The circuit presented here is a Rectifier plus Regulator for a 3-Phase charging system of Motorcycles. The rectifier is full-wave and the regulator is shunt-type regulator.
By: Abu Hafss
Motorcycle Battery Charging System
A motorcycle's charging system is different from that on cars. The voltage alternator or generator on cars are electro-magnet type which are quite easy to regulate. Whereas, the generators on motorcycles are permanent magnet type.
The voltage output of an alternator is directly proportional to the RPM i.e. at high RPM the alternator will produce high voltages more than 50V hence, a regulator becomes essential to protect the entire electrical system and the battery too.
Some small bikes and 3-wheelers which do not run at high speeds, only have 6 diodes (D6-D11) to perform full-wave rectification. They don't need regulation but those diodes are high ampere rated and dissipate a lot of heat during operation.
In bikes with proper regulated charging systems, normally shunt-type regulation is used. This is done by shorting out the alternator's windings for one cycle of the AC waveform. An SCR or sometimes a transistor is used as shunting device in each phase.
Simulation and Working
The network C1, R1, R2, ZD1, D1 and D2 forms the voltage detection circuit, and it is designed to trigger at about 14.4 volts. As soon as charging system passes this threshold voltage, T1 starts conducting.
This sends current to each gate of the three SCRs S1, S2 and S3, via current limiting resistors R3, R5 and R7. D3, D4 and D5 are important to isolate the gates from each other. R4, R6 and R8 help in draining any possible leakage from T1. S1, S2 & S3 should be heat-sinked and isolated from each other using mica insulator, if using common heat-sink.
For the rectifier, there are three options:
a) Six automotive diodes
b) One 3-phase rectifier
c) Two bridge rectifiers
All must be rated at least 15A and heat-sinked.
The automotive diodes are two types positive body or negative body hence, should be used accordingly. But they might be little difficult to contact to heat-sink.
Using Two Bridge Rectifiers
If using two bridge rectifiers, they may be used as shown.