How Does a Rectifier Work? The Answer Made Easy

How does a rectifier work? The answer is simple. The alternative current is constantly flowing back and forth, in both directions, many times for every second, while direct current only flows in one direction. Every local and international power line carries electricity as alternative current, although most house hold appliances require direct current to function.

This is why you will find that inside every single appliance in your home, there will be a rectifier providing direct current power to you, as for businesses with large appliances and machinery, they will have high voltage switching Dc power supplies to make this process possible. How does a rectifier work? By making direct current from alternative current.

The power lines provide alternative current, but before it reaches your house hold, the alternative current has to first go into a transformer. These transformers have two coils which are laid next each other side by side. They work by one coil inducing a current into the other coil by the means of a moving magnetic field. If the second coil turns a less amount of times than the first coil, then the device is known as a step down transformer, which decreases the amount of voltage.

The alternative current comes into the first coil of the rectifier, which then creates a moving magnetic field that then stimulates a current into the second coil. Power enters a house at 120 volts, but your average electrical appliance only works on a 12 Volt power supply, therefore, the transformer will decrease the amount of voltage. This is basically how rectifiers work is basically by forming a bridge between alternative and direct current. This kind of process is also found and used inside a 100W Mesa Boogie Dual amplifier which is what a guitarist would use.

100W Mesa Boogie Dual amplifier

How does a rectifier work? One way as to how rectifiers work is by also having diodes, which function only as a one way valve and are used to divide the current into two different parts. When alternative current is in its negative phase, it is forced down a negative wire while the positive is closed. When it is flowing in a positive phase, it is moved down the positive wire while the negative is closed. This is when it gets converted into direct current.

Pedal Board Amplifier
Amplifier Pedal Board. Source Here.

These diodes separate the current in to negative and positive forms of power, which is how the 100W Mesa Boogie Dual amplifier works, as well as most of your 12 Volt house hold appliances. In order o keep the current flow smooth, a capacitor must be added, which acts like a small battery. When the current surges, the capacitor absorbs most of it, which in turn levels the peak. The capacitor releases extra electricity when the current drops. These capacitors can also be in a high voltage converter, which can easily bridge the gap of complicated power systems, which allow a consistent flow of power.

Rectifiers are international, and can be found in any appliance, along with a voltage regulator stabilizer. So the next time you are asked, how does a rectifier work, you can answer confidently.

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