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Advantages of a bridge rectifier over center-tap (full wave rectifier).

    1. Bridge rectifier may use a transformer or may not use a transformer.  It depends on the necessity of stepping up or down of voltages.

   2. Bridge rectifier utilizes the entire transformer during the entire cycle (100%) of a time period of the voltage/current wave form.   Center tap uses only for 50% of the transformer.

   3. The size of the transformer used in bridge rectifier is smaller than that in the center tap rectifier.

   4. The number of diodes used in bridge rectifiers is 4.  The number of diodes used in center tap rectifiers is 2.  However, the diodes are usually low cost, highly reliable and small size silicon diodes of latest technologies.  So that is not a disadvantage.

   5. The Peak Inverse voltage rating PIV of the diodes in the bridge rectifier is 1/2 of the PIV rating in case of center tap rectifier.  That means that one needs high quality and costlier diodes for center tape rectifiers.  PIV is the voltage that can be applied in the reverse bias of the diode without breaking down or avalanching of the diode.

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