Large current rectifiers: State of the art and future trends

José R. Rodríguez, Jorge Pontt, César Silva, Eduardo P. Wiechmann, Peter W. Hammond, Frank W. Santucci, Rodrigo Álvarez, Rodrigo Musalem, Samir Kouro, Pablo Lezana

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the different technologies used in the generation of large controlled currents, in the kiloamperes range. After a brief review of processes requiring large currents, the paper discusses the working principles of thyristor phase-controlled rectifiers commonly used in these applications. Chopper-rectifiers using high-current insulated gate bipolar transistors are introduced as an alternative being considered in recent projects. The pulsewidth-modulated current-source rectifier, currently used in medium-voltage motor drives, is also analyzed as a future alternative for rectification in industrial processes. In addition, this paper presents the most important requirements and specifications to be considered in the applications of these high-power units. A system comparison is developed between thyristor and chopper-rectifiers in terms of quality of control, harmonics, power factor, losses, and efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-746
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • AC-DC power conversion
  • Chopper-rectifiers
  • Electrochemical processes
  • Phase control
  • Rectifiers
  • Thyristors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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