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Methods of analysis
Two techniques useful to solve any linear circuit are presented in this chapter. The nodal analysis and the mesh analysis whose are based on the systematic application of Kirchhoffs current and voltage laws (KCL and KVL) respectively together with the Ohms Law. Before to start with the nodal analysis method, it is good to define the next concepts Mesh. It is any loop that does not include any other loop. Nodal voltage. It is the voltage measured from any reference point in the circuit usually considered as zero voltage. The reference point voltage is called reference node and it is assumed that this node has zero voltage just for the analysis. Of course, the reference node could not be the absolute zero (ground). Branch voltage. It is the difference of potential between the two adjacent nodes of the respective element. Thus the nodal voltage and the branch voltage are related by = (3.1)

where is the n-element, and are the nodal voltage of adjacent nodes of the element.

3.1. Nodal Analysis

The procedure to solve the circuit by applying this method is i. ii. iii. Select a node as the reference node. It is recommended the node with more connected branches. Assigns a nodal voltage variable to the 1 remaining nodes. Consider any of the next cases If the circuit has only current sources, apply KCL to each of the 1 nodes and solve the 1 resulting linear equations. If the circuit has also voltage sources, do a supernode around each voltage source except for the voltage sources which are adjacent to the reference node. Then, apply KCL to the supernodes and remaining nodes. To complement the 1 equations relates the voltage source in the

supernodes with the adjacent nodal voltages and solve the simultaneous equations. iv. With the previous results, find the asked values.

Note: When there are sources adjacent to the reference node, the corresponding node has a direct value equal to value of the source. Be carefully of the signs. Examples:

3.2. Mesh Analysis

The procedure to solve the circuit by applying the mesh analysis method is i. ii. iii. Be sure that the circuit is plane; otherwise the method is not applicable. Assigns a mesh current variable to the n meshes. Consider any of the next cases If the circuit has only voltage sources, apply KVL to each of the meshes and solve the resulting linear equations. If the circuit has also current sources, make a supermesh around each current source except for the sources which are on the periphery of the circuit. Then, apply KVL to the supermeshes and remaining meshes that not include a current source. To complement the equations relates the current sources with the adjacent currents variables and solve the simultaneous equations. With the previous results, find the asked values.


Note: The current sources located on the periphery gives directly the value of the corresponding current mesh variable. Also it is convenient to define a current for the supermesh in order to use it as reference. Examples:

3.3. Resistance matrix

For the case when the circuit contains only independent voltage sources the application of the mesh analysis method can be summarized in the next system 11 21 1 or simply = (3.3) 12 22 2 1 2 1 2 1 = 2


where , and are called the resistance matrix, the current vector and the voltage vector respectively. The components of are determined as follow The diagonal components 11 , 22 , , are the summation of all the resistances through the current flows. The off-diagonal components 12 = 21 , , 1 = 1 , , 2 = 2 , are the negative summation of resistances between the meshes 1 and 2, , 1 and , , 2 and , respectively. The voltage vector components 1 , 2 , , are the summation of the values of the voltage sources through the current 1 , 2 , , flows respectively. It will be positive if the current go from negative to positive. The solution of the system for the current is given 11 1 21 2 1 = 11 1 21 2 1 1 2 1 = 1 2

11 21 1

1 2

1 2


where is the determinant of the resistance matrix. The above equation can expanded using minors and cofactors by

= 1

1 2 + 2 + +


hence are the cofactors of . It should be careful of the signs of the cofactors.

3.4. Input resistance

The input resistance of a linear circuit is the opposition of all the net to the flow of the current which is generated by only one voltage source located in mesh as it is shown in the next figure

Figure 3.1. Input resistance.

Thus the equation that determines the current is obtained from Eq. (3.5) by considering a zero value for all voltage variables except for mesh . In consequence the equation is = (0) 1 + + + + (0) (3.6)

from which can be rewritten as the relation between the voltage and current as follow , = = (3.7)

where , is called the input resistance which is measure at the terminals of the voltage source. Examples:

3.5. Transfer resistance

Now consider a linear circuit with only independent voltage source located at mesh which generates current through all the meshes. It is the concern to determine the current of mesh as it is shown in the next figure

Figure 3.2. Transfer resistance.

From Eq. (3.5) the current of mesh can be determined by = (0) 1 + + + + (0) (3.8)

which can be rewritten as , = = (3.9)

where , is known as the transfer resistance between the meshes and . It is good to mention it is a mathematical concept not a physical measure. Examples:

3.6. Applications: DC transistor circuits

The next figure depicts various kinds of transistor commercially available. There are two basic types of transistors: bipolar junction transistors (BJTs), which were the first and continue in use today, and field-effect transistors (FETs).

Figure 3.3. Various types of transistors.

There are two types of BJTs, npn and pnp, with their circuit symbols as shown in the next figure

Figure 3.4. Two types of BJTs and their circuit symbols: (a) npn, (b) pnp.

Each of the BJTs has three terminals, designated as emitter (E), base (B) and collector (C). For the npn transistor and from the Figure 3.5a, the currents are specified as = + (3.10)

Figure 3.5. The terminal variables of an npn transitor: (a) currents, (b) voltages.

where , and are emitter, collector applying the KVL gives

and base currents, respectively. By

+ + = 0


where , and are collector-emitter, emitter-base and base-collector voltages. The BJT can operate in one of three modes: active, cutoff and saturation. For the case of the active mode the typical value for = 0.7 and the current in the collector is proportional to the current in the emitter and also to the current in the base which can be written as = and = (3.12)

where and are called the common-base current gain and common-emitter current gain respectively. Thus, and characterizes the transistor and their values takes ranges of 0.98 to 0.999 for and 50 to 1000 for . In consequence, the for circuit analysis of the transistor, this can be replaced by the equivalent circuit of Fig. 3.6b.

Figure 3.6. (a) An npn transistor, (b) Its equivalent model.

It is good to note that cannot be applied nodal analysis directly to transistor circuits because of the voltage between the terminals of the transistor.