detectors
• Ripple voltage (Vr or
– The variation in the
output voltage from a
• Power supplies are
designed to produce
as little ripple voltage
as possible. Too
much ripple in the
output can have
adverse effects.
Basic Capacitive Filter
• Capacitive filter
– Most basic filter type and the most commonly
– A capacitor connected in parallel with the load
– The filtering action is based on the
charge/discharge action of the capacitor.
• A peak detector is a series connection of a
diode and a capacitor outputting a DC
voltage equal to the peak value of the
applied AC signal
• During the + half-cycle of the input, D1
conducts and the capacitor charges rapidly.
As the input starts to go negative, D1 turns
off, and the capacitor slowly discharges
through the load resistance. As the output
from the rectifier drops below the charged Peak detector: Diode
voltage of the capacitor, the capacitor acts conducts on positive half
as the voltage source for the load. cycles charging capacitor
• It is the difference between the charge and to the peak voltage (less
discharge times of the capacitor that diode forward drop).
reduces the variations in the rectifier output
RC time constant
• Recall: “a capacitor will charge (or discharge) in five time
• The amplitude of the ripple voltage at the output of a filter
varies inversely with the values of filter capacitance and
load resistance.
one time constant: example:

τ = RC Given: C= 100uF, rB = 5 ohms, RL = 1 kilo-ohm

charge time:
(dis)charging period:
T = 5rBC = 5(5)(100u) = 2.5 ms
Τ = 5RC
discharge time:
T = 5RLC = 5(1k)(100u) = 500 ms
R- resistance
Note: capacitor charges almost instantly yet
C- capacitance barely starts to discharge before another
charging voltage is provided by the rectifier.
• What limits the value of filter capacitance?
– The maximum allowable charge time for the component
– The amount of surge current (Isurge ) that the rectifier
diodes can withstand
– The cost of “larger-than-needed” filter capacitors
• The value of the filter capacitor affects both its
charge time and its discharge time. If you increase
the filter capacitance to increase its discharge time,
you increase its charge time as well. This can cause
a surge current problem within the power supply.
Surge Current
• surge current
– high initial current in the power supply
• current-limiting resistor
– low-resistance, high wattage resistor (connected in series) that limits surge
current, but also reduces the output voltage

Isurge = Vs(pk) C = I (t)

Rw + rB ΔVc

C = capacitance, in farads
Vs(pk) – peak secondary voltage
I = dc charge/discharge current
Rw – resistance of secondary
windings t= charge/discharge time

rB – diode bulk resistance ΔVc = change in capacitor voltage

during charge/discharge
Filter Output Voltage
Vdc = Vpk – Vripple

Vripple = IL t t = 1/f

Vpk = peak rectifier output voltage
Vripple = peak-to-peak value of ripple voltage
IL = dc load current
t = time between charging peaks
C = capacitance, in farads
1. Given: Solution:
HW rectifier t = 1/f = 1/60 Hz = 16.7 ms
C = 500uF; IL = 20 mA Vripple = IL t /C
= (20mA)(16.7ms)/500uF
Required: ripple voltage = 668 mVpp

2. Given: Solution:
FW rectifier t = 1/f = 1/120 Hz = 8.33 ms
C = 500 uF; IL = 20 mA Vripple = IL t /C
= (20mA)(8.33ms)/500uF
Required: ripple voltage = 333 mVpp
Note: Since our goal is to have a steady dc voltage that
has little ripple voltage as possible, the FW rectifier gets
us much closer to our goal than does the HW rectifier.
3. Given: Solution:
FW rectifier (CT), 24 vac
Vs(pk) = √2 vac = √2 (24) = 33.9 v
C = 470 uF
RL = 1.2 kilo ohms VL(pk) = Vs(pk) /2 – VB
= 33.9 /2 – 0.7 = 16.3v
Required: Vdc
**assuming Vdc = VL(pk) = 16.3 v
IL = Vdc / RL= 16.3/1.2k
= 13.6 mA

Vripple = IL t/ C = (13.6mA)(8.33ms)
= 241 mVpp
Vdc = VL(pk) – Vripple /2 = 16.3 v – 120.5 mV
= 16.2 v
Voltage Regulator

using zener diode

Zener Voltage Regulator
Ac input Rs
Rectifier Filter

IT = Vin – Vz D1 Load

IL = VZ IZ = IT - IL
IT = the total current drawn through Rs ; IL = load current; IZ = zener current
Vin = the input voltage
Vz = the nominal (rated) zener voltage
Load regulation
• Load regulation = the ability of a regulator
to maintain a constant load voltage
despite anticipated variations in load
current demand
Zener reduction of ripple voltage
• The zener regulator provides an added bonus: It reduces the
amount of ripple voltage at the filter output.
• The zener impedance (Zz ) is a dynamic value; that is, the
opposition that a zener diode presents to a change in voltage
or current

Vr(out) = (Zz || RL ) Vr
(Zz || RL ) + Rs
Vr(out) = the ripple present at the regulator output
(Zz || RL ) = the parallel combination of zener impedance and load
Rs = the regulator series resistance
Vr = the peak-to-peak ripple voltage present at the regulator input
Putting it all together
• The combination of the 4 circuits has converted an ac
line voltage to a steady dc supply voltage that remains
relatively constant when load current demands change.
• Procedure
1. determine the value of Vs(pk)
2. Determine the peak rectifier output voltage
3. Determine the total current through the series resistor.
This current value will be used when calculating the value
of ripple voltage
4. Determine the value of ripple voltage from the filter
5. Find the Vdc at the output. Equate it to Vz rating of the
zener diode.
6. Approximate the final ripple output voltage
7. Using Vz and RL, determine the load current

Determine the values of Vdc , Vr(out) , and IL for the power supply shown.

Vs(pk) = 36 Vac / 0.707 = 51 V

Vpk = Vs(pk) – 1.4 V = 49.6 V // 2 diodes
IR = (Vin – VZ )/Rs = (49.6 V – 30 V)/ 75Ω = 261 mA
Vr = IR t/ C
= (261 mA)(8.33 ms)/2200 μF = 988 mVpp
Vdc = VZ = 30 V
IL = VZ / RL = 30 V/ 300 Ω = 100 mA
Vr(out) = (Zz || RL )Vr /[(Zz || RL ) + Rs ]
= 50 Ω (988 mVpp )/ 125Ω = 395 mVpp