All You Should Know About AC/DC Converters


AC/DC converters are electrical circuits that transform alternating current (AC) input into direct current (DC) output. AC/DC Converters are also called “rectifiers”; they convert the input AC voltage to variable DC voltage, then optimize it through a filter to obtain an unregulated DC voltage.  


AC/DC power supplies have become indispensable in life in recent years, due to the development of power electronics technology. This power electronic technology processes and controls the flow of electrical energy to supply current and voltages in a form that is optimally suited for the end user's requirements.


There are a lot of real-life applications that are based on this conversion. AC/DC converters are used in industrial process control systems, consumer devices, measurement equipment, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, medical devices, and defense applications. For example, in a smart home, power devices implement efficient hardware for AC/DC conversion to mitigate energy losses and achieve significant cost savings. Here below, we will introduce more detailed information about AC/DC converters.

AC/DC conversion

How AC/DC Power Supply Works

AC/DC power supplies are commonly deployed in situations where many devices need to be powered, or there is a need for more efficient power generation. Usually, transformers are used as the power supplies to change the voltage of the AC, saving it from AC to DC. The transformer changes the voltage to the amount needed by the device that is being supplied.


When converting AC to DC, the voltage will be rectified by the use of diodes which transform the sinusoidal AC wave into positive peaks using a rectifier. After that, waveform fluctuation still needs to be removed. If waveform fluctuation passes into the power supply’s output, the load will be damaged. The worst result is the entire circuit will be destroyed.


The job of a filter is to remove AC ripples in the output voltage, leaving a smooth DC voltage. The filter will maintain a steady and clean output voltage that matches the peak of the original AC input wave.


In short, AC/DC power supplies take power from AC power and convert it into a stable DC for use in electronic devices. During the process, an AC/DC power supply has more than one duty:

1. Transforming AC from a mains supply into a steady DC

2. Preventing any AC from interfering with a DC supply output 

3. Keeping output voltages at a constant level


Requirements of AC/DC Converter

The points below should be taken into consideration when selecting a power supply for industrial automation, IoT, and smart appliances.

Requirements of AC/DC Converter

● Compact Size

The latest smart devices are designed as increasingly compact, lightweight, and simple to install. Therefore, AC/DC converters manufacturers need to keep up with this trend.


● High Efficiency

High efficiency has always been one of the features pursued by various manufacturers when it comes to power converters. AC/DC converters have high efficiency, which means there is less energy loss during operation.


● Low Standby Power

An AC/DC power supply has low standby power consumption. This is very important for some IoT or smart home devices that operate primarily in standby mode, such as sensors or electric curtains, door lock systems, and so on. These devices require a power converter to provide power. Since the sensor does not operate for all days, it means they are mostly in standby mode. If the standby power consumption of the converter is too high, it will cause excessive energy loss.


Benefits Of an AC/DC Converter

The benefits of using an AC/DC converter can be summarized in the following three points:

Benefits Of an AC/DC Converter

● Energy efficient

An AC/DC converter eliminates the need for multiple inverters and converters. The reduction of power conversion and reversal also prevents the possibility of equipment failure.

For example, in electric vehicle (EV) integration, the AC/DC converter can provide fast charging and storage connections to reduce wasteful power conversion and reversal steps.


● Space-saving

In industrial applications, AC/DC converters tend to be lightweight, compact size, and easy to install.

Small size power converters can save more space for the device and make the entire device more compact, especially for various portable handheld devices and home appliances.


● Cost-saving

An AC/DC converter satisfies low-power operation during long standby times. Its high energy savings capacity makes it suitable for industrial applications and home appliances.


Guide to select an AC/DC Converter

● Factors to Consider When Choosing an AC/DC Converter

The selection criteria for an AC/DC converter depend on factors like topology, control algorithm, and performance. Protection functions - including high-temperature, short-circuit, and output over-voltage protection - are also a significant safety and reliability aspect to consider in a power system. A highly integrated AC/DC device usually delivers higher performance and lower power consumption.


Usually, an AC/DC converter should have good switching for high energy efficiency. This can be achieved through innovative technology and processes like silicon carbide (SiC). The use of highly integrated AC/DC converters reduces the variability of design error while ensuring increased robustness and parametric tolerance.


Also, look out for converters with small size, low standby power consumption, and high efficiency. Small-sized power converters help reduce the total size of the product. Low standby power consumption and high -efficiency help minimize energy waste and avoid creating additional heat.


Steps to choose an AC/DC Converter

1. Select the standard reference voltage according to the input voltage range.

2. Select the output power and package type based on the load.

3. Select the right output voltage based on the load type.

4. Select the isolation voltage. Isolation can make the input and output of the converter be two independent (not common grounded) power supplies.



New-generation AC/DC converters reduce power consumption and increase efficiency, which are essential requirements for powering the majority of mains equipment. The future of power electronics is inseparable from the design of more sustainable and more efficient AC to DC conversion circuits.


We at MORNSUN are one of the few power supply manufacturers with its own independent Intellectual Property Rights of integrated circuit, innovative transformer structure, assembly system and appearance design. We put our 23 years of experience at the service of our clients through our continuous efforts in innovating and optimizing our wide selection of power supplies and related products.


Through our two subsidiaries and our distribution network covering over 40 countries, we are committed to enabling you to achieve your power design objectives and exceed your initial expectations.


Click here to request a sample of our AC/DC converters or contact us here.

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