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Surge Protection for Rectifier Circuits

The rectifier circuits in power supplies are subject to a large variety of


transient voltages from lightning or from inductive loads such as motor and
coils that produce a spike when they are dc-energized. When these transients
occur, they may have voltage levels that are two to five times the original
supply voltage. The fuses in a circuit are designed to protect a circuit against
overcurrent, but they cannot detect overvoltage so, with a solid state device
called a metal oxide varistor (MOV) is designed to be connected in parallel
across the input power supply, in order that if the incoming voltage increases
to a point that exceeds the MOV’s voltage rating, the internal resistance of
the MOV is quickly reduced to near zero, which will allow maximum current
to flow through it that will cause fuse to open. Additionally, MOV act like an
open circuit for a normal incoming voltage to the power supply but quickly
become a short circuit at the time incoming voltage increases to a point that
exceeds the MOV’s voltage rating.

Crowbar Protection Against Overvoltage

Another way to protect power supply circuits against overvoltage


conditions is with a crowbar circuit.

In the figure, shows two examples of a crowbar circuit


wherein an SCR is used to sense the overvoltage condition and go
into conduction. The SCR is strategically located in the circuit to
cause a short circuit of sufficient size to cause the fuse or circuit
breaker to open and protect the circuit.

APPLICATIONS FOR INDUSTRIAL POWER SUPPLIES

Power supply for a Variable-Frequency Motor Drive


You can get a better idea of how the diodes in the rectifier and the devices in the filter and regulator sections of a circuit all
work together when you see a complete electronic circuit for an operational system.

This is used commonly in industrial applications wherein this variable frequency motor drive circuit diagram uses three-phase
supply voltage, so therefore a three-phase full-wave bridge rectifier is used.

Welding Power Supply

The next application of industrial equipment that uses a large power supply is a welding system. This welding system is
specifically designed for dc arc welding. This means that it will get its supply power from an ac power source that must be
converted to dc voltage.

The main transformer