Full wave/ Half wave Rectification

Thread Starter


Joined Jun 16, 2014
What are the advantages/disadvantages of full wave rectification VS half wave rectification for AC to DC conversion?


Joined Jul 18, 2013
Half wave, as its name implies, only rectifies one half of the supply sine wave, whereas full wave results in both halves of one cycle being utilized. The full wave results in a higher energy content.


Joined Feb 20, 2011
half wave rectification clips the negative cycle completely, causing the output to be at 0 volts for half of each cycle. Full wave rectification flips the negative side of the sine wave to the positive side. Full wave rectification is less wasteful.

Here you can see what we are referring to:

The capacitors that are often added on after a rectifier are to smooth the signal to make it look more like a constant DC voltage.


Joined Mar 14, 2008
Another consideration is that, if rectifying a power transformer output, a half-wave rectifier has a DC current component which can saturate the transformer core and cause high transformer primary currents and transformer overheating, so the transformer must be significantly derated for use with a half-wave rectifier.