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1.2. DirectCurrent (DC) circuit analysis
1.2.1. Circuit analysis objectives
Circuit analysis is the systematic study of the techniques and methods employed to
predict the behaviour of an interconnection of basic circuit elements. The two main
variables used to describe the behaviour of circuit elements & their interconnections
are current and voltage.
Circuit behaviour may also be described in terms of the variable of power supplied by
and/or dissipated in the various circuit elements. The latter variable is, however, more
often expressed in terms of current and voltage, and is, therefore, not determined
independently of the former. Thus, the main information obtained from any circuit
analysis problem comprises the values and directions of currents and voltages
associated with individual circuit elements or their group (e.g., a circuit branch).
The analysis of electrical circuits is not a nonconstrained problem. That is, its
solution requires that the relationship between current and voltage at the terminals of
a basic circuit element imposed by Ohms law must not be violated, and current and
voltage constraints imposed by the interconnection of basic circuit elements (i.e.,
Kirchhoffs laws) must not be violated.
Other types of circuit problems such as synthesis and design are outside the scope of
this course. The concern of circuit synthesis problems is the determination of the
necessary elements and their interconnection in order to obtain some desired
behaviour. In circuit design problems, a real, physical, manufacturable, salable,
economical, reliable device is the desired end product.
The main focus of this topic is to discuss the various methods and techniques
available for calculating the currents and voltages associated with circuit elements
under DC conditions.
1.2.3. The structure of circuits
Analysis of an electric circuit requires information not only about the particular
types of elements appearing in the circuit and their load characteristics (i.e., voltage
current relationships) or values (i.e., numerical values of element parameters), but
also information about the interconnection of these elements. The latter information
characterises what is called the circuits topology or structure. It is, thus, a property of
the circuit, which is concerned with its geometrical description that is, with the way
the elements appearing in a circuit are interconnected, and not the types of elements
or their values. To provide information about the interconnection of elements in a
circuit and hence its topology a number of basic properties or concepts are used. A
few of these properties are summarised below.
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The interconnection between elements within a circuit and hence its topology can
be characterised in terms of the geometric concepts or properties which are listed,
defined and illustrated below for the sample circuit. fig.
 Branch Part of a circuit which lies between two nodes or junctions. It is
often used as an idealisation of a twoterminal electrical element. A branch
connecting essential nodes without passing through an essential node is
called an essential (or principal) branch.
 Node A point in a circuit where two or more circuit elements join (i.e., a
point in a circuit where leads of electrical elements are connected together).
A node of three or more elements is called a principal (or an essential) node,
while that of two elements basic node.
 Graph An idealisation of an electric circuit, depicting the geometrical
interconnection of the elements of a circuit; it gives no indication of the
circuit elements. Thus, a graph is composed of branches connected together
at nodes and is constructed by retaining the circuit nodes and replacing all
branches by lines. A circuit graph can either be directed (oriented) or non
directed (nonoriented). See Fig..
 Path A set of branches that connect two nodes in a circuit but has no
node appearing twice. Or, a tracing of a set of adjoining basic circuit
elements without passing through a connecting node more than once. See
Fig.
 Loop A closed path in a circuit that is, a path in which the starting
node and the ending node are the same. A loop from which no other closed
path can be derived (obtained) or one which does not contain any other
loops within it is given the name of a mesh (or a basic or independent loop).
See Fig.
 Tree A subset of the branches of a circuit that connects all of the nodes
of (each node in) a graph without containing or forming any closed paths or
loops (see Fig. ). Branches forming part of a tree are called tree branches,
while those not forming part of the tree are called link branches or just
links. Any set of links in a graph forms a cotree (See Fig.). The number
of links in a graph is normally related to the number of branches and nodes
in a graph. Thus, if a graph has n
N
, it can be shown that exactly (n
N
1)
branches are required to construct a tree. Thus, given n
B
branches, the
number of links n
L
must be
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1 ) 1 ( + = =
N B N B L
n n n n n (1.13)
There are n
L
branches in a cotree and (n
N
1) branches in a the tree.
With these topological attributes of electrical circuits, we can develop techniques
for taking into account information about how circuit elements are interconnected and
generating network state equations useful in the calculation of voltages and currents
associated with the various elements within the circuit.
1.2.3. Direct application of fundamental laws to circuit analysis
In the introductory topic, the fundamental circuit laws of Ohms law and Kirchhoffs
laws were formulated. Combined application of these basic laws enables branch
currents and voltages of any circuit to be calculated, however complex. However, as
the circuit become more complex, the direct application of these laws gets
burdensome because of the number of equations needed. Below, we provide a
procedure for the systematic formulation of circuit state equations using Kirchhoffs
laws, and the matrix solution of these equations.
(a) Formulation of circuit equations using Kirchhoffs laws: The analysis of a
circuit using these laws follows the following general procedure:
For the circuit given, state the numerical value of the number of nodes, branches,
branches where the current is unknown, and meshes (basic loops).
Establish the total number of simultaneous equations, and consequently number of
unknown variables, needed to describe the circuit given using the number of branches
stated in the first step.
Derive KCL equations for the given circuit. To do this, first adopt, arbitrarily, the
assumed positive directions for currents in all the branches of the circuit under
consideration and clearly mark the nodes at which to apply KCL. The number of
independent KCL equations needed to characterise a circuit is always one less than its
total number of principal nodes.In other words, if we have n
N
principal nodes, the
number of KCL equations will be (n
N
1)
Derive KVL equations for the given circuit. For this, we first mark clearly the
basic loops in the given circuit, adopt, arbitrarily, the direction of traversing them,
and then apply KVL to the marked basic loops. The number of independent KVL
equations needed is obtained by taking the difference between the total number of
branches with unknown currents and the number of KCL equations.
That is, n
B
(n
N
1) or (n
B
n
N
+ 1), where n
B
is the total number of branches with
unknown currents and n
N
is the total number of principal nodes in the circuit.
Solve simultaneously the derived set of independent KCL and KVL equations for
the branch currents. If any one of the branch currents turns out to be negative, this is
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an indication that its actual direction is opposite to the initially assumed positive
direction.
Determine the voltages across each branch or element using Ohms law (either in
its simple or generalised form).
In the general case, however, Ohms law defines the relation between the voltage
across and the current through a simple series circuit (i.e., a circuit branch). To
illustrate this, let us consider a simple series circuit containing a series combination of
three resistors R
1
, R
2
, R
3
, R
4
and three voltage sources E
1
, E
2
and E
3
as shown in Fig..
In this figure, we may derive the following relationship between the branch current I
and the branch voltage V
ab
:
4 3 2 1
3 2 1
R R R R
E E E V
I
ab
+ + +
+ +
=
Check the power balance in the circuit (i.e., Tellegens theorem). That is,
= =
= +
N
n
n R
M
m
m C
K
k
k V
P P P
1
,
1
,
1
,
,
where:
n n R n R m J m m C k k k V
R I P V J P I E P
2
, , , , ,
, , = = =
(b) Solution of resulting circuit state equations: The set of KVL and KCL derived
above to describe circuit behaviour forms a system of linear algebraic equations,
which can be written in a general matrix notation or form as:
A.I = F
where:
A matrix of the constant coefficients of the set of KCL and KVL equations;
I column matrix of the unknown branch currents;
F column matrix of the values of the active circuit elements (voltage and current
source values)
The set of values of the elements of the column matrix I, which reduces the above
matrix equation to an identity is called the solution of the set of equations. From
mathematics, we know that such a solution may be obtained in a variety of ways:
Inversion of the matrix of the constant coefficients, Gaussian elimination method,
Cramers rule, etc. Solution by inversion of matrices and use of Gaussian elimination
method are very lengthy procedures, which may never yield answers if done
unsystematically for a greater number of simultaneous equations. A more orderly and
a b
R
1
R
2
R
3
R
4 E
1
E
2
E
3
I
V
ab
Figure 1.7. Simple series circuit
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systematic solution method used for most practical purposes is that involving the use
of Cramers rule. This method is briefly described below.
Cramers rule
Cramers rule is based on the use of determinants. From matrix algebra, we know that
the determinant of any square matrix A (denoted by A
A
), is a value obtained by
expanding it in terms of the minor and cofactor of any of its element. The minor of an
element a
ij
of an nth order matrix is the determinant of an (n1)th matrix order
obtained by deleting the ith row and jth column, and may be denoted by M
ij
. The
cofactor of an element a
ij
of the matrix is the product of the minor and (1)
i+j
and may
be denoted by c
ij
. Thus,
ij
j i
ij
M c
+
= ) 1 (
and c
11
= M
11
, but c
12
= M
12
.
The determinant of the nth order matrix can then be expanded according to any row
or column. Its value is always the same.
= =
+
= = = A
n
j
n
j
ij ij
j i
ij ij A
M a c a A
1 1
) 1 (
if expanded according to ith row
= =
+
= = = A
n
i
n
i
ij ij
j i
ij ij A
M a c a A
1 1
) 1 (
if expanded according to jth column
Once the determinant of the matrix of the constant coefficients of the simultaneous
equations is known, we can then use Cramers rule to find the values of the unknown
variables. According to this rule, the value of any kth unknown branch current I
k
is
given by the expression:
A
k
k
I
A
A
=
where A
k
(k = 1, 2, , n) is the determinant of the matrix, which is obtained when the
kth column of the main matrix (matrix of the constant coefficients) is replaced by the
constants on the righthand sides of these equations (values of active elements) and
then expanded according to this column.
A more generalised form of Cramers rule may be obtained by expressing the
numerator in the above formula (i.e., determinant A
k
) in terms of the cofactors of the
elements appearing in the kth column. That is,
=
= A
N
i
ik i k
c f
1
The resulting expression for Cramers rule will then be
A
=
N
i
ik i
A
k
c f I
1
1
where f
i
the ith value of the active elements; C
ik
the cofactor of the element
appearing in both the i row and k column when the k column is replaced by the
constants on the RHS of the simultaneous KCL and KVL equations.
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Having described the general procedure by which we may obtain and solve state
equations for a resistive circuit using Kirchhoffs laws, let us now apply them to the
circuit shown in Figure.
Example
Given in the fig below are the following parameters:
1. R
1
,R
2
,R
3
,R
4
,R
5
,R
7
and R
8
2. E
1
,E
2
,E
3
,E
4
and E
5
3. J
1
and J
2
Derive the equations necessary to calculate the currents in all the branches using KCL
and KVL.
Solution
n
N
=5
n
B
=7
the number of KCL equations will be (n
N
1)=4
the number of KCL equations is (n
B
n
N
+ 1)=74=3
The total number of equations is equal to the number of unknowns (7)
R1
R3
R4
R2 R5
R8
R7
E
1
3
E
E
4
E
2
E
5
J
1
J
2
1
2
3
4
5
7
I
I
4
3
I
I
6
1
I
III
II
I
Fig
Using KCL we get the following equations
=
= +
= +
= +
2 5 6
2 7 5 4
4 3 2
1 7 3 1
0
J I I
J I I I
I I I
J I I I
For the independent equations b KVL we use the loops I, II, III
+ = + +
+ = +
+ = +
3 4 3 3 4 4 7 7
4 2 5 4 4 2 2 6 8 5 5
3 2 1 3 3 2 2 1 1
E E I R I R I R
E E E I R I R I R I R
E E E I R I R I R
Solving the above equations simultaneously we get I
i
, i=1,..,7
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The system of equations can be written in the form of a matrix:
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
+
+
+
=
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
3 4
4 2 5
3 2 1
2
2
1
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
7 4 3
8 5 4 2
3 2 1
0
0 0 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0 0
0 1 1 0 0 0 0
1 0 1 1 0 0 0
0 0 0 1 1 1 0
1 0 0 0 1 0 1
E E
E E E
E E E
J
J
J
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
R R R
R R R R
R R R
Check the power balance in the circuit (i.e., Tellegens theorem). That is,
= =
= +
N
n
n R
M
m
m C
K
k
k V
P P P
1
,
1
,
1
,
,
where:
5 5 5 4 3 4 , 3
1 1 1 1 5 1 , 5
7
2
7 8
2
6 5
2
5 4
2
4 3
2
3 2
2
2 1
2
1
1
,
4 , 3 2 1 , 5 1
1
,
5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1
1
,
,
E R I V
R I E V
where
R I R I R I R I R I R I R I P
V J V J P
I E I E I E I E I E P
N
n
n R
M
m
m C
K
k
k V
= =
= =
+ + + + + + =
+ =
+ + + =
=
=
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1.2.3. Independent and dependent source
Current or voltage sources which do not depend in any other quantity in the circuit
are called independent sources. Independent sources can be DC or AC
+

U
+
u(t)

J j(t)
The load characteristic of a practical voltage source whose e.m.f (E) and internal
resistance (R
0
) are constant (i.e., a linear voltage source) is given by the equation:
V
t
= E R
0
I
where V
t
the terminal voltage and I the current drawn from the terminals (i.e.,
load current).
+ 
E
R
0
L
I
R
L
V
t
Connecting an ideal current source with a constant current output J in parallel with a
finite conductance G
0
, forms a practical current source, whose output current depends
on the voltage across it. The load or voltampere characteristic of such a source can
be expressed mathematically as follows:
J = I + G
0
V
t
where I load current and V
t
terminal voltage. ). Using this equation, we can
easily draw the VAC of a practical current source (Fig. )
0
R
R
L
t
V
I
L
J
Dependent or controlled sources are those elements in which the voltage or current
depends upon current or voltage else where in the circuit under consideration.
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Dependent sources are idealized models of electronic devices such as transistors and
operational amplifiers forming part of a circuit.
Table 1.1. Typical symbols for ideal sources
Basic circuit element Representation or
graphic symbol
1. Voltage dependent voltage source
+

av
2. Current dependent voltage source
+

ri
3. Voltage dependent current source
gv
4. Current dependent current source
Bi
1.2.4. Application of standard network theorems
As seen from the previous example, the direct application of Ohms & Kirchhoffs
laws to circuit analysis involves setting up a large number of equations. This results
in the solution of most complex circuits becoming quite laborious. To overcome this
shortcoming and help simplify the solution of most practical circuit analysis
problems, a number theorems have been developed most of which are logical
extensions of the basic laws of circuit theory, principally Ohms law and Kirchhoffs
laws.
1.2.4.1. The superposition theorem
This theorem is widely used in the analysis of circuits driven or excited by more than
one independent source of energy (i.e., a multiple source circuit). In such circuits, the
total response (branch current or voltage at any node) can be found by summing the
partial responses resulting from the separate action of each source. This is what we
call the principle of superposition. It arises from the linearity of the circuits being
considered. When applying this principle, omitted sources must be replaced with their
internal resistances.
Formally, we may state the superposition theorem as follows: The current in any
branch or voltage at any node of a linear circuit having more than one independent
source is the algebraic sum of the currents or voltages caused by each independent
source acting alone, with all the others removed. The removal of independent
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sources is effected through replacement with their internal resistances. Note that the
internal resistance of an ideal voltage source is zero (i.e., a short circuit), while that of
an ideal current source is infinity (i.e., an open circuit). This theorem may
alternatively be stated as follows: In any linear resistive circuit containing several
sources, the voltage across or the current through any element is equal to the
algebraic sum of all the individual currents or voltages caused by each source acting
alone, with all the other voltage sources replaced by short circuits and all the other
current sources replaced by open circuits.
Illustration
The procedure for the analysis of a network containing two sources by the
superposition theorem using the circuit below

E
+
1

E
+
2
1
R R
2
3
R
The first step is to remove E
2
.
This process leaves a simple seriesparallel combination of resistive elements.
3
2
+
R

R
E
R
1
1
I'
1 2
I'
I'
3
The current in the common part of the network is
) (
3 2
3 2
1
1 /
1
R R
R R
R
E
I
+
+
=
The currents in the two parallel branches can be determined using the fundamental
circuit laws, which gives the following:
/
1
3 2
2
3
/
1 1 1 /
3
/
1
3 2
3
2
/
1 1 1 /
2
) (
) (
I
R R
R
R
I R E
I
I
R R
R
R
I R E
I
+
=
=
+
=
=
The next step is to remove the second source E
2
.
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R
R
3
1
+
2
E
2
R
3
I''
I''
1
I''
2
Following that, the partial currents I
1
//
, I
2
//
, and I
3
//
are found in a similar way.
On the basis of the superposition theorem, the actual or required branch currents in
the network of Fig. are:
I
1
= I
1
/
 I
1
//
; I
2
= I
2
//
 I
2
/
; I
3
= I
3
/
+ I
3
//
A major limitation of the superposition method is the fact that it calls for special care
when the partial components of a given branch current are opposite in direction and
are close in value. Failure to do so may result in an appreciable error in the final
result although the error in calculating a partial current is small. Also, the
superposition theorem is inapplicable in the calculation of power responses in a
circuit because of the nonlinear relationship existing between power response and
the excitation current and/or voltage.
Using the superposition theorem, it is possible to find partial components of currents
due not only to individual sources, but to groups of sources as well.
1.2.4.2. The equivalent generator (or Thevenin ) theorem
There are times in circuit analysis when we wish to concentrate our attention on what
happens at a specific pair of terminals in the circuit and the equivalent generator
principle is extremely valuable aid in partial analysis. There are two implementations
of this principle: voltagesource implementation (i.e., Thevenins theorem) and
currentsource implementation (i.e., Nortons theorem).
The Thevenin theorem can be formulated as follows: An active network having two
terminals can be replaced by an ideal voltage source having an e.m.f. E
eq
(or E
o
) equal
to the opencircuit voltage between the two terminals and a series internal resistance
R
eq
(or R
o
) equal to the input resistance measured between the two terminals with the
load disconnected and the sources replaced by their internal resistances.
The applicability of this principle to any linear, active, resistive circuit containing one
or more voltage or current sources can be derived from the superposition theorem.
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Fig. Thevenin & Norton implementations of equivalent generator
Illustration by an example circuit:
Q. Given that R
1
=10Ohms, R
2
=4Ohms, R
3
=5 Ohms, E
1
=15V and E
2
=6V calculate the
current flowing through resistor R
2
between A & B of the circuit below.
R
E
R
1
E
2
+

3

1
+
2
R
A B
Solution. (How to thevenize the circuit)
1. Remove the load resistance, that is, the branch where we intend to calculate the
current, and that being branch AB.
1
R
A B
+
1

+
R

3 2
E
E
I
2. Find the voltage ( thevenin voltage) across where the load resistance has been
removed, that is, V
AB
V IR E V V
A
R R
E
I
th AB
1 5 1 6
1
5 10
15
3 2
3 1
1
= + = + = =
=
+
=
+
=
A
R
R
R
o
R
o
E
o
J
o
1
2
1
2
1
2
R
Equivalent VS circuit
Equivalent CS circuit
I
I
I
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3. Find the total resistance of the whole circuit relative to the terminals AB (the
sources replaced by their internal resistances.)
R
R
1 A
3
B
Ohms
R R
R R
R R
th AB
3
10
15
50
5 10
5 10
3 1
3 1
= =
+
=
+
= =
4. Replace the entire network by the thevenin equivalent circuit
AB
R

V
+
AB
A
B
5. Connect the load resistance back to the terminals AB and hence calculate the
current I
L
=I
AB
flowing through it.
AB
R

V
+
AB
A
B
2
R
L
I
A
R R
V
I
AB
AB
L
136 . 0
4
3
10
1
2
=
+
=
+
=
Generally, for the Thevenin equivalent circuit, the load current I is computed using
the expression:
) ( ) (
.
in L
c o
eq L
eq
R R
V
R R
E
I
+
=
+
=
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1.2.4.3. The maximum power transfer (MPT) theorem
Although applicable to all branches of electrical engineering, this theorem is
particularly useful in analysing communications, electronics, and automatic control
circuits. In such circuits the source usually has a relatively high resistance, it is often
desired to transfer the largest possible amount of power from the source to associated
load, though at reduced efficiency. For this reason, the application of this theorem to
utility power transmission and distribution networks is limited because, in their case,
the goal is high efficiency and not maximum power transfer.
As applied to dc circuits, the maximum power transfer theorem may be stated as
follows:
A resistive load will draw maximum power from a practical independent
energy source (voltage source or current source) when the load resistance is equal to
the sources internal resistance.
To prove the above statement, let us consider a load of resistance R
L
(it may be
variable), which is supplied by a voltage generator having an output voltage (i.e.,
e.m.f.) of E and internal (output) resistance R
o
R
+ 0

E
L
R
I
By Ohms law, the current in this circuit is
( )
L o
R R E I + =
and the power transferred to the load by this current, P
L
is
( )
2
2
2
L o
L
L L
R R
R E
R I P
+
= =
To find the value of the load resistance that absorbs a maximum power from the
source, we differentiate the above expression with respect to R
L
:
( ) ( )
( )
4
2 2 2
2
L o
L o L L o
L
L
R R
R R R E E R R
dR
dP
+
+ +
=
and equate the derivative to zero, obtaining
L o
R R =
The last expression is the mathematical statement of the maximum power transfer
theorem.
The maximum power delivered by the source to the load under the above conditions
is, therefore, given by
o o
o
L
R
E
R
R E
P
4 4
2
2
2
max
= =
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The efficiency of power transfer, q is given by the ratio of load power and source
power That is,
) ( ) (
2
2
L o
L
L o
L
S
L
R R
R
R R I
R I
P
P
+
=
+
= = q
It follows from the above expression that at maximum power transfer, the efficiency
is 50%. In other words, half of the power supplied by the source is lost in the internal
resistance of the source and the interconnecting wires. For Utility power transmission
and distribution lines, this is an intolerably low efficiency. In such lines, the power
lost on its way to the loads does not exceed 10% of the available power at the power
station buses.
The above condition for maximum power transfer was derived for a simple circuit
containing a transmission line. However its applicability is much wider. As will be
recalled from the equivalent generator method, any complex linear network
containing sources and connected to the load by two terminals may be replaced with
an equivalent voltage generator of e.m.f. E
eq
and internal resistance R
eq
. This
equivalent generator obeys the maximum power transfer theorem as well. The power
supplied by the equivalent generator to the load will be a maximum if the load
resistance is equal to the internal resistance of the equivalent generator.
1.2.5. Network transformation techniques
This approach is particularly important whenever we are not specifically interested in
the current, voltage, or power associated with all of the individual elements in the
complicated circuit.
It is not an analysis method in itself, but a technique that uses the concept of
equivalence of circuits to replace any given network by one that lends to easy
analysis by the fundamental circuit laws.
According to this concept, all the current, voltage, and power relationships in the
remainder of the circuit unaffected by the transformation remains the same. That is,
both the given (i.e., pretransformation) circuit and the equivalent (i.e., post
transformation) circuit have identical terminal voltages and currents when connected
to any other network. Such circuits are called equivalent circuits. The equivalent is
sometimes also used in the context of a linear approximation of a nonlinear circuit.
The effect of circuit transformation, therefore, is to simplify the circuit, replacing it
for analysis by a network with few elements and sources that is, with fewer
numbers of branches and/or nodes, and hence fewer numbers of equations required to
solve it.
The transformations are often useful in simplifying passive networks, particularly
resistive ones, thus avoiding the need for more elaborate methods as loop or nodal
analysis.
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1.2.5.1. Series parallel resistance combinations
1.2.5.2. A Y and Y A transformations
The threeterminal network shown in Fig. TT4, b is often referred to as a delta (A) of
resistances, while that in Fig. a is called a star or wye (Y).
One network may be replaced by the other if certain specific relationships between
the resistances are satisfied, and the relationships may be established by use of the
superposition theorem described above, but now applying it to currents instead of
source voltages or electromotive forces.
Applying this theorem to the two networks, we find that
CA BC AB
CA AB BC
C B
R R R
R R R
R R
+ +
+
= +
) (
CA BC AB
AB BC CA
A C
R R R
R R R
R R
+ +
+
= +
) (
CA BC AB
BC CA AB
B A
R R R
R R R
R R
+ +
+
= +
) (
These equations may be solved for R
A
, R
B
, and R
C
in terms of R
AB
, R
BC
, and R
CA
,
CA BC AB
CA AB
A
R R R
R R
R
+ +
=
CA BC AB
AB BC
B
R R R
R R
R
+ +
=
CA BC AB
BC CA
C
R R R
R R
R
+ +
=
or for the inverse relationships,
C
B A
B A AB
R
R R
R R R + + =
A
C B
C B BC
R
R R
R R R + + =
A
B C
A
B C
Star or wye (Y) connection Delta (A) connection
R
A
R
B
R
C
R
AB
R
BC
R
CA
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B
A C
A C CA
R
R R
R R R + + =
These equations enable us to transform easily between equivalent delta and wye
networks, a process known as the delta wye transformation.
In going from delta to wye, first find sum the three resistances around the delta; then
divide the product of the two delta resistances having a common node with the
desired wye element by that sum. Conversely, given wye, first find the value of the
common numerator as the sum of the products of the resistances in the wye
connection taken two at a time. Each resistance in the delta connection is then found
by dividing the numerator by the resistance of that element in the wye connection,
which has no common node with the desired delta element.
These transformations are often useful in transforming resistive networks, thus
avoiding the need for any loop or nodal analysis.
1.2.5.3. Series parallel combinations of energy sources
In most practical circuits, it is not uncommon to find several energy sources being
combined together to serve or supply a common load. One reason for this practice is
that it provides some standby capacity in case of failure of any one of these sources or
when one source is on planned outage (e.g., taken out for maintenance). Combining
several energy sources also ensures their efficient operation when supplying a
varying load or demand schedule.
The two most common ways of combining energy sources are the series and parallel
connections.
Below we look at these two types of combination for voltage and current generators
separately.
(a) Seriesparallel voltagesource connections:
The equivalent voltage of two or more voltage sources connected in series can be
obtained using KVL, while that of a number of parallel voltage sources is given by
KCL or nodal analysis. That is, for a series combination of voltage generators with
output voltage E
1
, E
2
, E
3
, etc. and internal (output) resistance R
1
, R
2
, R
3
, etc., the
output voltage of the equivalent single voltage generator, E
eq
is given by the
algebraic sum of all the individual output voltages, while the equivalent internal
(output) resistance is given by the arithmetic sum of individual internal resistances
(as in the case of seriesconnected resistive elements).
=
=
n
i
i eq
E E
1
and
=
=
n
i
i eq
R R
1
For n voltage generators of output voltage E
1
, E
2
, E
3
, ., E
n
, and internal (output)
conductance G
1
, G
2
, G
3
, ., G
n
, connected in parallel as shown below
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G
E
+
1

1
2
+
G
2

E
G
i
E
+
i

 +
the output voltage of the equivalent single voltage generator, E
eq
is given by the
expression:
= =
=
n
i
i
n
i
i i eq
G G E E
1 1
The numerator of the above expression gives the equivalent internal (output)
conductance of voltage generators connected in parallel. That is,
=
=
n
i
i eq
G G
1
The two formulae for determining the parameters of the equivalent circuit for voltage
generators connected in parallel are called the Millmans theorem.
(b) Seriesparallel currentsource connection:
The equivalent current of two or more current sources connected in parallel can be
obtained using KCL, while that of a number of series current sources is determined
by the procedure outlined below. That is, for a parallel combination of current
generators with output current J
1
, J
2
, J
3
, etc. and internal (output) conductance G
1
, G
2
,
G
3
, etc., the output current of the equivalent single current generator, J
eq
is given by
the algebraic sum of all the individual output currents, while the equivalent internal
(output) conductance is given by the arithmetic sum of individual internal
conductances (as in the case of parallelconnected resistive elements).
=
=
n
i
i eq
J J
1
and
=
=
n
i
i eq
G G
1
For n current generators of output current J
1
, J
2
, J
3
, ., J
n
, and internal (output)
resistance R
1
, R
2
, R
3
, ., R
n
, connected in series (Fig. TT8), the output current of the
equivalent single current generator, J
eq
is given by the expression:
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= =
=
n
i
i
n
i
i i eq
R R J J
1 1
The numerator of the above expression gives the equivalent internal (output)
resistance of current generators connected in series. That is,
=
=
n
i
i eq
R R
1
The latter expression is similar to that used to determine the equivalent resistance of
resistive elements connected in series.
(c) Seriesparallel combination of a voltage source and current source
The equivalent circuit for a voltage source in series or parallel with a current source
can be determined by combining the principles of source conversion (see sec. 2.5.4
below) and those of parallel voltage source and/or series current source connections
considered above.
1.2.5.4. Source transformation
In circuit analysis, it may sometimes be necessary to mutually substitute the two most
common types of energy sources voltage and current sources.
To illustrate the transformation of a practical voltage source to a practical current
source and vice versa, let us consider the general practical voltage generator and
practical current source shown in below.
0,i
R
I
L
J
0,v

I
L
+
R
E
The voltage of the ideal source (IVS) is E (internal voltage), and R
o,
is the sources
internal resistance, while the current of the ideal source (ICS) is J and R
o,i
is its
internal or output resistance. For the PVS, the linear relationship between the sources
terminal voltage, V
t
and the load current, I
L
was given by the expression:
L v o L t
I R E V V
,
= =
For the PCS, the relationship between the load (terminal) voltage and the load current
is
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i o
L
L
R
V
J I
,
=
The criterion of equivalence between a PVS and a PCS is that they should produce
identical values of load voltage (V
L
) and load current (I
L
) when they are connected to
identical values of the load (R
L
), no matter what its value may be. Since R
L
= 0 and
R
L
= are two such values, then equivalent sources provide the same opencircuit
voltage and shortcircuit current.
The condition for equivalence can now be easily established. Since the opencircuit
voltages must be equal, from the above two characteristic equations of PVS and PCS
we have
J R E V
i o Loc ,
= =
The shortcircuit currents are also equal, and the two characteristic equations lead to
J
R
E
I
v o
Lsc
= =
,
It follows that
o i o v o
R R R = =
, ,
and J R E
o
=
where R
o
is the internal resistance (output resistance) of either practical source.
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Topic #1.3: AC Circuit Theory
Topic outline and learning objectives
1. Overview of AC circuit concepts & definitions
2. Graphical representation of sinusoidal AC quantities
3. Types of AC circuits and circuit elements
4. Fundamental circuit laws in the phasor domain
5. Phasor transform analysis of simple AC circuits
6. Power in AC circuits
1.3.1. Overview of AC circuit concepts and definitions
In electrical power engineering, direct currents have limited application.
Practically all commercially utilised electrical energy is produced & delivered in
the form of current and voltage whose values and direction change periodically
after equal intervals of time, T. Such currents and voltages are generally referred
to as alternating since they alternate in a regular, periodic manner.
Mathematically, such variables or quantities may be expressed as follows:
i(t
1
) = i(t
2
) = i(t
3
) = .. = i(t
k
)
(1)
t
k
= t
1
+ kT,
or
i(t) = i(t + T) = i(t + 2T) = .. = i(t + kT)
(2)
Of all the various types of timevarying electrical currents (voltages), the ones that
have received wide application are those that varies sinusoidally with time (i.e.,
sinusoidal currents and voltages).
An example of a simple time plot of a sinusoidal electrical quantity (current,
voltage, EMF) is shown in Fig. 3.1 below.
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1.5
1
0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
wt
e
(
t
)
The value of the alternating quantity at any instant of time t is called its
instantaneous value and is denoted by a small letter, e.g., i(t), v(t), etc.
An exception is an instantaneous value of a sinusoidal current source, which is
denoted as J(t). The maximum of the instantaneous values of a sinusoidal quantity
is called the amplitude (or peak), denoted by capital letters with a subscript m,
for example, I
m
, V
m
, E
m
, etc. The smallest interval of time after which the
instantaneous value of a sinusoidal quantity repeats itself in both magnitude and
direction is called the period, denoted by capital letter T. The total number of
periods (i.e., complete repetitions or cycles) per second is called cyclic frequency
(or simply, frequency), f of the waveform. It is thus the inverse of period, T and is
measured in 1/sec. or Hertz, Hz.
Commercially, sinusoidal currents and voltages are produced by mechanically
driven electrical generators. In them the mechanical energy developed by steam or
hydraulic turbines is converted into electric energy.
Sinusoidal alternating waveform is used predominantly throughout the presentday
electric power supply industry and almost all the electrical energy used in the
world is generated and delivered in the form of sinusoidal AC.
There are a number of factors of the wide use of sinusoidal AC devices:
1) A great number of nonsinusoidal excitations can easily be represented
with a sinusoidal waveform.
2) Sinusoidal excitations (sources) always produce a sinusoidal response
(current or voltage) throughout a circuit. The sinusoidal function thus
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allows a much easier mathematical analysis than does almost every other
function.
The simplest timevarying sinusoidal quantity is usually expressed algebraically
(mathematically) as
t V t v
m
e sin ) ( = (3)
where v(t) is the instantaneous value of the quantity. This is shown graphically in Fig
3.1. The main parameters characterising this quantity are the peak value or amplitude
V
m
and the argument et (i.e., phase angle). The parameter e is called the angular
frequency of the periodic waveform. The waveform repeats itself every 2t radians
(360
0
) or T seconds. Its period is therefore 2t radians or T seconds. A sine wave with
a period of T must execute 1/T periods each second; its cyclic frequency, f, is 1/T
hertz, abbreviated Hz. Thus, 1 Hz is identified as 1 cycle per second. Thus,
f = 1/T
(4)
and since
eT = 2t (5)
we obtain the common relationship between angular and cyclic frequency,
e = 2tf
(6)
A more general form of the sinusoid
) sin( V ) (
m
u e + = t t v (7)
includes an initial phase angle u in its argument (et+u). Equation (7) is plotted in
below as a function of et, and the initial phase angle appears as the number of radians
by which the original sine wave is shifted to the right, or later in time.
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1.5
1
0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
0 45 90 135 180 225 270 315 360 405
wt
e
(
t
)
e1(t){leads e2(t) by 45}
e2(t){lags e1(t) by 45}
Since corresponding points on the sinusoid in Eq. (7) occurs u rad later, we say that
this sinusoid lags the one in Eq. (3) by u rad.
Other parameters used to characterise a sinusoidal quantity are the average (mean)
value and effective or rootmeansquare (RMS) value. The average value of a
sinusoidal quantity (current, voltage or EMF) is the mean value taken over the
positive halfperiod. For example, on setting the initial phase angle to zero, the
average value of a sinusoidal current is given by
} }
= = =
2 /
0
2 /
0
2
) sin(
2
) (
2
T T
m
m av
I
dt t I
T
dt t i
T
I
t
e (8)
Similar expressions can be obtained for other sinusoidal quantities, such as voltage
and EMF.
The RMS value of a sinusoidal current, conventionally denoted by capital I, is
given by the expression
}
=
T
dt i
T
I
0
2
1
(9)
It is a measure of the value of the alternating current that will have the same heating
effect as that of a given direct current when passed through the same resistor. For
example, if a sinusoidal current heats a resistive element in exactly the same way as a
direct current of 5 A would, the RMS value of the sinusoidal current is 5 A.
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When a sinusoidal current flows in a resistive element of resistance R, the thermal
energy dissipated there over one period T is given by
}
=
T
ac
dt t Ri Q
0
2
) ( (10)
The amount of heat dissipated in the same resistive element by a direct current I over
the same time interval is given by
T RI Q
dc
2
= (11)
Therefore,
T RI Q
dc
2
= =
}
=
T
ac
dt t Ri Q
0
2
) ( (12)
or
}
= =
T
eff
dt t i
T
I I
0
2
) (
1
(13)
Similar integral expressions can be derived for other sinusoidal quantities such as
voltage and EMF.
For alternating quantities with sinusoidal waveforms, manipulation of the above
integral expressions gives the following formulae for rootmeansquare values:
2
m
I
I = ;
2
m
V
V = ;
2
m
E
E = (14)
where I
m
, V
m
and E
m
are the maximum values (or amplitude) of the sinusoidal
current, voltage and EMF, respectively.
The rootmeansquare value is normally used as the basic characteristic of
sinusoidal quantities. It is of considerable importance and unless stated otherwise
the value quoted for alternating quantities is assumed to be the RMS value, and
conventionally denoted by the capital letter, for example, I or V. Most alternating
current measuring instruments are calibrated to measure the RMS values.
1.3.2. Graphical representation of sinusoidal quantities
Sinusoidal quantities (current, voltage, EMF) can be represented in more than one
way, namely algebraically as trigonometric functions, graphically as plots of time
functions (timedomain representation) and/or rotating vectors, and finally, as phasors
or complex numbers (frequencydomain representation).
1.3.2.1. Vector representation of sinusoidal quantities
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A sinusoidal varying quantity (voltage, current) can be represented at any instant
in time by an algebraic equation of the form
) sin( ) (
a m
t A t a e + = (15)
where A
m
the maximum value of a(t); e = 2tf angular frequency, rad/s;
a
phase angle, rad, f cyclic frequency, Hz.
The graph of the above equation was shown below. The value of instantaneous
value a(t) at some time t can also be determined graphically with the help of a
rotating vector on a Cartesian coordinate system. This can be done by drawing a line
segment length equaling the amplitude A
m
starting from the origin O and displaced
from the abscissa (xaxis) by an angle equaling the initial phase angle
a
. The
projection of this vector on the ordinate (yaxis) will be the value of a(t) at the time t
= 0. This concept is shown in below.
If we now suppose that this vector rotate counterclockwise about O at a uniform
angular velocity of e, then at any instant in time the vertical projection of A
m
will be
the value of a(t). For example, at a time t
1
the radius vector A
m
turns from the initial
position P by an angle et
1
; the length of the perpendicular from its tip on to the yaxis
is A
m
sin(et
1
+
a
). This can be repeated for any other time. If we now make a plot of
the vertical projection of the vector as it varies with time, the trace that results will
conform to Eq. (15).
Rotating vectors offer a compact means of representing a combination of several
sinusoids varying at the same frequency on a single plot, which is an especial
convenience in the analysis of complicated AC circuits. A sketch in the Cartesian
plane of vector voltages and currents throughout a specific circuit is called a vector
diagram, while the manipulation of these rotating vectors at a particular time (e.g., at
the time t = 0) is called vector analysis.
For example
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ind the voltage across a series combination of two voltage sources, which are
generating the following voltages:
v
1
(t) = 100sin314t, V
v
2
(t) = 150sin(314t + t/6)
To solve this problem, we first draw the corresponding vector diagram at time t = 0.
The vector diagram looks like that shown below.
o
2m
V <30
o
V <0
1m
m
V
The notation of these two vectors are V
1m
= 100Z0
0
and V
2m
= 150Z30
0
. Since
the two sources are in series, their voltages will sum. Mathematically, this operation
is done by summing the vector projections onto the x and y axes.
1.3.2.2. Representing sinusoidal quantities using phasors
In order to represent the sinusoidal quantity of Eq. 15 as a phasor, we draw a
radius vector on a complex number plane starting from the origin at the angle to
the real axis: on the adopted scale the length of the vector is equal to the amplitude
A
m
of the sinusoidal quantity. The tip of this vector will, therefore, be located at a
point corresponding to a particular complex number the complex amplitude of
the quantity being A
m
= A
m
e
j
= A
m
Z.
Using Eulers identity, it follows that the above sinusoidal quantity can be
represented by a complex number A
m
e
j(wt+)
. That is,
a(t) = A
m
sin(et + ) A
m
e
j(et + )
= A
m
e
j
e
jet
= A
m
e
jet
(16)
The imaginary part of the rotating vector is equal to the specified sinusoidal
quantity. That is,
a(t) = A
m
sin(et + ) = Im[A
m
e
j(et + )
] = Im [A
m
e
jet
] (17)
The complex representation of a sinusoidal quantity at a given frequency and time
is characterised by only two parameters, amplitude and a phase angle. This
abbreviated complex representation expressed in terms of only these two
parameters is what is called a phasor.
A sketch in the complex number plane of phasor voltages and currents throughout
a specific circuit is called a phasor diagram, while the algebraic manipulations of
these phasors is called phasor analysis.
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In the analysis of AC circuits, we often use the RMS values rather than the
amplitudes. The phasor RMS value of a sinusoidal quantity, denoted A, is given in
terms of the phasor amplitude A
m
by the expression:
A = A
m
/\2 =
j j m
Ae e
A
=
2
(18)
where A is the RMS value of the sinusoidal quantity.
Therefore, a sinusoidal alternating quantity can be represented algebraically by its
instantaneous value defined as
a(t) = A
m
sin(et + ) (19)
and by the respective phasor value
A = AZ =
j
Ae (20)
1.3.3. Types of AC circuits and circuit elements
In AC circuits, the main source of electrical energy is an alternator, while loads
appear in various combinations of resistive elements, inductors and capacitors.
According to the type of elements connected, AC circuits are classified into linear
and nonlinear.
A linear AC circuit is that in which electrical resistance, inductance and electrical
capacitance do not depend on both the values and directions of currents and
voltages. For such circuits, the characteristic equations relating voltage and current
for its resistive, inductive and capacitive elements are given by the following
linear algebraic or differential/integral expressions:
}
= = = = = = dt t i
C
v
dt
t dv
C i
dt
t di
L e v t v G
R
t v
i
C C L L
) (
1
or
) (
;
) (
; ) ( .
) (
(21)
These voltagecurrent relations are represented by straight lines. Strictly speaking,
however, most practical electrical and radio engineering circuit elements do not obey
this linear relation. For example, the inductances L of most inductors with a
ferromagnetic core change with change in the value of current. The same can also be
said of capacitors with dielectrics when voltage changes. The resistance of most loads
also depends to some extent on the value of current flowing through them. The
resistance of metallic conductors increases with an increase in current, while that of
electrolyte decreases. The resistance of semiconductors and dielectrics also changes
with a change in current.
A circuit in which electrical resistance, inductance or capacitance of even one
of its elements depends on the value or direction of current and voltage is
called a nonlinear electrical circuit.
Nonlinear electrical circuits have nonlinear elements whose voltampere
characteristics are curvilinear. Examples of nonlinear elements include diodes,
vacuum tubes, and glowdischarge tube.
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Another basis used in the classification of AC circuits is the way the passive
elements (R, L, and C) are interconnected in the circuit. According to this criterion
we often distinguish between series, parallel and hybrid (i.e., mixed seriesparallel)
AC circuits.
1.3.4. Fundamental circuit laws in the phasor domain
1.3.4.1. Ohms law in the phasor domain
The basic relationship between timevarying voltages and currents applied to
resistors, inductors and capacitors are given by Eq. (21) above. Using these time
domain equations, we can derive the corresponding phasor voltage phasor current
relations for these three basic circuit elements.
If these elements are connected in a sinusoidal circuit in which the voltage and
current are given in the forms:
v(t) = V
m
sin(et +
v
) or ) (t v V
t j
e
e
= V
t j j
e e
v
e
(22)
and
i(t) = I
m
sin(et +
i
) or ) (t i I
t j
e
e
= I
t j j
e e
i
e
(23)
then the voltage current relations for these elements can be expressed as follows:
(a) The resistive element: In algebraic form, the defining equation is
) sin( ) sin( . ) (
v m i m R
t V t RI i R t v e e + = + = = (24)
That is V
m
= R.I
m
or V = R.I and (et +
v
) = (et +
i
); or
v
=
i
(i.e., the current
through and voltage across a resistive element are in phase). To change the sinusoidal
quantities from their timedomain representation to phasor representation, we apply
the complex voltage, V
t j j
e e
v
e
and complex current, I
t j j
e e
i
e
and obtain
V
t j j
e e
v
e
= R.I
t j j
e e
i
e
(25)
By dividing both sides by the factor
t j
e
e
, we find
i v
j j
RIe Ve
= (26)
or in polar form,
V Z
v
= RI Z
i
(27)
But V Z
v
and I Z
i
merely represent the general voltage and current phasors V and
I. Thus,
V = RI (28)
NB: Thus phasor (complex) voltage V is in phase with phasor (complex) current I in
a resistor.
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(b) The inductive element: In the timedomain, the defining equation for an inductive
element is
) sin( )
2
sin( ) (
v m i m L
t V t LI
dt
di
L t v e
t
e e + = + + = = (29)
This implies that V
m
= eLI
m
or V = eLI and
v
=
i
+ t/2 (i.e., the voltage across an
inductive element leads the current through it by 90
0
). To change the above time
domain expression to a phasor expression, we substitute the complex voltage and
complex current equations given earlier in the time domain expression, and we have
) (
) ( ) (
i v
t j t j
L
Ie
dt
d
L e V
e e + +
=
Taking the indicated derivative
) ( ) (
i v
t j t j
L
LIe j e V
e e
e
+ +
=
Dividing both sides by the factor
t j
e
e
, we obtain the desired phasor relationship
V
L
= jeLI (30)
eL = X
L
inductive reactance.
NB: Thus, phasor (complex) voltage V leads phasor (complex) I by 90
0
in an
inductor.
(c) The capacitive element: The timedomain equation for defining a capacitor is
) sin( )
2
sin( ) (
i m v m C
t I t CV
dt
dv
C t i e
t
e e + = + + = = (31)
This implies that
C C m C m C
I
C
V I
C
V
e e
1
or
1
, ,
= = and
v
=
i
 t/2 (i.e., the voltage across
a capacitive element lags the current through it by 90
0
). To obtain the equivalent
phasor representations, we substitute complex voltage and complex current into the
definition expression, suppress the factor
t j
e
e
and recognise the phasors V and I.
It is
I
C
= jeCV or V
C
=
C je
1
.I =
C
j
e
1
.I (32)
1/eC = X
C
capacitive reactance.
NB: Thus, phasor (complex) I lead phasor (complex) V by 90
0
in a capacitor
It is to be noted that all the above phasor equations are algebraic. Each is also
linear, and the equations relating to inductance and capacitance bear a great
similarity to Ohms law. We shall use them as we use Ohms law.
Therefore, the current voltage relationships for the three passive elements in
phasor form are
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V = RI V = jeLI V =
C je
I
If these equations are written as phasorvoltage phasorcurrent ratios
R =
I
V
L je =
I
V
C je
1
=
I
V
we find that these ratios are simple functions of the element values, and frequency
also, in the case of L and C. We treat these ratios in the same manner we treat
resistances, with the exception that they are complex quantities and all algebraic
manipulations must be those appropriate for complex quantities. This ratio of the
phasor voltage to phasor current is called impedance, symbolised, as Z. It is a
complex quantity having the dimensions of ohms. Impedances can be combined in
series and in parallel by the same rules we established for resistances. For
example, the total impedance for n impedances connected in series is given as
=
= + + + =
n
1 k
k n 2 1 T
Z Z Z Z Z .... ; (33)
the total impedance for n individual impedances connected in parallel is given by
the expression
=
= + + + =
n
k 1
1 1
.....
1 1 1
k n 2 1 T
Z Z Z Z Z
(34)
(a) Series AC circuits & KVL in the phasor domain: The derivation of phasor
voltagecurrent relations in a series circuit is based on the use of Kirchhoffs
voltage law (KVL). It is, thus, important, in deriving such a relation, to first show
that phasors also satisfy KVL. This can easily be shown using the phasor Ohms
law equations, which were obtained earlier for the basic circuit elements.
 R L series circuit (Fig.): In this type of circuit, the applied voltage is the phasor
sum of voltage across R and that across L as shown in the phasor diagram of (Fig.)
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V
L
V
R
L
R
V
R
V
L
V
That is,
V = V
R
+ V
L
= IR + IX
L
= I(R + jeL) and Z
T
= V/I = R + jeL = Z
T
.e
ju
,
where ( )
2 2 2 2
L R X R Z
L T
e + = + = modulus or magnitude of complex
impedance, Z
T
, and 
.

\

= 
.

\

=
R
L
R
X
L
e
u arctan arctan argument of complex
impedance, Z
T
.
 R C series circuit (Fig.): In this type of circuit, the applied voltage V is the
phasor sum of voltage across R, V
R
, and that across C, V
C
as shown in the phasor
diagram of Fig.
V
C
R
V
C
R
C
V
R
V
V
That is,
V = V
R
+ V
C
= I.R + I.X
C
= I(R j1/eC) and Z
T
= V/I = R j
C e
1
= Z
T
.e
ju
,
where ( )
2
2 2 2
1

.

\

+ = + =
C
R X R Z
C T
e
modulus or magnitude of complex
impedance, Z
T
, and 
.

\

= 
.

\

=
CR R
X
C
e
u
1
arctan arctan argument of complex
impedance, Z
T
.
 R L C series circuit (Fig.): In an AC circuit containing R, L and C in series, the
applied voltage V is the phasor sum of V
R
, V
L
and V
C
as shown in the phasor
diagram of (Fig.) (where the condition V
L
> V
C
is assumed).
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V
R
R
C
C
V
L
L
V
V
R
C
V
V
L
V
L
V
C
V
That is,
V = V
R
+ V
L
+ V
C
= I(R +jX
L
jX
C
) and ( )

.

\

+ = + = =
C
L j R X X j R
C L
e
e
1
I
V
Z
T
or Z
T
= Z
T
.e
ju
, where ( )
2
2 2 2
1

.

\

+ = + =
C
L R X X R Z
C L T
e
e modulus or
magnitude of complex impedance, Z
T
, and 
.

\

=
R
X X
C L
arctan u argument of
complex impedance, Z
T
.
NB: From the foregoing, it is evident that in the impedance of a series AC circuit
may be resolved into a real part R (the resistance) and an imaginary part X (the
reactance), giving Z = R jX.
In summary,
Type
of
passi
ve
elem
ent
Basic element
parameter
Complex
impedance, Z
Complex
admittance, Y
Resis
tor
Resistance, R Z
R
= R Y
R
= G = 1/R
Indu
ctor
Inductance, L Z
L
= X
L
= jX
L
= jeL
Y
L
= B
L
=
1/X
L
=
j.1/eL
Capa
citor
Capacitance, C Z
C
= X
C
= Y
C
= B
C
=
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jX
C
= j.1/eC 1/X
C
= jeC
(b) Parallel AC circuits & KCL in the phasor domain: As with parallel DC circuits
where the easiest way of representation is the use of the reciprocal of resistance
(i.e., conductance, G), in parallel circuits it is also easy to use the reciprocal of
impedance called admittance, and symbolised Y and measured in siemen, S or
mho. Thus
V
I
Z
Y = =
1
As with an impedance, an admittance may also be resolved into two parts the
real part being called the conductance G, and the imaginary part being called the
susceptance, B and expressed in complex form as
Y = G jB
Thus, for a pure resistance, Z = R and Y = 1/Z = 1/R = G; for pure inductance, Z
= jX
L
and Y = 1/Z =
L
L L
jB
X
j
jX
= =
1 1
; for pure capacitance, Z = jX
C
and Y =
1/Z =
C
C C
jB
X
j
jX
= =
1 1
. Thus,
L
j jB
L
e
1
= =
L
B and C j jB
C
e = =
C
B
The derivation of phasor voltagecurrent relations in a parallel circuit is based on
the use of Kirchhoffs current law (KCL).
R L parallel circuit (Fig.): For this type of circuit, the source current I is the
phasor sum of current flowing in R, I
R
, and that flowing in L, I
L
as shown in the
phasor diagram of (Fig. ).
L R
I
R
I
I
L
I
R
I
I
L
That is,
I = I
R
+ I
L
= V/R + V/X
L
= V (G jB
L
) and Y = I/V = G jB
L
=
L
j G
e
1
or Ye
ju
,
where ( )
2
2 2 2
1

.

\

+ = + =
L
G B G Y
L
e
modulus or magnitude of complex
admittance, Y, and 
.

\

= 
.

\

=
LG G
B
L
e
u
1
arctan arctan argument of complex
admittance, Y.
 R C parallel circuit (Fig. ): For this type of circuit, the source current I is the
phasor sum of current flowing in R, I
R
, and that flowing in L, I
L
as shown in the
phasor diagram of (Fig. ).
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I
I
R
I
C
C
R
I
I
R
C
I
That is,
I = I
R
+ I
C
= V/R + V/X
C
= V (G + jB
C
) and Y = I/V = G + jB
C
= C j G e + or Ye
ju
,
where ( )
2 2 2 2
C G B G Y
C T
e + = + = modulus or magnitude of complex
impedance, Y
T
, and

.

\

= 
.

\

=
G
C
G
B
C
e
u arctan arctan argument of complex
impedance, Y
T
.
 R L C parallel circuit (Fig. ): In an AC circuit containing R, L and C in
parallel, the source current I is the phasor sum of I
R
, I
L
and I
C
as shown in the
phasor diagram of (Fig. ) (where the condition I
C
> I
L
is assumed).
I
C
I
I
R
I
R
C
C R
I
I
L
L
I
I
L
I
L
C
I
That is,
I = I
R
+ I
L
+ I
C
= V(G + jB
C
jB
L
) and ( )

.

\

+ = + = =
L
C j G B B j G
L C
e
e
1
V
I
Y
T
or
Y
T
= Y
T
.e
ju
, where ( )
2
2 2 2
1

.

\

+ = + =
L
C G B B G Z
L C T
e
e modulus or
magnitude of complex admittance, Y
T
, and 
.

\

=
G
B B
L C
arctan u argument of
complex admittance, Y
T
.
1.3.5. Power in AC circuits
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We now look at an adjunct problem concerned with the calculation of power
associated with steadystate AC circuit operation. To facilitate this, we start by
outlining some of the basic power concepts associated with steadystate AC
circuit operation. This is followed by development of equations used to
calculate the carious power concepts, the significance of power factor and its
improvement, and lastly, power balance & maximum power transfer in AC
circuits.
1.3.6.1. Basic Power Concepts Associated with AC Circuits
The power dissipated in any of the various passive elements in an electric circuit at
any instant of time is called the instantaneous power, p, and is given as a
product of the instantaneous voltage (v) applied across the element and the
instantaneous current (i) flowing through it. That is,
p(t) = v(t).i(t)
If v the instantaneous voltage at the terminals of the passive circuit element and i the
instantaneous current flowing through the element are sinusoidal functions expressed
as
( ) u e
e
=
=
t I t i
t V t v
m
m
sin ) (
sin ) (
then the instantaneous power p is
( ) u e e = t t I V t p
m m
sin . sin ) (
This last equation can be expanded to
( )   u e u = t I V t p
m m
2 cos cos
2
1
) (
using the trigonometric double angle formulae
  ) cos( ) cos(
2
1
sin . sin B A B A B A + = and the identity cos (u) = cos u.
Therefore the mean power over the period of the cycle (T) is the average power, P
given by the expression
 
}
=
=
T
t
m m
dt t I V
T
P
0
) 2 cos( cos
2
1 1
u e u
Examining the terms to be integrated, the first term cos u is a constant (since u is
constant for a particular circuit and does not change throughout the cycle), and
second term cos (2et u) is a timevarying sinusoidal function having a frequency
double that the voltage and current. That is, it goes through two complete cycles as t
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goes from 0 to T. So its average value (i.e., its integration) over the period is zero.
Hence average value of power will be
u cos
2
1
m m
I V P =
Since V
m
= \2 V and I
m
= \2 I, average power,
) cos 2 . 2 (
2
1
u I V P =
i.e.,
u cos VI P = , watts
Thus the mean or average power in an AC circuit is the product of the RMS voltage,
the RMS current, and the cosine of the phase angle difference (i.e., the angle between
the voltage and current).
Analysis of the above power equation shows that in either a purely inductive or
purely capacitive AC circuit where the phase angle difference is 90 degrees,
the average power is zero. Therefore, no average (or active) power is dissipated
in these passive circuit elements. In a purely resistive AC circuit where the
voltage and the current are in phase (i.e., phase angle difference equal to zero),
the average power will be
P = V.I = I
2
.R = V
2
/R, watts (since V = IR in DC
circuits)
This is the average power dissipated in a resistive element.
In AC circuit analysis, the magnitude (i.e., RMS value) of the voltage multiplied by
the magnitude (i.e., RMS value) of the current is given the name apparent
power, denoted S. That is,
S = V.I
and ratio of the average (aka active) power P to the apparent power S is termed the
power factor, pf. That is,
VA) (in S power, apparent
(in Watts) P power, active
= pf
For sinusoidal voltages and currents this is simply cos u:
u
u
cos
cos
= = =
VI
VI
S
P
pf
u is called the power factor angle and is the angle by which the voltage leads the
current.
When a voltage is placed across a load, the impedance of the load determines the
magnitude and angle of the current that will flow through the load. That is,
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power factor is a characteristic of the load. Thus, for a load consisting of the
elements R, L and C connected in series, the power factor at which this load
operates will be
Z
R
IZ
IR
V
V
pf
R
= = = = u cos
It is sometimes convenient to consider average power P as the real part of a
quantity called complex power, S. Complex power is defined as
S = V.I
*
, in VA
where S is a complex number, V, and I are phasor quantities, and I
*
is the conjugate
of I. If the phasor voltage and phasor current are given as
V = V Z
v
and I = I Z
I
then
S = V.I.Z(
v
I
) = VI cos (
v
I
) + j VI sin (
v
I
)
Sine (
v
I
) is the angle by which the voltage leads the current, the real part of S is
by definition the average power. Because of this, average power is sometimes called
real power. Average power is also often simply called power. From the above
equation it is obvious that the magnitude of the complex power is equal to apparent
power.
The imaginary part of the complex power is called reactive power and is given the
symbol Q and the units VAr or voltampere reactive. Just as real power is
dissipated in a resistor, reactive power can only be dissipated in an inductive
element since current lags voltage for an inductor. By the same reasoning,
negative reactive power will be dissipated in a capacitor. This means that
capacitors will supply reactive power when a voltage is placed across it.
From the foregoing, it follows that the relation between active power P, reactive
power Q, and apparent power, S can be expressed as
P
2
+Q
2
= S
2
cos
2
u + S
2
sin
2
u = S
2
.
From this relationship, we can introduce the concept of power triangle, a
diagram showing the geometric relationship between P, Q and S. Similar
diagrams were drawn also for impedance and voltage.
Since power factor is a cosine function and has the same value for positive or
negative angles, the word lag or lead should be written after the power factor to
more fully describe the load. If the power factor is followed by the word lagging,
the current lags the voltage and the load is inductive. Similarly, if the power factor
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is followed by the word leading, the current leads the voltage and the load is
capacitive.
1.3.6.2. Power Calculations
The following are some of the most important relationships in power calculations:
 ( )   u e u = = t
I V
t i t v t p
m m
2 cos cos
2
) ( ). ( ) ( Timevariable or instantaneous power
 u cos VI P = Average (true, active, real, usable) power (aka, power), measured
in Watts (W)
 u sin VI Q = Reactive power, measured in voltampere Reactive (VAr)
 VI S = Apparent power, measured in voltampere (VA)
 jQ P I V S = =
*
Complex power, measured in voltampere (VA)
 u cos = =
S
P
pf Power factor
1.3.6.3. Power Factor Correction
The significance of power factor is that it greatly influences the economic and
efficient operation of AC circuits. Therefore, for efficient and economic circuit
operation, power factors close to unity are usually desirable. For any given load, the
value of the power factor can be improved by connecting a source of reactive power
in parallel to it. The most common source of reactive power used for this purpose is
the capacitor. Connecting a capacitor parallel to a load improves the power factor by
producing a reactive (capacitive) current that balances out the reactive (inductive)
current in the load and, thus, decreasing the phase angle difference between the
voltage applied across the load and the current through it.
To illustrate this method of power factor improvement, let us consider a load with
a lagging power factor (i.e., an inductive load) as the equivalent circuit of a passive
singleport shown in Fig.a.
L
(a)
R
V
I=I
Load
I
Q
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The way in which the reactive (inductive) in the load (load current), I
,load
, is
balanced out by a capacitor is demonstrated in the phasor diagram of Fig. (b).
L
R
(b)
C
I
Load
I
C
I
V
I
Load
I
C
I
Q
s
As is seen, connection of the capacitor improves the power factor since
S
u u cos cos > .
It is usual to specify the value of the power that a load should have after power
factor correction. If the load current I
S
and the power factor
S
u cos of the load are
known and the desired value of u cos is specified, the required capacitance can be
found by reference to the circuit phasor diagram such as shown in Fig. (b), from
which it follows that
CV I I I
C p S p
e u u = = tan tan
Hence,
( ) u u
e
tan tan
2
=
S
V
P
C
where P = I
p
V is the active power in the load.
1.3.6.4. Power Balance in AC Circuits & Maximum Power Transfer Theorem
As in the case of DC circuits, energy is also conserved in sinusoidal circuits. That
is, the algebraic sum of the instantaneous powers of all the energy sources is equal
to the algebraic sum of the instantaneous powers dissipated in all the loads at any
instant. The same applies to the powers averaged over a period. This is the basis of
the Tellegens theorem. According to this theorem, in an AC circuit consisting of
an arbitrary number of power (current and/or voltage) sources and of loads, such
as resistive, inductive and capacitive elements, the algebraic sum of the complex
powers of all energy sources is equal to the algebraic sum of the complex powers
dissipated in all the loads.
= = = =
= = =
M
i
i D i D
M
i
i D
N
k
k g k g
N
k
k g
I V S I V S
1
*
, ,
1
,
1
*
, ,
1
,
In the algebraic sum of the phasor powers of the energy sources, the term
representing a voltage source takes a + sign if the positive direction of the
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current is the same as the direction of the source voltage (EMF). Otherwise the
term associated with the voltage source takes a sign. Similarly, the term
representing a current source takes a + sign if the direction of the terminal
voltage is the same as the direction of the source current. Otherwise the term
associated with the current source takes a sign.
As concerns the load powers, it should be remembered that the complex power
dissipated in a resistive, inductive and capacitive elements are equal to active
power, positive reactive power and negative reactive power, respectively. Thus,
the algebraic sum of the active powers of all the energy sources (i.e., real part of
the algebraic sum of complex source powers) should be equal to the arithmetic
sum of the powers in all the resistive elements. Also, the algebraic sum of the
reactive powers of all the energy sources (i.e., imaginary part of the algebraic sum
of complex source powers) should be equal to the difference between the
arithmetic sum of the reactive powers of all the inductive elements and the
arithmetic sum of the reactive powers of all the capacitive elements.
In DC circuit analysis it was shown that for a simple circuit consisting of a
resistive load supplied by a voltage source with an EMF, E and internal resistance
R
g
, maximum power in the load results when its resistance is equal to the internal
resistance of the voltage source. This was the basis of maximum power transfer
theorem. As applied to an AC circuit, this theorem may be stated as follows: An
independent voltage source in series with an impedance Z
g
or an independent
current source in parallel with an impedance Z
g
delivers maximum average power
to that load impedance Z
D
which is the conjugate of Z
g
. The proof of this
condition can be shown as follows: The RMS current in a circuit consisting of
practical voltage source with RMS EMF E and internal impedance Z
g
, supplying a
load of impedance Z
D
is given by the expression:
,
) ( ) (
2 2
D g D g
X X R R
E
Z
E
I
+ + +
= =
The average or active power delivered by this current from the source to the load
is then given as:
2 2
2
2
) ( ) (
D g D g
D
D D
X X R R
R E
R I P
+ + +
= =
An analysis of the above expression shows that for the average power delivered to
the load by the source to be a maximum, the square of the circuit impedance
should be a minimum. Minimum circuit impedance may result when X
D
= X
g
.
This equality leads to an average power equation, similar to that used in DC
analysis. That is,
2
2
2
) (
D g
D
D D
R R
R E
R I P
+
= =
Analysis of this last equation shows that maximum average power transfer to the
load results when R
D
= R
g
. Thus, the condition for maximum average power
transfer in an AC circuit is
*
g D
Z Z
= .
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Elements of Electrical Measurement
Topic outline and learning objectives
1. Introduction to measurement
2. Instrument classification & characteristics
3. Construction & operating principles of generic measuring instruments
4. Measurement of basic electrical signals (current, voltage, resistance and power)
3.1. Introduction to measurement
The term measurement is generally used to refer to the process of determining
(establishing, ascertaining) the value of a controllable (i.e., variable quantity)
through experimentation using physical or technical devices. Where the
quantities concerned are electrical in nature (e.g., current, voltage, electric
power, electric resistance, etc.), then the process is called electrical
measurement, while the devices used are called electrical measuring
instruments. The importance of measurement derives from the fact that the
magnitude of the various electrical quantities obtained can be used in
regulating, monitoring (supervision) and controlling the operation and/or
performance of electrical devices, circuits, and systems (processes).
Electrical measuring devices (instruments) are widely used to measure non
electrical quantities as well (such as temperature, pressure, speed, level, etc.). For
this purpose, these quantities are first converted into proportional electromagnetic
quantities (i.e. transduction). This is what is commonly referred to as the
measurement of nonelectrical quantities by electric methods. The main
advantages of using electrical measurement methods to measure these non
electrical quantities is that with these methods we can fairly simply transmit
device (instrument, meter) indications (readings) over large distances (telemetry),
control plant and process (automatic control), record meter indications (on, say,
tape, such as in remote monitoring or sensing), and carry out mathematical
operations on the transmitted values.
3.2. Instrument classification and characteristics
Electrical measuring instruments/devices can be subdivided into separate classes
according to several criteria. These subclassifications are useful in broadly
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establishing several attributes of particular instruments as accuracy, cost and
general applicability to different applications. The most important of these criteria
are:
(a) Technique of measurement employed: Measurement techniques or methods can
either be direct or indirect (inferential). In direct measurement, the value of the
unknown input variable is ascertained directly from experimental data.
Instruments based on this method have scales, which are calibrated in the units of
the measurand (i.e., the input applied to the instrument). In inferential
measurement the value of the unknown input quantity has to be deduced, or
inferred, from direct measurements of other quantities functionally related to the
measurand of interest.
(b) The physical effect of electricity utilised in the operation of the instrument: The
electricity (current and/or voltage) effects generally utilised are magnetic effect,
electrodynamic effect, electromagnetic effect, thermal effect, chemical effect, and
electrostatic effect. We may, thus, have magnetic instruments, electrodynamic
instruments, etc.
(c) The type of measurand (i.e., quantity being measured): According to this criterion
we may have current measuring devices (meters), voltage meters, power meters,
resistance meters, electric energy or electricity measuring devices, frequency
meters, capacitance meters, inductance meters, multimeter, etc.
(d) The type of circuit in which the instrument is to be used: According to this
criterion we have direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) measuring
instruments.
(e) The form in which measurement information is presented or displayed: According
to this criterion, all measuring instruments may be divided into analogue and
digital instruments. An analogue instrument gives an output, which varies
continuously as the quantity being measured changes. The output can have an
infinite number of values within the range that the instrument is designed to
measure. Instruments in which measurement information is presented using
deflection of a pointer over a calibrated scale are examples of analogue
instruments. A digital instrument, on the other hand, has an output, which varies in
discrete steps, and so can only have a finite number of values. Instruments in
which measurement information is displayed in numericalreading form are
examples of digital instruments.
(f) The functionality of the instrument (i.e., purpose for the instrument): Functionally,
different instruments may be divided into three categories: indicating, recording,
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and controlling measuring instruments. Indicating instruments are those which
indicate the instantaneous value of the measurand at the time at which it is being
measured. Their readings (indications) may be presented in analogue or digital
form. Recording instruments differ from the indicating instruments in that they
provide a continuous graphic record (display) of the variation of the measurand
with time or any other chosen reference quantity. Many of these instruments use
either photographic techniques or some form of pen & paper writing system
(e.g., paper charts and inked pen or stylus) to record measurement results.
Controlling instruments are those used to control the value of a measurand with
the help of information fed back to them by some monitoring device(s).
(g) According to whether the device output is entirely produced by the measurand or
whether the measurand simply modulates the magnitude the magnitude of some
external power source: Active and passive instruments.
(h) Nulltype and deflectiontype instruments.
All measuring instruments, irrespective their class (according to the above
criteria), are characterised by a number of attributes (both static & dynamic)
important in assessing their performance/operation. The most common of these
attributes are:
(i) Accuracy: This is an attribute of the device characterising its ability to give
indications (readings) equivalent to the true value of the quantity being
measured. That is, measurement accuracy is the extent to which a reading
might be wrong, and is often quoted as percentage of the fullscale reading
(f.s.r.) of an instrument. If, for example, a voltmeter of 0 250 V has a quoted
inaccuracy of 1.0% f.s.r., then the maximum error to be expected in any
reading is 2.5 V. This means that when the instrument is reading 1 V, the
possible error is //
(ii) Precision: This is a measure of the instruments degree of freedom from
random errors. If a large number of readings are taken of the same quantity by
a highprecision instrument, then the spread of readings will be very small.
(iii) Tolerance: This term defines the maximum error which is to be expected in
some value.
(iv) Range/span: The range or span of an instrument defines the minimum and
maximum values of a quantity that the instrument is designed to measure.
(v) Bias: Bias describes a constant error which exists over the full range of
measurement of an instrument. This error is normally removable by
calibration.
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(vi) Sensitivity: Sensitivity of measurement is a measure of the change in
instrument output which occurs when the quantity being measured changes by
a given amount.
(vii) Hysteresis: //
(viii) Dead space: The range of different input values over which there is no change
in output value.
Accuracy of an instrument characterises its ability to give indications (readings)
equivalent to the true value of the quantity being measured. Quantitatively,
accuracy is normally expressed in terms of uncertainty and it depends on the
errors likely to creep in during the measuring procedure. For each particular form
of measurement, it is usual to set limit of the error (i.e., acceptable tolerance on
the measured value).
A measurement error may be stated in any one of the following two forms:
absolute error and relative error (e.g., percentoftrue value error and percent
offull scale reading error). An absolute error AA is defined as the algebraic
difference between the indicated (or measured) value A
m
and the true value A
of the measurand.
AA = A
m
A
For example, if an ammeter reads A
m
= 9 amperes, and we know that the true value is
8.9 amperes, then the absolute error will be 0.1 ampere.
The accuracy of a measurement task is assessed not by the absolute error, but
its relative form. Relative error is absolute error expressed as a percent of the
true value of the quantity measured. Since, however, the difference between the
true value and the measured value is small, relative error is generally, in
practice, expressed as a percent of the measured or indicated value.
Errors may have their source(s) in an instrument itself and/or environmental
factors. In the former case we have what is called the basic error of the
instrument (usually stated as a percentoffullscaledeflection error). The limit
of basic error determines the accuracy class of the instrument. Variations in
environmental factors from normal result in complementary errors.
Other concepts widely used to describe the performance of measuring instruments
are sensitivity, resolution, precision, and hysteresis.
3.3. Construction & operating principles generic electrical instruments
This section presents a brief description of the main design features and
working principles of some of the widely used types of measuring instruments.
Emphasis is on indicating analogue instruments.
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All directreading indicating analogue electrical instruments consists
essentially of a pointer which moves over a calibrated scale and which is
attached to a moving system mounted on taut bands, on pivots, or on a quartz
(or metal) ligament. A light beam reflected from a moving mirror may also be
used to effect the reading or indication of the instrument. Regardless of the type
of indication used, the moving system of indicating analogue instruments is
normally subjected to the following torques or turning moments: (a) deflecting
(operating) torque, (b) controlling (restoring) torque, and (c) damping torque.
Deflecting (operating) torque (T
d
): It is the torque which turns the pointer on
a calibrated scale according to the electrical quantity passing through the
instrument, and is normally produced by utilising one or other effects of
electric current (voltage or power) mentioned above. The actual method of
torque production depends on the type of instrument. This deflecting torque
causes the moving system (and hence the pointer or any other indicator
attached to it) to move from its zero position, i.e. its position when the
instrument is disconnected from the supply (that is, not energised).
Controlling (restoring) torque (T
c
): It is the torque which opposes the
deflecting torque and ensures that electrical quantities of different magnitudes
produces deflections of the moving system in proportion to their size or
magnitude. Without such a torque, the pointer would swing over to the
maximum deflected position irrespective of the magnitude of the quantity being
measured. Moreover, in the absence of a restoring torque, the indicator once
deflected, would not return to its zero position on removing the quantity or de
energising the instrument. The controlling (restoring or balancing) torque in
indicating instruments is obtained either by a spiral spring or by gravity (i.e.,
counterweights). Gravity control is obtained by attaching a small adjustable
weight to some part of the moving system such that the two exert torques in the
opposite directions.
Damping (stabilising) torque: It is the torque which acts on the moving part
of the instrument only when it is moving and always opposes its motion. Such
a torque is necessary to bring the pointer to rest quickly, otherwise due to
inertia of the moving system, the pointer will oscillate about its final position
for quite some time before coming to rest in the equilibrium position.
The two methods of damping commonly employed are eddycurrent damping
and airfriction damping. An eddycurrent damper is essentially an aluminium
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sector mounted on the shaft of the moving element so that it cuts the field set
up by several permanent magnets attached to a baseplate. When the sector cuts
the magnetic field, eddycurrents are induced in it. Their interaction with the
field of the permanent magnets produces a force, which tends to brake the
moving system.
An air friction damper utilises the difference in air pressure, which is produced
on either side of a lightweight aluminium vane moving in a closed chamber as
the vane is made to move. The vane is mounted on the shaft of the moving
element. Air friction dampers are less effective than eddycurrent dampers.
They have to be used in cases where the presence of a permanent magnet inside
an instrument might cause complementary errors.
Indicating instruments are available in several types each utilising a different
principle of operation.
3.4. Measurement of electrical signals (quantities)
This section describes the various methods for measuring the following basic
electrical quantities: current, voltage, power and energy, resistance, frequency,
inductance and capacitance.
3.4.1 Measurement of voltage and current
Voltmeters for the measurement of voltage, and ammeters for the measurement of
current are generally based on the same principle. However, there is one basic
difference in their use. While voltmeters are connected in parallel to measure the
voltage, ammeters are connected in series to measure the current.
A good meter should not interfere with the quantity that is being measured. That is,
the introduction of the meter should not change the quantity that is being measured.
Therefore a voltmeter should ideally have an infinite resistance, and an ammeter
should ideally have a zero resistance. Obviously this cannot happen in practice, so
that a practical voltmeter should have a very high resistance (much higher than the
resistance of the device across which the voltage is being measured) and a practical
ammeter should have a very low resistance (much lower than the resistance of the
device through which the current is being measured).
Example
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A source with an emf of 12 V and internal resistance of 20 Ohm, supplies a load of
resistance 1000 Ohm. Find the current supplied to the load and the voltage across it.
The voltage is measured using a voltmeter with an effective resistance of 5 kOhm.
Find the voltmeter reading. The current is then measured using a milliammeter with
an effective resistance of 120 Ohm.. Find the reading of the ammeter.
Solution
Load current = 12/(20+1000)=0.011764A=11.77mA,
Load voltage = 0.01177x1000= 11.77V
When voltmeter is connected, reading
Vm= 12xlOOOx5000/(1000x5000+20x(1000+5000))= 11.72 V
When ammeter is connected, reading Im= 12/(1000+20+120)=0.01053= 10.5mA
It can be seen that the meters do not read the exact value, but as can be seen the error
is quite small.
Voltmeter usually have a much higher resistance (order of 100 kOhm) and ammeters
a much lower resistance (order of 10 so that the errors would generally be even
smaller.
Permanent magnet moving coil meters
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In this instrument, a moving coil is suspended between the poles of a permanent
magnet. When a current is passed through the coil, the coil becomes an electromagnet
and tries to align with the permanent magnet. The deflecting torque becomes
proportional to the strength of the electromagnet and hence to the current.
A coil spring is used which produces a controlling torque proportional to the
deflection. Thus at balance, the deflection becomes proportional to the current. When
the current is unidirectional, as with d.c., the deflection would be to one particular
side. When the current is varying at a rate which the needle cannot follow, what will
be indicated by the meter is the mean value, due to the inertia of the movement.
Thus the moving coil meter always measures the mean value or d.c. value of a given
waveform.
Extension of Ranges of Instruments
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Other than for the electrostatic meter, analogue meters are generally basically
designed as microammeters, typically giving a full scale deflection (f.s.d.) for a
current of around 25 A to 25 mA.
They may be used to measure higher currents and also voltages with suitable
resistances in parallel (shunts) or series.
Rsh
Example
A moving coil ammeter has a basic range of 200 A with an internal resistance of
800 . It is to be used as (a) an ammeter with a range of 5 A, and (b) as a voltmeter
with a range of 100 V. Show how resistances may be connected to obtain the required
range.
(a) when I
fsd
= 200 A, I = 5 A.
Therefore current through shunt path = 5 200xl0
6
, rm=800
From current division rule,
Rsh = 800x200x10
6
/(5  200xl0
6
)= 0.032001=32mOhm in shunt with meter.
(b) when I
fsd
 200A, V= 100 V, rm= 800
Therefore 100= 200x10
6
(800+Rs)
Rs = 499200= 499.2 kOhm in series with meter.
3.4.2 Measurement of Power
As instantaneous power is obtained from the product of the instantaneous values of
voltage and current, we could use either the dynamometer instrument or the induction
type instrument to measure power. One of the coils (called the current coil) has the
current passing through it, while the other coil (called the potential coil) has a current,
proportional to the voltage, passed through it by having a high series resistance. Due
to the inertia of the instrument, the pointer does not respond to the instantaneous
value but to the mean value of the product of the currents and hence to the mean
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value of the instantaneous power. The dynamometer wattmeter can be used to
measure both a.c. as well as d.c., while the induction wattmeter can only be used to
measure a.c.
Either the current coil can be exactly in series with the current or the potential coil
can be exactly in parallel with the voltage. This is shown in the following diagrams.
The average value of the instantaneous power v.i is the active power P that has to be
measured. It is seen that neither of the wattmeter connections give the exact reading.
In the first connection shown, there is an error of r
c
i
c
2
corresponding to the power loss
in the current coil. The current coil of a wattmeter must thus have an almost zero
resistance in order for the error to become negligible [since the current coil is in
series, this is similar to the case of the ammeter]. In the second connection shown,
there is an error of v
p
.i
p
corresponding to the power loss in the potential coil. The
potential coil of a wattmeter must thus have an almost infinite resistance in order for
the error to become negligible [since the potential coil is in parallel, this is similar to
the case of the voltmeter]. The selection of which connection is to be used, is thus
based on which gives the smaller loss.
3.4.3. Measurement of three phase power
The power in a three phase system may be measured using three wattmeters between
the live and the neutral for each phase. However, in many high power systems, the
neutral wire may not be available. Even when the neutral is available, a convenient
way of measuring power in a three phase system is the two wattmeter method.
3.4.4. Measurement of Energy
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Electrical energy is the time integral of electrical power. Thus to measure energy, we
not only need to obtain an expression for power as in the wattmeter, but also have a
time dependent element. This is done by having a continuous rotation of a disc, rather
than a deflection. The number of revolutions at a constant speed would be
proportional to the time, and if the speed is made proportional to the power, then
energy would be obtained. The a.c. energy meter (also known as the house service
meter or the kWh meter) is usually of the induction type.
[Note: Since the basis is the instantaneous values of current and voltage, the effect of
power factor angle would automatically be taken into account]
3.4.5. Measurement of Resistance
Resistance can usually be measured using a Wheastone Bridge or a voltmeter
ammeter method. However neither of these methods can be used when the value to be
measured is a very low resistance (of the order of mOhm) or a very high resistance
(of the order of MOhm). In these cases special care has to be taken to avoid errors
caused by contact resistance (Kelvin Double Bridge is commonly used) for very low
resistances, and to avoid leakage currents on the surface of instruments (insulation
megger is commonly used). Special methods are also used to find the effective earth
resistance of an installation.
The simple 4 arm Wheastone Bridge is a null deflection method.
The detector (or galvanometer) is made more and more sensitive near the balance
point, where the detector current becomes zero and the potential difference across the
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detector also becomes zero. Under this condition, using potential divider action, it can
be easily shown that
It must be noted that the balance condition of the bridge does not depend on the
source voltage E, nor on the detector impedance. At balance, if three of the
resistances are accurately known, the remaining resistance will also be calculated to
the same accuracy. For good sensitivity, all 4 arms should have similar values of
resistance.
The principle of the Wheatstone Bridge can also be extended to a.c. bridges having
inductances and capacitances in addition to resistances. In this case the balance
condition is a complex equation and the source would be an a.c. source.
Bridges are mostly used when accurate measurements are required such as in
calibrating an indicating instrument.
.
3.4.6. Instrument Transformers
The range of a meter can also be extended by making use of the transformer
principle. If we wish to measure a larger or smaller voltage with a given range
voltmeter, we could use a step down transformer or a step up transformer to achieve
the purpose.
For example, to measure a high voltage of the order of 200 kV with a 100 V range
voltmeter, we would use a potential transformer of turns ratio 2000:1 (or voltage ratio
200kV: 100V) to reduce the voltage.
Similarly larger or smaller currents may be measured using current transformers. For
example, to measure a current of 200 A using a meter of range 5 A, we would use a
current transformer of turns ratio 1:40 (or current ratio 200A:5A) to reduce the
current.
Such potential transformers and current transformers are known as instrument
transformers. They are specifically designed to have high accuracy in measuring
voltages and currents respectively, but cannot handle much power. Like voltmeters,
the primary of the potential transformer is connected in shunt with the quantity to be
measured, while the primary of the current transformer is connected in series with the
quantity to be measured. The secondary of a current transformer should never be left
on open circuit in a live circuit to avoid it getting saturated.
3.4.7. Digital Meters
Analogue instruments display the quantity to be measured in terms of the deflection
of a pointer. Digital instruments on the other hand indicate the value of the measured
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quantity (measurand) in the form of a decimal number. The digital meter works on
the principle of sampling and quantization and their output may be fed into digital
computers and the like for storage and future computations.
A digital voltmeter (DVM) measuring alternating voltages would typically have the
following block diagram.
The analogue to digital converter (ADC) is the most critical component of the DVM.
It determines the accuracy and the resolution of the DVM.
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