Difference between Controlled Rectifier and Uncontrolled Rectifier

A rectifier is a device that converts AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current). But do you know there are two types of rectifiers? They are controlled and uncontrolled rectifiers.

The main difference is that a controlled rectifier can control the amount of current that passes through it while an uncontrolled rectifier cannot.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Controlled Rectifier and Uncontrolled Rectifier:

  • Controlled Rectifier: A controlled rectifier is a type of rectifier that can control the amount of current that passes through it. It can do this by using electronic switches called thyristors.
  • Uncontrolled Rectifier: An uncontrolled rectifier is a type of rectifier that cannot control the amount of current that passes through it. It works by using diodes to allow the current to flow in only one direction.

Controlled Rectifier vs Uncontrolled Rectifier

Now, let’s move to Controlled Rectifier vs Uncontrolled Rectifier:

Major differences between Controlled Rectifier and Uncontrolled Rectifier

Controlled Rectifier Uncontrolled Rectifier
A controlled rectifier uses electronic switches called thyristors. An uncontrolled rectifier uses diodes.
A controlled rectifier can be used for high-power applications. An uncontrolled rectifier is usually used for low-power applications.
A controlled rectifier is more expensive than an uncontrolled rectifier. An uncontrolled rectifier is less expensive than a controlled rectifier.
A controlled rectifier can control the amount of current that passes through it. An uncontrolled rectifier cannot control the amount of current that passes through it.
Controlled rectifiers are used in high-power applications like electric cars. Uncontrolled rectifiers are used in low-power applications like battery chargers.

That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Controlled Rectifier and Uncontrolled Rectifier”.

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Final words

Rectifiers play a crucial role in converting alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) for various applications. Controlled and uncontrolled rectifiers are two types of rectifiers commonly used in power electronics. Both types of rectifiers have their advantages and limitations, and the selection of one over the other depends on the specific application requirements.

Understanding the differences between controlled and uncontrolled rectifiers can help in selecting the right type of rectifier for a particular application.

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