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Ripple in a power supply unit is caused by…

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Ripple in a power supply unit is caused by

  • A. Using an alternating current source
  • B. Forward voltage drops
  • C. Heavy load
  • D. Using a Zener diode




Ripple in a power supply unit is caused by employing an alternating current source.

Please first of all note that ripples are fractions of escaped AC currents that manage to mix up with DC currents after rectification.

Some electronic devices like your phones need direct current and not alternating current to function. But power is generated and transmitted as alternating current, this creates a need to convert them into DC for use.

During conversion, AC currents are passed through a network of diodes which function as a rectifier, changing the AC to DC. But often times some of the input AC still manages to escape the network of diodes. These escaped AC currents are exactly what we call RIPPLES.

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So, ripples are some AC currents that escape rectification. You can now understand why option A is right.

Now for the right answer to the above question:

  1. Option A is correct.
  2. Option B is incorrect. voltage drops are not regarded as ripples.
  3. C is incorrect. no, heavy loads do not cause ripples.
  4. D is not the correct answer. Zener diodes are special kind of diodes that allows a specific threshold of current to flow in the reverse biased direction. Using them does not cause ripples, in fact they are widely used in almost all your home appliances to regulate internal circuits.


You may please note these/this:

  • After rectification, some quantity of AC which manages to escape the network of diodes corrupts the DC and result in what is called ripples.

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/culled from 2019 JAMB-UTME physics question 14/

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