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294 fault states of 12-pulse waveform controlled rectifier circuit are studied. According to the fault voltage waveforms of rectifier, a special fault classification method is proposed. To enhance the performance of particle swarm optimization (PSO), a novel PSO with disturbance (DPSO) is put forward by introducing an evolution speed factor in standard PSO. Simulation results and comparisons with standard PSO show that DPSO enhances the searching efficiency and improves the searching quality effectively. Finally, DPSO is successfully applied in neural network fault diagnosis modeling.