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This work presents a low-cost approach to power factor correction (PFC) of single-phase diode rectifiers using a series active filter. Comparing with the traditional PFC, the proposed PFC has lower requirements of power device ratings, which leads to lower cost, higher efficiency, and lower electromagnetic interference. It also can eliminate the bulky inductor needed in the traditional PFC. The topology, operation principle, and application issues of the proposed PFC are analyzed in this paper. The control strategy is discussed in detail and simulation results are provided. A 1-kW prototype is built up and the experimental results are presented to verify the analysis.