open circuit, a short circuit, or excessive leakage. The series filter resistor (R1) is subject to changes in value and occasionally opens. Any of these troubles can be easily detected. The input capacitor (C1) has the greatest pulsating voltage applied to it and is the most susceptible to voltage surges. ">
FAILURE ANALYSIS OF THE RESISTOR-CAPACITOR (RC) FILTER. - The shunt capacitors (C1 and C2) are subject to an open circuit, a short circuit, or excessive leakage. The series filter resistor (R1) is subject to changes in value and occasionally opens. Any of these troubles can be easily detected.
The input capacitor (C1) has the greatest pulsating voltage applied to it and is the most susceptible to voltage surges. As a result, the input capacitor is frequently subject to voltage breakdown and shorting. The remaining shunt capacitor (C2) in the filter circuit is not subject to voltage surges because of the protection offered by the series filter resistor (R1). However, a shunt capacitor can become open, leaky, or shorted.
A shorted capacitor or an open filter resistor results in a no-output indication. An open filter resistor results in an abnormally high dc voltage at the input to the filter and no voltage at the output of the filter. Leaky capacitors or filter resistors that have lost their effectiveness, or filter resistors that have decreased in value, result in an excessive ripple amplitude in the output of the supply.
LC Capacitor-Input Filter
The LC capacitor-input filter is one of the most commonly used filters. This type of filter is used primarily in radio receivers, small audio amplifier power supplies, and in any type of power supply where the output current is low and the load current is relatively constant.
Figure 4-29 shows an LC capacitor-input filter and associated waveforms. Both half-wave and full-wave rectifier circuits are used to provide the input. The waveforms shown in view A of the figure represent the unfiltered output from a typical rectifier circuit. Note that the average value of output voltage (Eavg), indicated by the dashed lines, for the half-wave rectifier is less than half the amplitude of the voltage peaks. The average value of output voltage (Eavg) for the full-wave rectifier is greater than half, but is still much less than the peak amplitude of the rectifier-output waveform. With no filter connected across the output of the rectifier circuit (which results in unfiltered output voltage), the waveform has a large value of pulsating component (ripple) as compared to the average (or dc) component.
Figure 4-29. - LC filter and waveforms.
C1 reduces the ripple to a relatively low level (view B). L1 and C2 form the LC filter, which reduces the ripple even further. L1 is a large value iron-core induct (choke). L1 has a high value of inductance an therefore, a high value of XL which offers a high reactance to the ripple frequency. At the same time, C2 offers a very low reactance to ac ripple. L1 and C2 for an ac voltage divider and, because the reactance of L1 much higher than that of C2, most of the ripple voltage is dropped across L1. Only a slight trace of ripple appears across C2 and the load (view C).
While the L1-C2 network greatly reduces ac ripple it has little effect on dc. You should recall that an inductor offers no reactance to dc. The only opposition to current flow is the resistance of the wire in the choke. Generally, this resistance is very low and the dc voltage drop across the coil is minimal. Thus, the LC filter overcomes the disadvantages of the RC filter.
Aside from the voltage divider effect, the inductor improves filtering in another way. You should recall that an inductor resists changes in the magnitude of the current flowing through it. Consequently, when the inductor is placed in series with the load, the inductor maintains steady current. In turn, this helps the voltage across the load remain constant when size of components is a factor.
The LC filter provides good filtering action over a wide range of currents. The capacitor filters best when the load is drawing little current. Thus, the capacitor discharges very slowly and the output voltage remains almost constant. On the other hand, the inductor filters best when the current is highest. The complementary nature of these two components ensures that good filtering will occur over a wide range of currents.
The LC filter has two disadvantages. First, it is more expensive than the RC filter because an iron-core choke costs more than a resistor. The second disadvantage is size. The iron-core choke is bulky and heavy, a fact which may render the LC filter unsuitable for many applications.