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Electric Circuits and
Components
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Introduction
• review of the fundamentals of basic electrical components and discrete circuit
analysis techniques
• important in understanding and designing all elements in a mechatronic system
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Voltage and Current
Voltage (electromotive force, emf)
• measure of the electric field's potential
• imposing an electrical field that imparts energy by making electrons move à
production of electrical current
• "across" variable between two points in the electric field
• in order to measure a voltage
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Voltage and Current
Current
• time rate of flow of positive charge
• ampere (A), coulombs (C)
• "through" variable that moves through the field
• direct current (DC) when voltage and current in a circuit are constant
• alternating current (AC) when they vary with time, usually sinusoidally
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Electrical Circuit
• closed loop consisting of several conductors connecting electrical components
• voltage source: provides energy to the circuit, e.g. power supply, battery,
generator
• load: a network of elements that may dissipate or store electrical energy
• ground: reference point in the circuit where the voltage is assumed to be zero
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Basic Electrical Elements
• three basic passive electrical components
• passive elements require no additional power supply
• defined by the voltage-current relationship
• two types of ideal energy sources
• the ideal sources contain no internal resistance, inductance, capacitance
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Resistor
• dissipative element that converts electrical energy into heat
• Ohm's law (V = I R) defines the voltage-current characteristic of an ideal resistor
• real resistors: nonlinear due to temperature effects; failure due to the limitation in
the power dissipation
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Resistor
• wire resistance
r : resistivity, specific resistance of the material
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Resistor
• resistors packaged in various forms
• DIP and SIP: multiple resistors
in a package
• axial-lead resistor's value and tolerance
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Resistor
Example: resistance color codes
• Red-Red-Orange-Gold
• Yellow-Violet-Brown-Gold
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Resistor
Variable resistor
• resistance values controlled by a mechanical screw, knob, or linear slide
• potentiometer (pot): the most common type
• trim pot: a pot in a circuit to adjust the resistance in the circuit
A typical single-turn
potentiometer
axial-lead resistors, trim pot & rotary pot, DIP
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Capacitor
• passive element that stores energy in the form of an electric field
• the field is the result of a separation of electric charge
• dielectric material: insulator that increases capacitance as a result of permanent or
induced electric dipoles in the material
• DC does not flow through a capacitor
• charges are displaced from one side to the other side thru the conducting plate,
establishing the electric field
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Capacitor
ceramic capacitors (pF range)
mylar capacitors
electrolytic capacitors (polarized)
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Capacitor
• voltage-current relationship
voltage across a capacitor is proportional to the integral of the displacement current
• C: capacitance measured in farads (F)
• capacitance: property of the dielectric material and the plate geometry and
separation, typically 1 pF ~ 1000 mF
• In case of parallel plate model, C = eA/d (e: permittivity)
• capacitor's value: the first two digits are the value and the third is the power of 10
multiplied times pF
e.g. 102: 10 ´ 10
2
pF
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Capacitor
• voltage cannot change instantaneously àused for timing purposes in electrical
circuits, e.g. RC circuit
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Inductor
• passive energy storage element that stores energy in the form of a magnetic field
• characteristics based on Faraday's law of induction: V(t) = dl/dt
• l : total magnetic flux thru the coil windings due to the current
• ideal inductor: l = L I
• L : inductance measured in henry (H = Wb/A)
• inductance: typically from 1 mH to 100 mH
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Inductor
• voltage-current relationship
voltage across an inductor is proportional to the rate of change of the current thru the
inductor
• the current through an inductor cannot change instantaneously
• important to consider in motors, relays, solenoids, some power supplies, and high-
frequency circuits
• e.g. large inductance of electric motor
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Kirchhoff's Laws
• essential for the analysis of circuits
KVL
• sum of voltages around a closed loop is 0
How to apply KVL to a circuit
1. assume a current direction on each branch of the circuit
2. assign the appropriate polarity to the voltage across each
passive element (assumed voltage drops must be consistent
with the assumed current directions)
3. starting at any point in the circuit, form the sum of the
voltages across each element
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Kirchhoff's Laws
Example of KVL
• find the current in the circuit
1. assume the current direction
2. assign the voltage drop polarity
3. starting at A, form
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Kirchhoff's Laws
KCL
• sum of the currents flowing into a closed surface or node is 0
• currents leaving a node or surface are assigned a negative value
What if the calculated result for a current or voltage is negative?
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Kirchhoff's Laws
Series resistance circuit
• the current through each of the components is the same
• resistors in series add to the equivalent resistance
check!
Applying KVL
- V
S
+ V
R1
+ V
R2
= 0
I = V
S
/ (R
1
+ R
2
)
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Kirchhoff's Laws
Voltage divider
• a circuit containing two resistors in series
• in general, for N resistors connected in series
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Kirchhoff's Laws
Parallel resistance circuit
• each resistor experiences the same voltage
I
1
= V
S
/ R
1
and I
2
= V
S
/ R
2
Applying KCL
I – I
1
– I
2
= 0
I = V
S
(1/R
1
+ 1/R
2
)
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Kirchhoff's Laws
Current divider
• a circuit containing two resistors in parallel
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Kirchhoff's Laws
Example
• find I
out
and V
out
1. combine resistors
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Kirchhoff's Laws
Example
• find I
out
and V
out
2. Apply KVL
Note!
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Sources and Meters
Voltage source
• ideal voltage source has zero output resistance and can supply infinite current
• real voltage source model: ideal voltage source in series with output impedance
• V
out
≠ V
s
• output impedance is very small àusually neglected for most applications
• output impedance can be important when driving a circuit with small resistance
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Sources and Meters
Current source
• ideal current source has infinite output resistance and can supply infinite voltage
• real current source model: ideal current source in parallel with an output
impedance
• the output impedance is very large àminimize the current division effect
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Sources and Meters
Meters
• ideal ammeter has zero input resistance and no voltage drop across it
• real ammeter model: ideal ammeter in series with an input impedance
• the input impedance is very small
• ideal voltmeter has infinite input resistance and draws no current
• real voltmeter model: ideal voltmeter in parallel with an output impedance
• the input impedance is very large, usually 1~10 MW
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Sources and Meters
Example
• effects of source and meter output and input impedance on making
measurements in a circuit
What if the source and meter were ideal?
In reality
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Sources and Meters
Example
• effects of source and meter output and input impedance on making
measurements in a circuit
voltage measured by the actual meter
V
m
= V
s
when Z
in
= ¥ and Z
out
= 0
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Sources and Meters
Example
• effects of source and meter output and input impedance on making
measurements in a circuit
e.g. If R
1
= R
2
= 1 kW
If Z
in
= 1 MW and Z
out
= 50 W
If V
s
= 10 V
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AC Circuit Analysis
• When linear circuits are excited by alternating current (AC) signals of a given
frequency, the current through and voltage across every element in the circuit are
AC signals of the same frequency
sinusoidal AC voltage V(t)
w: radian frequency
f: phase angle àleading or lagging waveform
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AC Circuit Analysis
DC offset
vertical shift of the signal from the reference sinusoid
Example
AC voltage V(t) = 5.00 sin(t + 1) V
- amplitude = ?
- radian frequency = ?
- frequency = ?
- phase angle = ?
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AC Circuit Analysis
Principal reasons for using AC power instead of DC power
• more efficient to transmit over long distances
• easy to generate with rotating machinery (e.g., an electric generator)
• easy to use to drive rotating machinery (e.g., an AC electric motor)
• provides a fixed frequency signal that can be used for timing purposes and
synchronization
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AC Circuit Analysis
Phasor analysis
• phasor (vector): vector representation of the complex exponential
• using complex numbers to represent sinusodial signals based on Euler's formula
• for the voltage across and current through each element in the steady state
- same frequency as input
- constant amplitude
- maybe different phase from the input
Here V
m
is the amplitude and f is the phase angle of
the signal
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AC Circuit Analysis
Phasor analysis
• math relations for manipulating phasors
phasor
magnitude
phasor angle
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AC Circuit Analysis
• extension of Ohm's law to the AC circuit analysis of resistor, capacitor, inductor
• Z : impedance
• voltage will lead the current by 90°
• for DC, w = 0 àZ = ?
• for AC at very high frequency, Z = ?
• voltage will lag the current by 90°
• for DC, w = 0 àZ = ?
• for AC at very high frequency, Z = ?
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AC Circuit Analysis
Example
• find the steady state current I through the capacitor
• phasor form of the voltage source
V
in
= 5 <90°> V = (0 + 5j) V
• phasor form of the capacitor impedance
Z
C
= -j / wC = -1666.67j W = 1666.67 <-90°> W
• phasor form of the inductor impedance
Z
L
= jwL = 1500j W = 1500 <90°> W
• combining all the impedances
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AC Circuit Analysis
Example
• find the steady state current I through the capacitor
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Power in Electrical Circuits
interpretation of power consumed or generated by an electric element
• infinitesimal work (dW) done when an infinitesimal charge (dq) moves through an electric
field resulting in a change in potential represented by a voltage V
• power is the rate of work done
• P is negative if the element dissipates or stores energy, or positive if
• instantaneous power in a resistive circuit
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Power in Electrical Circuits
• for AC signals, the power changes continuously over a period of the AC waveform
àaverage power over a period is a good measure
q: difference between the voltage and current phase angles
• using the rms (root-mean-square) values of the voltage and current
• for AC networks including inductance and capacitance
P
avg
= I
rms
V
rms
cos q = I
2
rms
|Z| cos q = (V
2
rms
/ |Z|) cos q
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Transformer
• device used to change the relative amplitudes of voltage and current in an AC
circuit
• composed of primary and secondary windings whose magnetic fluxes are linked
by a ferromagnetic core
• relationship between the primary and secondary voltages
f: magnetic flux linked between the two coils
• step-up transformer, step-down transformer, isolation transformer
• power is equal if we neglect losses due to winding resistance and magnetic effects
• Note: only AC is transformed
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Summary
Electric circuits and components
• Basic electrical elements: resistor, capacitor, inductor
• Kirchhoff's laws
• Sources and meters
• AC circuit analysis
• Power in electrical circuits
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Preview
Semiconductor electronics
• Junction diode
• Transistor
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Lab
Lab 1
• Power supply
• Multimeter
• Measuring the resistance of resistors
• Verification of Ohm's law
• Measuring for circuits with a serial or parallel connection of resistors
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Question:
Proper car jump start?
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Grounding