Power MOSFET Bridge Rectifier

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

The losses in a bridge rectifier can easily become significant when low voltages are being rectified. The voltage drop across the bridge is a good 1. 5 V, which is a hefty 25% with an input voltage of 6V. The loss can be reduced by around 50% by using Schottky diodes, but it would naturally be even nicer to reduce it to practically zero. That`s pos

Power MOSFET Bridge Rectifier
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sible with a synchronous rectifier. What that means is using an active switching system instead of a passive` bridge rectifier. The principle is simple: whenever the instantaneous value of the input AC voltage is greater than the rectified output voltage, a MOSFET is switched on to allow current to flow from the input to the output. As we want to have a full-wave rectifier, we need four FETs instead of four diodes, just as in a bridge rectifier. R1 R4 form a voltage divider for the rectified voltage, and R5 R8 do the same for the AC input voltage. As soon as the input voltage is a bit higher than the rectified voltage, IC1d switches on MOSFET T3. Just as in a normal bridge rectifier, the MOSFET diagonally opposite T3 must also be switched on at the same time. That`s taken care of by IC1b. The polarity of the AC voltage is reversed during the next half-wave, so IC1c and IC1a switch on T4 and T1, respectively. As you can see, the voltage dividers are not fully symmetrical. The input voltage is reduced slightly to cause a slight delay in switching on the FETs. That is better than switching them on too soon, which would increase the losses. Be sure to use 1% resistors for the dividers, or (if you can get them) even 0. 1% resistors. The control circuit around the TL084 is powered from the rectified voltage, so an auxiliary supply is not necessary. Naturally, that raises the question of how that can work. At the beginning, there...

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