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voltage multiplier is an electrical circuit that converts AC electrical power from a lower voltage to a higher DC voltage, typically using a network of capacitors and diodes.

Voltage multipliers can be used to generate a few volts for electronic appliances, to millions of volts for purposes such as high-energy physics experiments and lightning safety testing. The most common type of voltage multiplier is the half-wave series multiplier, also called the Villard cascade.

It is in fact a improved capacitor filtration circuit (rectifier circuit) that tends to make a DC output voltage several times more than twice the AC peak input. Within this segment, we will be looking into full-wave voltage doubler, half-wave voltage doubler, voltage tripler last but not least quadrupler.


The figure below shows the input waveform, circuit diagram and output waveform. In this diagram , during the positive half cycle, the forward biased D1 diode conducts and diode D2 remains in switched OFF state.

At this point, the capacitor (C1) charges upto VSmax (peak 2° voltage). In the course of the negative half cycle, the D2 forward biased diode operates and D1 diode goes into a cut off situation. In this condition  C2 begins charging.

Applying Kirchoff’s voltage law = VSmax – VC1 + VC2 = 0 (outer loop)   VC2 = VSmax + VC1   = VSmax + VSmax  (since VC1 = VSmax)   = 2 VSmax ➝ Two times the maximum value of  2° transformer voltage

In the course of the subsequent positive half cycle, D2 becomes reversed biased (blocking mode). In this condition C2 capacitor becomes discharged via the load and so voltage across this capacitor drops.

However in the absence of a load each of the capacitors goes into a charged condition. Meaning  C1 is charged to VSmax and C2 is charged to 2VSmax.

Through the entire negative half cycle C2 becomes charged just as before (2VSmax). Within the next half cycle, a half wave that is filtered through capacitor filter is acquired over the capacitor C2. Right here, ripple frequency is identical to the signal frequency.


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