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FACULTY OF ENGINEERING

LAB SHEET
CIRCUIT THEORY
EEL1166
TRIMESTER 1 (2015/2016)
CK1-Thevenins Theorem and Superposition Theorem
CK2-AC Circuits
*Note: Students are advised to read through this lab sheet before doing experiment. Your
performance, teamwork effort, and learning attitude will count towards the marks. Marking
scheme is given at the end of the labsheet.

1.0

Objective

To verify the Thevenins theorem by using circuit theory experiment board.

To verify Superposition theorem.
2.0 Introduction
Thevenins Theorem is a very useful and frequently used theorem in circuit analysis.
To verify Thevenins Theorem, consider a load resistor RL (or load impedance ZL) that is
connected to a black box as shown in Figure 1. The black box can contain any
combination of the circuit elements. Thevenins Theorem states that insofar as the load
resistor RL (or load impedance ZL) is concerned, the black box can be represented by a
series combination of an ideal voltage source, VTH, and a resistor, RTH (or impedance ZTH).
VTH is known as the Thevenin equivalent voltage source. Its value can be found by
measuring the open-circuit voltage between terminals X and Y when the resistor R L is
removed. RTH is called the Thevenin equivalent resistance and ZTH is called the Thevenin
equivalent impedance. By measuring the short-circuit current I SC flowing through a wire
that connects X to Y, the value of R TH (or ZTH) can be calculated as the ratio of VTH over ISC.
When calculating the Thevenin equivalent impedance, the phasor values are to be used.
The series combination of VTH and RTH (or ZTH) is the equivalent circuit of the black
box. By equivalent, it means the voltage across and current through any circuit element that
is connected between terminals X and Y of the black box will be the same as the case when
that circuit element is connected in series with RTH (or ZTH) and VTH. The theorem is valid
provided that the circuit inside the black box is linear. The load resistor R L (or load
impedance ZL) however, may not be linear.
R

X
Black
box

Black
box

+
L

TH

X
R

TH

OC

=V

Black
box

TH

I SC =V

TH

/R

TH

Figure 1: Thevenin equivalent circuit

Another important theorem for circuit analysis is the Superposition Theorem. For a
linear circuit, the total effect of several causes acting simultaneously is equal to the sum of
the effects of individual causes acting one at a time. For example, consider the circuit in
Figure 2. The current Ix can be found by calculating the current I 1 due to the 3V voltage
source alone, and the current I2 due to the 2A current source alone, and then taking the sum
of I1 and I2. For a more complicated circuit, the effect of each individual source can be

determined one at a time by turning off all the other sources. A voltage source is turned off
by replacing it by a short circuit, while a current source is turned off by replacing it by an
open-circuit.
4

3V

+
-

Ix

2A

3V

I1

+
-

I1

I2

3
0.3A
46

I2

2A

4
2A 0.8A
46

I x I 1 I 2 1.1A

Figure 2: Illustration of Superposition Theorem

3.0 Apparatus for the experiments
Circuit Theory experiment board
DC Power Supply
Dual-trace Oscilloscope
Function Generator
Digital Multimeter
Connecting wires
4.0

Procedures

4.1

Verification of Thevenins Theorem

1. Construct the circuit shown in Figure 3(a) by connecting T2 to T3, T6 to T7, T16 to
T17, T14 to T15, T8 to T11, and T12 to T13 on the experimental board using
connection wires. Set the DC Power Supply to 3V; connect the positive terminal to P1,
and the negative terminal to P2.
(Be careful when inserting and removing connections from the board. Do not
damage the board. Avoid using unnecessarily long wires that may introduce noise
into the circuit.)

R2
22 k

3V

R1
11 k

T8
R3
22 k

R4
22 k

T8

TH

T13

T13

(a)

(b)

Figure 3: Thevenin equivalent circuit

2. Using a voltmeter/multimeter, measure the voltage VL between T8 and T13. This is the
output voltage across the resistor R4 (Consider R4 as the load resistor RL).
3. Remove the connections of T8-T11 and T12-T13.
4. Measure the voltage between T8 and T13. This open-circuit voltage is the Thevenin
equivalent voltage VTH.
5. Set the multimeter to function as a milli-ammeter. Connect the meter between T8 and
T13. The milli-ammeter acts as a short-circuit from T8 to T13 and measure the shortcircuit current ISC at the same time.
6. Calculate the Thevenin equivalent resistance RTH = VTH/ISC. Is the value equal to
k?

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7. Set the DC Power Supply to a value equal to VTH. Remove the connections of T16-T17
and T14-T15.
8. Construct the circuit shown in Figure 3(b) by connecting T2 to T4 and T5 to T7.
9. Set the multimeter to function as a voltmeter. Measure the voltage between T8 and T13.
Is the reading equal to VTH?
10.

Use the multimeter as a milli-ammeter. Measure the short-circuit current from T8 to

T13. Is the value equal to ISC measured in Step 5?

11. Connect T8 to T11 and T12 to T13. Measure the voltage across T8 and T13. Is the
reading equal to that measured in Step 2?

4.2

1. Remove all the wires from the experiment board.

2. Set both CH1 and CH2 of the oscilloscope to DC coupling (AC/GND/DC switch in the
DC position). Set the vertical sensitivity to 2 V/div for both CH1 and CH2.
(Make sure the INTENSITY of the displayed waveforms is not too high, which can
burn the screen material of the oscilloscope).
3. Set VERT MODE to DUAL, SOURCE to CH1, COUPLING to AUTO.

4. Set the function generator for a 10 kHz sine wave, with 2V amplitude (4V peak to
peak). Check the waveform using the oscilloscope.
(Never short circuit the output, which may burn the output stage of the function
generator).
5. Connect the sine wave signal to terminals P5 - P6 (grounded at P6).
6. Set the DC Power Supply to 3V; connect the positive terminal to P1, and the negative
terminal to P2.
7. Construct the circuit shown in Figure 4.
8. Connect a probe from CH1 of the oscilloscope to P3 - P6 (grounded at P6).
9. Connect the second probe from CH2 to P4 - P6 (grounded at P6).
CH1

3V
P2

R1
11 k

C1
0.1 F

P3

P4

R3
22 k

R4
22 k

P6

P1

CH2

2 sin

P5

Figure 4: Experimental set-up for verifying Superposition Theorem

10.

Sketch the waveforms displayed on the oscilloscope and label the traces (CH1 and
CH2).

11. Remove the DC Power supply connections from P1 and P2.

12.

Short-circuit T1 to T18 with a wire. The circuit should look like that shown in
Figure 5(a).

13.

Sketch the waveforms displayed on the oscilloscope and label the traces (CH1 and
CH2).

14.

Remove the Function generator connections from P5 and P6.

15.

Remove the short-circuit at T1 - T18, and do short-circuit T12 to T13 with a wire.

16.

Connect the DC Power supply positive terminal to P1, and the negative terminal to
P2. The circuit should look like that shown in Figure 5(b).
17.
Measure the voltage at P3, and the voltage at P4, using the oscilloscope. Sketch the
oscilloscope display and label the traces (CH1 and CH2).

CH1

P1

R1
11 k

CH2
C1
0.1 F

P3

P1
P4
R4
22 k

P6

R3
22 k

P2

CH1

P5

3V

P2

(a)

R1
11 k

CH2
C1
0.1 F

P3
R3
22 k

R4
22 k
P6

P5

(b)

Figure 5: Analysis using Superposition Theorem

5.0
5.1

Results
Verification of Thevenins theorem

(a) Results based on the measurements on the circuit in Figure 3(a)

Before removing the load resistor R4:

P4

Voltage across the load resistor, VL = ________

Open circuit voltage, VTH, between T8 and T13 = ________
Short circuit current, ISC, from T8 to T13 = ________
Thevenin equivalent resistance RTH = VTH/ISC = ________
(b) Results based on the measurements on the circuit in Figure 3(b)
Before connecting the load resistor R4:
Open circuit voltage between T8 and T13 = ________
Short circuit current from T8 to T13 = ________
After connecting the load resistor R4:
Voltage across the load resistor = ________
(c) Theoretical analysis of the circuit in Figure 3(a)
Theoretical calculation of the Thevenin equivalent voltage:

Theoretical calculation of the Thevenin equivalent resistance:

Draw the Thevenin equivalent circuit. Assume that now you have a load resistor R L of 11
k connected between the terminals of your Thevenin equivalent circuit. Calculate the

5.2

(a) Results based on the measurements on the circuit in Figure 4

Sketch the waveforms at CH1 and CH2.

(b) Results based on the measurements on the circuit in Figure 5(a)

Sketch the waveforms at CH1 and CH2.

Write a mathematical expression for each of these waveforms. For a sinusoidal voltage
waveform with zero mean value, find the peak value Vm and the period of the waveform T
(in seconds). The angular frequency (in rad s-1) can be calculated using = 2/T. The
mathematical expression is then V = Vm sin t.
For voltage on CH1, peak value = ________
period of waveform = ________

angular frequency of waveform = ________

VCH1a = ________________
For voltage on CH2, peak value = ________
period of waveform = ________
angular frequency of waveform = ________
VCH2a = ________________

(c) Results based on the measurements on the circuit in Figure 5(b)

Sketch the waveforms at CH1 and CH2.

Write a mathematical expression for each of these waveforms. For a constant waveform, the
mathematical expression is just equal to the value of the waveform.
VCH1b = ________________
VCH2b = ________________
(d) Theoretical analysis using Superposition Theorem
Using Superposition Theorem, add the waveforms in parts (b) and (c) to obtain the total
waveform caused by the two sources (one ac source and one dc source).
VCH1,total = ________________________________
VCH2,total = ________________________________

Compare the graphs in part (d) with the graphs in part (a).
Questions and discussion:
1- What is Superposition theorem?

2- How do you apply the superposition of independent sources?

3- How do you deactivate the voltage and the current sources to do superposition?

5- State briefly what you have learned from this experiment.

Marking Scheme

Lab
(5%)

Assessment
Components
Hands-On & Efforts
(2%)
Lab Report (3%)

Details
The hands-on capability of the students and their efforts
during the lab sessions will be assessed.
Each student will have to submit his/her lab discussion
sheet and recorded experimental data on the same day of
performing the lab experiments.

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