Transform AC to DC: Understanding Commerical Adapters

In summary, the process of converting AC to DC in commercial adapters involves using a bridge rectifier to convert the sine wave to a directional current, and a capacitor to smooth out the resulting waveform. This can be compared to a network of check valves in a water system, with a capacitor acting as a bucket to reduce fluctuations in flow. Multiple diodes are used in this process, as seen in the link provided by brewnog. Other plans for achieving this conversion can also be found on the link.
  • #1
How do we get a DC from AC. More excately how is this done in comercial adapters (I think they are cold this)?
Engineering news on
  • #2
The chaps in the Electrical Engineering will know more about this than me, but a bridge rectifier is used. As you know, AC usually takes the form of a sine wave. The bridge rectifier uses the directional property of diodes to convert the troughs of the sine waves to peaks, so that the current is now only moving in one direction. A capacitor is then often used to 'smooth' the resulting waveform.

A mechanical analogy might be a network of check valves to make water always flow in a single direction, with a bucket (capacitor!) used to reduce the 'pulses' in flow.
Last edited:
  • #3

Thanks brewnog the link is really helpful. I did think there has to be something with diods somwhere in ther but I never thought there are 2 peres of them. The othere plans on the link are also interesting. Thanks agein! :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

1. How does an AC to DC adapter work?

An AC to DC adapter works by converting the alternating current (AC) from a power outlet into direct current (DC) that can be used by electronic devices. This is done through a process called rectification, where the adapter uses diodes to convert the AC into a pulsating DC signal. The pulsating DC signal is then smoothed out using capacitors to create a steady DC output.

2. What is the difference between AC and DC?

AC stands for alternating current, which means that the flow of electricity periodically changes direction. This is the type of electricity that is supplied by power outlets. DC, on the other hand, stands for direct current, which means that the flow of electricity remains constant in one direction. This is the type of electricity that is used by most electronic devices.

3. What are the different types of commercial adapters?

There are several types of commercial adapters, including wall adapters, power bricks, and USB adapters. Wall adapters are the most common and are used to power small electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops. Power bricks are larger adapters that can handle higher power demands and are commonly used for gaming consoles and desktop computers. USB adapters are smaller and are used to charge devices that have a USB charging port.

4. How do I choose the right adapter for my device?

The most important factor to consider when choosing an adapter for your device is the voltage and current requirements. Make sure to check the specifications of your device and choose an adapter with the same output voltage and equal or higher current rating. It is also important to choose an adapter with the correct plug size and polarity to ensure compatibility with your device.

5. Can I use any AC to DC adapter for my device?

No, it is important to choose an adapter that is specifically designed for your device. Using the wrong adapter can damage your device or cause it to malfunction. It is also important to choose an adapter that is certified by safety organizations, such as UL or CE, to ensure it meets safety standards and will not pose a risk to your device or yourself.

Suggested for: Transform AC to DC: Understanding Commerical Adapters