Since my most recent projects include upgrading the VHF, AIS and other electronics I am wiring the components to the electrical panel and so I took time to sort through all the 12 volt electrical gear and get rid of stuff I do not want to store. My full intent is to never again store or keep stuff that does not have immediate use. Cruisers often haul around 100's of pounds of spares, stuff they "might" need etc. Since we will no longer be away for months or years at a time I am training myself to ditch that mentality and go light. There were some electronics parts in the box, the kind of stuff only people who had the skills to open up an electronic device and know how to identify defective parts and how to replace them. One of these parts, a Full Wave Bridge Rectifier, caught my attention. It is rated at 400V and 8A. I just had to call Cooper and find out what in the world he had this onboard for. I put it in my pocket and carried it home. I searched the internet and found: http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/diode/diode_6.html
"a full wave rectifier circuit produces an output voltage or current which is purely DC or has some specified DC component. Full wave rectifiers have some fundamental advantages over their half wave rectifier counterparts. The average (DC) output voltage is higher than for half wave, the output of the full wave rectifier has much less ripple than that of the half wave rectifier producing a smoother output waveform. In a circuit two diodes are now used, one for each half of the cycle. A multiple winding transformer is used whose secondary winding is split equally into two halves with a common centre tapped connection, (C). This configuration results in each diode conducting in turn when its anode terminal is positive with respect to the transformer centre point producing an output during both half-cycles, twice that for the half wave rectifier so it is 100% efficient as shown below.