A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current (AC), which periodically reverses direction, to direct current (DC), which flows in only one direction. The reverse operation (converting DC to AC) is performed by an inverter.

The process is known as rectification, since it "straightens" the direction of current. Physically, rectifiers take a number of forms, including vacuum tube diodes, wet chemical cells, mercury-arc valves, stacks of copper and selenium oxide plates, semiconductor diodes, silicon-controlled rectifiers and other silicon-based semiconductor switches. Historically, even synchronous electromechanical switches and motor-generator sets have been used. Early radio receivers, called crystal radios, used a "cat's whisker" of fine wire pressing on a crystal of galena (lead sulfide) to serve as a point-contact rectifier or "crystal detector".

Rectifiers have many uses, but are often found serving as components of DC power supplies and high-voltage direct current power transmission systems. Rectification may serve in roles other than to generate direct current for use as a source of power. As noted, rectifiers can serve as detectors of radio signals.

Depending on the type of alternating current supply and the arrangement of the rectifier circuit, the output voltage may require additional smoothing to produce a uniform steady voltage. Many applications of rectifiers, such as power supplies for radio, television and computer equipment, require a steady constant DC voltage (as would be produced by a battery). In these applications the output of the rectifier is smoothed by an electronic filter, which may be a capacitor, choke, or set of capacitors, chokes and resistors, possibly followed by a voltage regulator to produce a steady voltage.


Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KHI) (川崎重工業株式会社, Kawasaki Jūkōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha) (or simply Kawasaki) is a Japanese public multinational corporation manufacturer of motorcycles, engines, heavy equipment, aerospace and defense equipment, rolling stock and ships, headquartered in Chūō, Kobe and Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It is also active in the production of industrial robots, gas turbines, pumps, boilers and other industrial products. The company is named after its founder, Shōzō Kawasaki. KHI is known as one of the three major heavy industrial manufacturers of Japan, alongside Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and IHI. Prior to the Second World War, KHI was part of the Kobe Kawasaki zaibatsu, which included Kawasaki Steel and Kawasaki Kisen. After the conflict, KHI became part of the DKB Group (keiretsu).

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