In this project we will build a bridge rectifier.

In short, take AC and turn it into DC.

For most alternative energy applications, we require a direct current (DC) voltage to be generated - for example to charge a bank of batteries. However wind turbines and wave power generators create an alternating current (AC) voltage. This is where the Bridge Rectifier comes in. The AC voltage generated is passed through a circuit of four diodes and emerges converted into the desired DC output.

Newbie special :)

Step 1: Parts List

What you'll need.
  • Jumpers
  • 4 Diodes (1N4001)
  • Load (led, fan, gadget)
  • 10 minutes or less

*Blue component represents whatever it is you would like to place in the circuit.

Step 2: AC to DC - Arranging the Diodes

The most common function of a diode is to allow an electric current to pass in one direction (called the diode's forward direction), while blocking current in the opposite direction (the reverse direction).

  1. Take 4 diodes for example the 1N4007 rectiifer diodes.
  2. Pick two diodes, make an "L" of their two ends marked with the white bands (cathodes)
  3. Just as above do it for the remaining two diodes, this time with their ends having no bands (anodes)
  4. Now you have two sets of diode assemblies. Connect them in a box like the image of the circuit.

Your bridge rectifier is ready. The ends with the bands is the positive, the ends without the bands is the negative and the other two common ends are for the AC input supply.

*Because the input is AC, power and ground does not matter.

Note we have not addressed specific values feel free to adjust the AC input , but I recommend testing the DC voltage out before connecting any device.

Step 3: Test Your Circuit

This was a simple tutorial so hopefully your circuit works fine.


Check that you have the diodes connected and in the proper slots. Check that AC is connected to AC and DC to DC.

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i have to make a variable power supply ranging from -12v to +12v dc output from 240v ac wall input... i am using LM317 and LM337 ... please help me out with the transformer ratiing to be used and which rectifiers diode to be used and values of capacitors and resisters...
<p>can this be used for an item that uses 3 volts </p><p>pls answer</p>
<p>If the diodes are rated for 3v then yes. Most diodes are rated for 3v+.</p>
<p>also do they have to be 1N4001 diodes</p>
<p>Good for beginners, and like jbrauer said you could also use capacitor to smoothen the &quot;spikes&quot; Here is also good art about <a href="http://911electronic.com/rectifier-diode/" rel="nofollow">rectifier diode</a>. </p>
<p>Nice writeup. An additional option is to use a smoothing capacitor to reduce the ripple on the DC output. </p>
<p>Very nicely done. It's sad how unfamiliar I am with electronics, but this was all explained very simply and clearly. Easy to understand, even for someone like me!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I enjoy creating 3D models of pcb circuits. I am a student studying Electrical Engineering. I will share some cool projects & try out a few. More »
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