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It is effectively a development of the SCR or thyristor, but unlike the thyristor which is only able to conduct in one direction, the TRIAC is a bidirectional device. The TRIAC is an ideal device to use for AC switching applications because it can control the current flow over both halves of an alternating cycle. A triwc is only able to control them over one half of a cycle. During the remaining half no conduction occurs and accordingly only half the waveform can be utilised.

The fact that the TRIAC can be used to control current switching on both halves of an alternating waveform allows much better power utilisation. However the TRIAC is not always as convenient for some high power applications where its switching is more difficult.

TRIAC – Wikipedia

Seen from the outside it may be viewed as two back to back thyristors and this is what the circuit symbol indicates. TRIAC symbol for circuit diagrams.

These are the Gate and two other terminals are often referred to as an “Anode” or “Main Terminal”. It provides AC switching for electrical systems.

What is a TRIAC – Tutorial

They find particular use for circuits in light dimmers, etc. This makes them more efficient in terms of the usage of the power available. While it is possible to use two thyristors back to gt136, this is not always cost effective for low cost and relatively low power applications.

  IEEE STD 1076.1-1999 PDF

TRIAC equivalent as two thyristors. It will often have an offset, switching at different gate voltages for each half of the cycle. This creates additional harmonics which is not good for EMC performance and also provides an imbalance in the system. In order to improve the switching of the current waveform and ensure it is more symmetrical is to use a device external to the TRIAC to time the triggering pulse.

A DIAC placed in series with the gate is the normal method of achieving this. When requiring to switch both halves of an AC waveform there are two options that are normally considered. One is to use a TRIAC, and the other b136 to use two thyristors connected back to back – one thyristor is used to switch one half of the cycle and the second rriac in the reverse direction operates on the other half cycle.

Despite what may seem like a number of disadvantages, it is still the best option for many circumstances.

However when using a TRIAC, it is necessary to be aware of its limitations so that these can be satisfactorily addressed and overcome should they affect the operation of the overall circuit in any significant way. TRIACs are used in a number of applications.

However they tend not to be used in high power switching applications – one of the reasons for this is the non-symmetrical switching characteristics. For high power applications this creates a number of difficulties, especially with electromagnetic interference. The TRIAC is easy to use and provides cost advantages over the use of two thyristors for many low power applications.


Where higher powers are needed, two thyristors placed in “anti-parallel” are almost always used. The TRIAC is an electronic component that is widely used in many circuit applications, triwc from light dimmers through to various forms of AC control.

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It is generally only used for lower power applications, thyristors generally being used for the high power switching circuits. Latest news LoRa technology integrated in utility metering solution Four-in-one environmental sensor saves space and power MACOM debuts new ultra low phase noise amplifier Ericsson and Panasonic Avionics bringing connectivity to the skies Beeline chooses Broadpeak Solutions for TV Everywhere service.

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Power management RF technology Test Wireless. Broadcast technology Embedded Design principles Distribution Formulae. A TRIAC does not fire symmetrically on both sides of the waveform Switching gives rise to high level of harmonics due to non-symmetrical switching More susceptible to EMI problems as a result of the non-symmetrical switching Care must be taken to ensure the TRIAC turns off fully when used with inductive loads.