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AC to DC converter

Converters which convert the alternating current (AC) from the mains to a direct current (DC) are used in a great variety of applications, for example, such as controlling DC motors for household or industrial use (e.g., in washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, industrial machines). Such converters are also known as "Switch Mode Power Supply" (SMPS). AC to DC converters generally comprise a rectifier bridge to rectify the AC current of the input line and a regulating device supplying on output of one or more regulated DC voltages. In converters without isolation between the input and output, a neutral conductor of the input line can be placed directly on the output, and will act as voltage a reference for the whole converter. AC-to-DC converters which receive power from AC power mains often rectify the sinewave (AC) mains voltage and store energy in a capacitor. The capacitor generally charges to the peak mains voltage such that current only flows into the power supply around the peaks of the input voltage. Many AC-DC power converters employ power factor correction. This is often accomplished with two stages in series, a boost converter input stage and a buck converter second stage. The power factor correction (PFC) techniques can be used to reduce the harmonic content of the input current by reforming the input current into what approximates a sinewave. Such power factor circuits are, however, generally complex. AC to DC converters need power factor correction in order to fulfill international standards of low input harmonic current content. A front-end boost PFC converter is one way to obtain good input harmonic current to meet these international standards. Another DC to DC converter is generally cascaded from the front-end boost PFC converter to provide a steady output voltage.

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