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9/22/2016 TRIAC|Electrical4u

TRIAC
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TriacisathreeterminalACswitchwhichisdifferentfromtheother
siliconcontrolledrectifiersinthesensethatitcanconductinboththedirectionsthatiswhethertheappliedgate
signalispositiveornegative,itwillconduct.Thus,thisdevicecanbeusedforACsystemsasaswitch.Thisisathree
terminal,fourlayer,bidirectionalsemiconductordevicethatcontrolsACpower.Thetriacofmaximumratingof16
kwisavailableinthemarket.Figureshowsthesymbolof
triac,whichhastwomainterminalsMT 1andMT 2
connectedininverseparallelandagateterminal.

ConstructionofTriac
TwoSCRsareconnectedininverseparallelwithgate
terminalascommon.Gateterminalsisconnectedtoboth
theNandPregionsduetowhichgatesignalmaybe
appliedwhichisirrespectiveofthepolarityofthesignal.
Here,wedonothaveanodeandcathodesinceitworks
forboththepolaritieswhichmeansthatdeviceisbilateral.
Itconsistsofthreeterminalsnamely,mainterminal
1(MT 1),mainterminal2(MT 2),andgateterminalG.Figure
showstheconstructionofatriac.Therearetwomain
terminalsnamelyMT 1andMT 2andtheremaining
terminalisgateterminal.

OperationofTriac
Thetriaccanbeturnedonbyapplyingthegatevoltage
higherthanbreakovervoltage.However,withoutmaking
thevoltagehigh,itcanbeturnedonbyapplyingthegate
pulseof35microsecondstoturniton.Whenthevoltage
appliedislessthanthebreakovervoltage,weusegate
triggeringmethodtoturniton.Therearefourdifferentmodesofoperations,theyare

1.WhenMT 2andGatebeingPositivewithRespecttoMT 1Whenthishappens,currentflowsthroughthepath


P1N1P2N2.Here,P1N1andP2N2areforwardbiasedbutN1P2isreversebiased.Thetriacissaidtobe
operatedinpositivelybiasedregion.PositivegatewithrespecttoMT 1forwardbiasesP2N2andbreakdown
occurs.
2.WhenMT 2isPositivebutGateisNegativewithRespecttoMT 1ThecurrentflowsthroughthepathP1N1P2
N2.ButP2N3isforwardbiasedandcurrentcarriersinjectedintoP2onthetriac.
3.WhenMT 2andGateareNegativewithRespecttoMT 1CurrentflowsthroughthepathP2N1P1N4.Two
junctionsP2N1andP1N4areforwardbiasedbutthejunctionN1P1isreversebiased.Thetriacissaidtobe
inthenegativelybiasedregion.

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4.WhenMT 2isNegativebutGateisPositivewithRespect
toMT 1P2N2isforwardbiasedatthatcondition.Current
carriersareinjectedsothetriacturnson.Thismodeof
operationhasadisadvantagethatitshouldnotbeused
forhigh(di/dt)circuits.Sensitivityoftriggeringinmode2
and3ishighandifmarginaltriggeringcapabilityis
required,negativegatepulsesshouldbeused.
Triggeringinmode1ismoresensitivethanmode2and
mode3.

CharacteristicsofaTriac
ThetriaccharacteristicsissimilartoSCRbutitisapplicable
tobothpositiveandnegativetriacvoltages.Theoperation
canbesummarizedasfollows

FirstQuadrantOperationofTriac

VoltageatterminalMT 2ispositivewithrespecttoterminal
MT 1andgatevoltageisalsopositivewithrespecttofirst
terminal.

SecondQuadrantOperationofTriac

Voltageatterminal2ispositivewithrespecttoterminal1and
gatevoltageisnegativewithrespecttoterminal1.

ThirdQuadrantOperationofTriac

Voltageofterminal1ispositivewithrespecttoterminal2andthegatevoltageisnegative.

FourthQuadrantOperationofTriac

Voltageofterminal2isnegativewithrespecttoterminal1andgatevoltageispositive.

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Whenthedevicegetsturnedon,aheavycurrentflowsthroughitwhichmaydamagethedevice,henceinorderto
limitthecurrentacurrentlimitingresistorshouldbeconnectedexternallytoit.Byapplyingpropergatesignal,firing
angleofthedevicemaybecontrolled.Thegatetriggeringcircuitsshouldbeusedforpropergatetriggering.Wecan
usediacfortriggeringthegatepulse.Forfiringofthedevicewithproperfiringangle,agatepulsemaybeapplied
uptoadurationof35microseconds.

AdvantagesofTriac
1.Itcanbetriggeredwithpositiveornegativepolarityofgatepulses.
2.Itrequiresonlyasingleheatsinkofslightlylargersize,whereasforSCR,twoheatsinksshouldberequired
ofsmallersize.
3.Itrequiressinglefuseforprotection.
4.AsafebreakdownineitherdirectionispossiblebutforSCRprotectionshouldbegivenwithparalleldiode.

DisadvantagesofTriac
1.TheyarenotmuchreliablecomparedtoSCR.
2.Ithas(dv/dt)ratinglowerthanSCR.
3.LowerratingsareavailablecomparedtoSCR.
4.Weneedtobecarefulaboutthetriggeringcircuitasitcanbetriggeredineitherdirection.

UsesofTriac
1.Theyareusedincontrolcircuits.
2.ItisusedinHighpowerlampswitching.
3.ItisusedinACpowercontrol.

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