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1

= 3

R

1

= 3

V

36V

R

2

= 6

R

1

= 3

a

b

R

L

= 2

Fig1(a)

V

TH

= 24V

R

TH

= 2

a

b

Fig1(d)

Thevenizing a Circuit

As an example, refer to Fig.1-a, where we want to find the voltage V

L

across the 2 R

L

and its current I

L.

To use Thevenins theorem, mentally

disconnect R

L.

The two open ends then become terminals a and b.

Now we find the Thevenin equivalent of the remainder of the circuit

that is still connected to a and b. In general, open the part of the circuit

to be analyzed and thevenise the remainder of the circuit connected

to the two open terminals.

Our only problem now is to find the value of the open-circuit voltage V

TH

across ab and the equivalent resistance R

TH.

The Thevenin equivalent

always consists of a single voltage source in series with a single

resistance, as in Fig 1-d.

The effect of opening R

L

is shown in Fig 1-b. As a result, the 3 R

1

and

6 R

2

form a series voltage divider, without R

L

.

Furthermore, the voltage across R

2

now is the same as the open-circuit

voltage across terminals a and b. Therefore V

R2

with R

L

open is V

ab.

This

is the V

TH

we need for the Thevenin equivalent circuit. Using the voltage

divider formula,

V

R2 =

6 /9 x 36 V = 24V

V

R2 =

V

ab

= V

TH

= 24V

This voltage is positive at terminal a.

To find R

TH

, the 2 R

L

is still disconnected. However, now the

source V is short-circuited. So the circuit looks like Fig 1-c.

The 3 R

1

is now in parallel with the 6 R

2

, as they are both

connected across the same two points. This combined resistance is

R

TH

= 18/9 = 2

As shown in Fig 1-d, the Thevenin circuit to the left of terminals a and b

then consists of the equivalent voltage V

TH

, equal to 24V, in series with

the equivalent series resistance R

TH

, equal to 2 . This Thevenin

equivalent applies for any value of R

L

because R

L

was disconnected. We

are actually thevenizing the circuit that feeds the open ab terminals.

To find V

L

and I

L

, we can finally reconnect R

L

to terminals a and b of the

Thevenin equivalent circuit, as shown in Fig 1-e. Then R

L

is in series with

R

TH

and V

TH.

Using the voltage divider formula for the 2 R

TH

and 2 R

L,

V

L

= x 24V = 12V. To find I

L

as V

L

/ R

L

, the value is 12V / 2, which

is equal to 6A.

These answers of 6A for I

L

and 12V for V

L

apply to R

L

in both the original

circuit in Fig 1-a and the equivalent circuit in Fig 1-e. Note that the 6A I

L

also flows through R

TH.

The same answer could be obtained by solving the series-parallel circuit

in Fig 1-a, using Ohms Law. However, the advantage of Thevenizing

the circuit is that the effect of different values of R

L

can be calculated

easily. Suppose that R

L

were changed to 4. In the Thevenin circuit,

the new value of V

L

would be 4/6 x 24V = 16V.

The new I

L

would be 16 V/ 4 , which equals 4A.

In the original circuit, a complete new solution would be required

each time R

L

was changed.

a

b

V

ab

= 24V

V

36V

R

2

= 6

Fig1(b)

V

TH

= 24V

R

TH

= 2 a

b

Fig1(e)

V

L

= 12V { R

L

= 2

R

ab

= 2

Short

across V

R

2

= 6

a

b

Fig1(c)

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