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Difference between Full wave Rectifier and Half wave Rectifier

The key difference between a full wave rectifier and a half wave rectifier is that the half wave rectifier allows one half of the applied input signal to pass whereas, the full wave rectifier allows full applied input to pass.  A rectifier converts alternate current voltage into direct current voltage. A rectifier converts the AC voltage into DC output voltage. There are two types of rectifier– Full Wave Rectifier and Half Wave Rectifier.

Half Wave Rectifier:

  • Rectifies only one half of each AC cycle into pulsating DC output.
  • The frequency of the Half Wave Rectifier.
  • Half wave rectifier is unidirectional.
  • Half wave rectifier has good voltage regulation
  • The efficiency is around 40%.
  • The three main components of half wave rectifier are-
  1. Diode
  2. Transformer
  3. Resistive load
  • A half wave rectifier is used in signal peak applications and rectification.

                The halfwave rectifier waveform before and after rectification


Full wave Rectifier:

  • Full wave rectifier converts the entire cycle of AC into pulsating DC.
  • Full wave rectifiers can be constructed in two ways- The first method is by using a center tapped transformer and two diodes (Center tapped full wave rectifier) and the second method uses a transformer with diodes arranged as a bridge (Bridge rectifier).

Center Tap full Wave Rectifier

Bridge Rectifier

Difference between Half Wave Rectifier and Full Wave Rectifier

The Half wave and Full wave Rectifier have a significant difference which is-


Half Wave Rectifier Full Wave Rectifier
Half wave rectifier allows to pass one half of the applied input signals and blocks the other half signal. Full wave rectifier has the ability to pass full applied input signal.
Half wave recruiter shows unidirectional nature. Full wave rectifier shows bidirectional nature.
Half wave rectifiers have good voltage regulation. Full wave rectifiers have even better voltage regulation.
Half wave rectifier is made up of only a single diode. Full wave rectifiers are made up of more than one diode.
Max value of applied input voltage is equal  to Peak inverse voltage. Full wave rectifiers inverse voltage is twice the value of applied input voltage.
The peak Factor is 2. The peak Factor 1.414
The ripple factor of the half wave rectifier is 1.21. The ripple effect of a full wave rectifier is 0.482.
The form factor is 1.57 in a half wave rectifier. The form factor is 1.11 in full wave rectifiers.


If we need a device which is low in cost and is ready to compromise on the efficiency, using a half wave rectifier is suitable. Whereas, if we’re working on a circuit board transistor that needs to be efficient then a full wave rectifier needs to be used.

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