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Electrical Circuit Behavior
Section III

In this Section we will introduce the following information:

• Theory behind Circuit Behavior
• Construction of all circuits
• Series Circuit Behavior
• Parallel Circuit Behavior
• Series/ Parallel Circuit Behavior
• Introduction to Meter Application in Circuits
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Electrical Circuits
Series Circuits
A series circuit uses a single path for
current to flow. When the switch is
closed, the current flows from the battery
through the fuse, through the switch and
then back to the battery. If the path is
broken anywhere in the circuit, the lamp
will go out.
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Series Circuits
Series Circuit Rules
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1. The Resistance Total will always be
Load 1
equal to the sum of all of the load
resistances in the circuit.
--
----
2. The total circuit Voltage Drop will

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-- Battery Load 2
---- always be equal to the applied source
--
---- voltage.However, each load will have
a different voltage drop based on it’s
individual resistance value.
fuse
3. The Current flow in the the circuit
is the same regardless of where it
is measured.

A Series Circuit is considered a Voltage Dividing Circuit
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Series Circuits

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RT = The sum of all Resistance

Load 1
Current is the same everywhere
--
---- 2 Ohms

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2 Ohms
-- Load 2
---- Battery
Resistance Total is the sum
--
---- of each load resistance

fuse Voltage Drop across the total circuit
equals the applied source voltage

2 Ohms + 2 Ohms = 4 Ohms Total
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Series Circuits
Vdr = Voltage Drop
wwww Voltage drop equals the applied
12 Volts
Load 1
12 Volts source voltage.This is the voltage
consumed or used by the circuit
-- --
-------- 6 Volts components or resistors.

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6 Volts
-- --Battery Load 2
--------12 Volts Current is the same everywhere
-- --
--------

Resistance Total is the sum of each load
12 Volts 12 Volts
resistance
fuse

Voltage Drop across the total circuit equals
the applied source voltage

6 Volts + 6 Volts = 12 Volt Voltage Drop
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Series Circuits
It = Intensity Total
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This refers to the total current
Load 1
4 Ohms (amps) flow through the circuit.
-- --
-------- 3 Amps Current is the same everywhere
-- --Battery
--------12 Volts
-- --
-------- Resistance Total is the sum of each load
resistance

Voltage Drop across the total circuit equals
the applied source voltage

3 Amps
12 Volts 4 Ohms = 3 Amps

Note: When calculating Amps, an ammeter
is placed in series with the circuit.
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Series Circuits
Using Ohms Law calculate the amount
of amp flow in the circuit below

R1
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3 Ohms

12
Volts

Amps ?

E = Volts Volts ÷ R1 = ? Amps
E
R = Ohms
I = Amps 12 Volts ÷ 3 Ohms = 4 Amps ? R
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Series Circuits
Using Ohms Law calculate the amount
of amp flow in the circuit below
R1
wwwwww

6 Ohms

12
Volts

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4 Amps R2

Amps ?

E = Volts Volts ÷ R1 + R2 = ? Amps E
R = Ohms
6 Ohms + 4 Ohms = 10 Ohms ? R
I = Amps
12 volts ÷ 10 Ohms = 1.2 Amps
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Series Circuits
Using Ohms Law calculate the amount
of resistance in the circuit below
R1
wwwwww

? Ohms

12 Volts

10 Amps

Volts ÷ Amps = Resistance
E = Volts E
R = Ohms 12 Volts ÷ 1.2 Amps = 10 Ohms I ?
I = Amps
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Series Circuit Review
Ohm’s Law can be applied to a series circuit to find unknown
values as long as you have at least two of values required to
work the formula and, you remember the following rules for a
series circuit.

1. Since there is only one path for current to flow through,current through
each load(resistance) is the same regardless of the number of loads in
the circuit or where the current is measured in the circuit.

2. The total resistance in the circuit will equal to the sum of the individual
load resistances in the circuit.

3. The voltage drop at each load will vary depending on it’s resistance,
however, the total voltage drop will be equal to the applied source
voltage.Source voltage is divided completely by all the loads, therefore
a Series Circuit is referred to as a Voltage Dividing Circuit.
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Parallel Circuits

Parallel Circuit
A parallel circuit has two or more paths
for current to flow through. The
amount of current through each
branch is determined by the load
resistance of each branch. If the circuit
is broken after a load, only that load
will cease to operate.
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Parallel Circuits
Parallel Circuit Rules
1.The source voltage and the voltage
12
volts
12
volts
applied to or measured across each load
resistance is the same.

2.The current through each load is

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12 R1 R2
volts determined by its resistance.
4Ω 4Ω

3. The resistance total of the circuit will
always be less than the lowest resistance
in the circuit.

4. The total current in the circuit will be
equal to the sum of the branch currents
through each individual load.

A Parallel Circuit is considered a Current Dividing Circuit
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Parallel Circuits

Load resistance determines
current through each load
Source Voltage(Sv) is the same thru
R1 R2 both loads.

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12
volts Resistance Total(Rt) will be less than
4Ω 2Ω
lowest value of individual resistor.
The Total Current (It) in the circuit will
equal the sum of the branch current flow

E= Electromotive Force (EMF) or Volts
R1 R2 R= Resistance or Ohms (Ω )
E
I = Intensity of Current (quantity ), (A),
I= V/R I=V/R ? R or amps (short for amperage)

12 v/ 4Ω =3 amps 12 v/ 2 Ω = 6 amps
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Parallel Circuits
Total Circuit Resistance will
always be less than the
lowest individual resistance
in the circuit.
R1 R2 Source Voltage(Sv) is the same thru
wwww

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12
volts both loads.
4Ω 2Ω
The Total Current (It) in the circuit will
equal the sum of the branch current flow.

NOTE: Individual resistor value does not
matter in a parallel circuit, only when
calculating current flow thru one load using
ohms law does it matter.

Rt = (R1 X R2) / (R1 + R2) E= Electromotive Force (EMF) or Volts
E R= Resistance or Ohms (Ω )
(4 X 2)=8 / (4+2)=6 I = Intensity of Current (quantity ), (A ),
I R or amps (short for amperage)
8 /6 = 1.33 ohms
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Parallel Circuits

Total circuit current equals
the sum of the branch
currents
R1 R2
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12
volts
4Ω 2Ω
Source voltage and the voltage applied
to each load is the same
Load Resistance determines current
3 amps 6 amps though each load
Total circuit resistance less than lowest
load resistance

It = the sum of the individual branches
3+6=9 amps
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Parallel Circuit Review
Ohm’s Law can be applied to a series circuit to find unknown
values as long as you have at least two of values required to
work the formula and, you remember the following rules for
a parallel circuit.
1. The source voltage and the voltage applied to a load (resistance) is
exactly the same and cannot vary.

2. The current through each load is determined by the resistance value of
each resistor.

3. The resistance total of the circuit will always be less than the lowest
resistors value.

4. The total current flow in the circuit will be equal to the sum of the
branch currents through each resistor.The total current in the circuit
is divided between the loads, therefore, a parallel circuit is sometimes
referred to as a Current Dividing Circuit.
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Series Parallel Circuits

Series Parallel Circuit
As the name implies, the series-parallel is
a combination of of both types of circuits.
One or more of the loads is in series, while
the others are in parallel.
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Series Parallel Circuits
Series-Parallel Circuit Rules
12 volts 6 volts 6 volts
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1. The Resistance Total of the circuit is
Dimmer
equal to the sum of the parallel resistance
plus the series resistance.

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12
volts 2. The Current in the series portion of the
circuit is equal to the sum of the branch
currents.

3. The Voltage Drop across the series
resistance will reduce the voltage supplied
to the parallel branches.
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Series Parallel Circuits
The Resistance Total of the circuit
is equal to the sum of the parallel
Series Resistance Set at resistance plus the series resistance.
R1 2 Ohms
WWWW
(R X R )
Dimmer 2 3
R
tp = ------------
(R + R )
2 3
wwww

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12 Parallel Parallel
volts Resistance Resistance
R2 6Ω R3 3Ω (6 Ω X 3 Ω )
R
tp = ---------------
(6 Ω + 3 Ω )

18 Ohms
R
tp
= ---------
9 Ohms

R
tp = 2 Ohms

Circuit Total Rt = R + R 2 Ω + 2 Ω = 4Ω R = 4 Ohms
tp ts t
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Series Parallel Circuits

Series Resistance Set at
Current in the the series portion of
R1 2 Ohms the circuit is equal to the sum of
WWWW the branch currents.
Dimmer
12
volts

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Parallel Parallel
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Resistance Resistance Sv
R2 6Ω R3 3Ω
I
t = -----
Rt

I 12 Volts
t = ------
4 Ohms

I
t = 3 Amps
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Series Parallel Circuits
6 Volts Voltage Drop

The Voltage Drop across the series
Series Resistance Set at
resistance will reduce the voltage
R1 2 Ohms 6 volts 6 volts supplied to the parallel branches
WWWW

Dimmer
12
volts
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Parallel Parallel
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Resistance Resistance Vdr = R X It
R2 6Ω R3 3Ω

Vdr = 2 Ohms X 3 Amps

Vdr = 6 Volts
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Series Parallel Circuits Review
Ohm’s Law can be applied to a series-parallel circuit to find
unknown values as long as you have at least two of values
required to work the formula and, you remember the following
rules for a parallel circuit.

1. The Resistance Total of the circuit is equal to the sum of the parallel
resistance plus the series resistance.

2. The current in the series portion of the circuit is equal to the sum
of the branch currents.

3. The Voltage Drop across the series resistance will reduce the voltage
supplied to the parallel branches.