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# UNIKL BRITISH MALAYSIAN INSTITUTE

PRINCIPLES OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
NEB10103

LABORATORY REPORT :
OHM'S LAW, CURRENT DIVIDER AND VOLTAGE
DIVIDER RULE

PREPARED BY :
MOHAMAD AMIRUL ASHRAFF BIN MOHD NIZA
(51210113115)
(51210113241)

DATE :
31/1/2013
INTRODUCTION :
Ohm's Law
Ohm's law states that the current flowing through a conductor is directly proportional to the
potential difference between two point on the conductor provided the resistance and
temperature are kept constant.
V I
Voltage Divider Rule
The Voltage Divider Rule (VDR) states that the voltage across an element or across a series
combination of elements connected in a series circuit is equivalent to the ratio of the element or
series combination of elements to the total resistance of the series circuit multiplied by the total
voltage source as in Figure 1 :

From Ohm's law :
V
T
= IR
T
; I = V
T
/R
T
Therefore :
V
out
= I x R
n
=

=

---------------- (Eq1)
Equation 1 indicates that the voltage across any resistor R
i
(R
i
, i = 1, 2,..... n) in a series circuit
is equal to the applied voltage, E across the circuit multiplied by a factor. The value of the
current flow, I must be the same through all the resistors.
Current Divider Rule
The Current Divider Rule (CDR) states that the current through one of the two parallel
branches is equal to the ratio of the resistance of the other branch to the sum of the resistance of
the two parallel branches and is multiplied by the total current entering the two parallel
branches in Figure 2 :

or

(

)

---- Eq (2)
Similarly, the current flowing through the other resistor R
2
can be obtained as :

(

)

---- Eq (3)

PROCEDURE :
Part A : Voltage Divider Rule
1. The circuit was constructed and connected as shown in Figure 1 with E = 10V, R
1
= 82Ω,
R
2
= 100Ω and R
3
= 150Ω.
2. The voltage and current of R
1
, R
2
and R
3
was measured.
3. The value of resistors were changed as following and step 2 was repeated :
R
1 =
10KΩ, R
2
= 1000Ω, R
3
= 50Ω.
4. The value of resistors were changed again as following and step 2 was repeated :
R
1 =
30Ω, R
2
= 500Ω, R
3
= 100Ω.
5. VDR was applied to calculate the voltage and current of R
1
, R
2
and R
3
for each value of
resistors in step 1, 3 and 4.
6. The data was recorded in Table 1.1 - 1.3
7. The measurements obtained were compared with the calculated results.

Part B : Current Divider Rule

1. The circuit was constructed and connected as shown in Figure 2 with E = 5V, R
1
= 82Ω
and R
2
= 100Ω.
2. The voltage and current of R
1
and R
2
was measured.
3. The value of resistors were changed as following and step 2 was repeated :
R
1 =
10KΩ and R
2
= 1000Ω.
4. The value of resistors were changed again as the following and step 2 was repeated :
R
1 =
30Ω and R
2
= 500Ω.
5. CDR was applied to calculate the voltage and current of R
1
and R
2
for each value of
resistors in step 1, 3 and 4.
6. The data was recorded in Table 2.1 - 2.3
7. The measurements obtained were compared with the calculated results.

RESULTS :

Part A :

V
R1
V
R2
V
R3
I
R1
I
R2
I
R3

Measurement 2.40V 2.80V 4.60V 0.03A 0.03A 0.03A
Calculation 2.47V 3.01V 4.52V 0.03A 0.03A 0.03A
% of error 2.83% 6.98% 1.77% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Table 1.1

V
R1
V
R2
V
R3
I
R1
I
R2
I
R3

Measurement 9.00V 0.90V 0.04V 0.90mA 0.90mA 0.90mA
Calculation 9.05V 0.90V 0.05V 0.90mA 0.90mA 0.90mA
% of error 0.55% 0.00% 20.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Table 1.2

V
R1
V
R2
V
R3
I
R1
I
R2
I
R3

Measurement 0.46V 8.00V 1.55V 15mA 15mA 15mA
Calculation 0.48V 7.94V 1.58V 16mA 16mA 16mA
% of error 4.17% 0.76% 1.90% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25%
Table 1.3

Part B :

V
R1
V
R2
I
R1
I
R2

Measurement 4.80V 4.80V 55mA 45mA
Calculation 5.00V 5.00V 61mA 50mA
% of error 4.00% 4.00% 9.84% 10.00%
Table 2.1

V
R1
V
R2
I
R1
I
R2

Measurement 5.00V 5.00V 0.5mA 5mA
Calculation 5.00V 5.00V 0.5mA 5mA
% of error 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Table 2.2

V
R1
V
R2
I
R1
I
R2

Measurement 4.80V 4.80V 150mA 9.5mA
Calculation 5.01V 5.00V 167mA 10mA
% of error 4.19% 4.00% 10.18% 5.00%
Table 2.3

ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
1. Based on the experiment conducted as above, in task 1, when the value of resistor is high,
the potential difference across the resistor is also high and the current flowing through the
resistors is constant due to its series connection. Meanwhile, in task 2, when the resistance
is low, the current flowing through it is high and the potential difference across all resistors
connected in parallel is the same.
2. The measurements obtained from this experiment differs from the ones calculated using the
formula derived earlier despite having a few accurate readings. This is due to the scale of
the analogue multimeter which is limited to a smallest of 1 decimal for one division on its
scale, while the decimal places obtained by using the formula is rounded up to 1 or 2
decimal places which affects the results slightly. Other than that, these differences is due to
the loading effect of the multimeter caused by its internal resistance. Robbins and Miller
(2000) stated that the loading effect for an instrument must be ideally zero for it to provide
effect since energy is absorbed from the circuit.
3. Hoppe (2012) stated that Voltage Divider Rule is applied to determine the voltage drop
across a resistor in series while the Current Divider Rule is used to determine the current
flowing through one branch of a parallel circuit.
4.

(

)
= (

)
= 37.27V

5. For I
3 :

(

)

(

)

Therefore, for I
5
:

(

)

(

)

For I
1 :

(

)

(

)

For I
2
:

(

)

(

)

Therefore the values calculated using CDR are as below

I
1
= 8.4A
I
2
= 2A
I
3
= 6.4A
I
5
= 2.4A

CONCLUSION
VDR is applied in a series circuit and the voltage drop is high for a resistor that has a
large value while the current flow is the same throughout the circuit. CDR is applied in a
parallel circuit and the current flow is low for a resistor that has a large value while the
potential difference is the same for all elements in the circuit.
REFERENCES
1. Robbins A., Miller W.C. (2000). Circuit Analysis Theory and Practice.
Albany, N.Y. : Delmar Cengage Learning.
2. Hoppe R., (2012). Voltage Divider Rule (VDR). Retrieved from : http://www.wisc-
online.com/objects/ViewObject.aspx?ID=DCE3402
3. Hoppe R., (2012). Current Divider Rule (CDR). Retrieved from : http://www.wisc-
online.com/Objects/ViewObject.aspx?ID=DCE3502