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Original Title: AC DC Bridges

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Bridge circuit are extensively used for measuring component values, such as resistance,

inductance, capacitance, and other circuit parameters directly derived from component values

such as frequency, phase angle, and temperature. Bridge accuracy measurements are very high

because their circuit merely compares the value of an unknown component to that of an

accurately known component (a standard).

1- D.c Bridges:

The basic d.c bridges consist of four resistive arms with a source of emf (a battery) and a

null detector usually galvanometer or other sensitive current meter. D.c bridges are generally

used for the measurement of resistance values.

a) Wheatstone Bridge:

This is the best and commonest method of measuring medium resistance values in the

range of 1 to the low megohm. The current through the galvanometer depends on potential

difference between point (c) and (d). The bridge is said to be balance when potential

difference across the galvanometer is zero volts, so there is no current through the

galvanometer (Ig=0). This condition occurs when Vca=Vda or Vcb=Vdb hence the

bridge is balance when

V 1 = V 2 .. (1) Since I g = 0 so by voltage divider rule

R1 a

V1 = E .. (2) and

R1 + R3 I1 I2

R1 R2

R2

V2 = E .. (3)

R2 + R4

Substitute equations (2) & (3) in equ. (1) c G d

E

I3 I4

R1 R2

=

R1 + R3 R2 + R4 R3

R4

So, if three of resistance values are known, the fourth unknown ones can be determined.

R R

R4 = 3 2

R1

R3 are called the standard arm of the bridge and resistors R2 and R1 are called the ratio

arms.

To determine whether or not the galvanometer has the required sensitivity to detect an

unbalance condition, it is necessary to calculate the galvanometer current for small unbalance

condition. The solution is approached by converting the Wheatstone bridge to its thevenin

equivalent. Since we are interested in the current through the galvanometer, the thevenin

equivalent circuit is determined by looking into galvanometer terminals (c) and (d).

1

Ninth Lecture Bridges and Their Application

R3 R1 R y Rb R1 Ra

Rx = + +11

R2 Ra + Rb + R y R2 Rb

R3 R1 R y Rb R1 Ra

Rx = + This is the balanced equation

R2 Ra + Rb + R y R2 Rb

Ra R R R

If = 1 then R x = 3 1

Rb R2 R2

2- Ac Bridge and Their Application:

The ac bridge is a natural outgrowth of the dc bridge and in its basic form consists of four

bridge arms, a source of excitation, and a null ac detector. For measurements at low

frequencies, the power line may serve as the source of excitation; but at higher frequencies an

oscillator generally supplies the excitation voltage. The null ac detector in its cheapest

effective form consists of a pair of headphones or may be oscilloscope.

the detector response is zero or indicates i1 i2

null. Then VAC = 0 and VZ1 = VZ2

Z1 Z Z2

Z1

VZ 1 = Vin

Z

Z1 + Z 3

Z2 Vin A C

VZ 2 = Vin thus

Z2 + Z4 i3 i4

Z1Z 4 = Z 2 Z 3 is the balance equation

Z

Z3

Z

Z4

Or Y1Y4 = Y2Y3

The balance equation can be written in complex form as: D

(Z11 )(Z 4 4 ) = (Z 2 2 )(Z 3 3 )

And (Z1Z 4 1 + 4 ) = (Z 2 Z 3 2 + 3 )

So two conditions must be met simultaneously when balancing an ac bridge

1- Z1Z 4 = Z 2 Z 3

2- 1 + 4 = 2 + 4

jXL

Review on Ac Impedance: ZL

a) In series connection

Impedance = resistance j reactance R

Z L = R + jXL and Z L = R + jL

1

Z C = R jXC and Z C = R j -jXC

C

Conversion from polar to rectangular

Z in polar form R= Z Cos X= Z Sin become Z = R jX

Conversion from rectangular to polar

X X

Z = R jX in rectangular form Z = R2 + X 2 = tan 1 tan =

R R

4

Ninth Lecture Bridges and Their Application

b) In parallel connection

Admittance = conductance j susceptance jBC

1 1

YL = G jB L and YL = j YC

R L

1 G

YC = G + jBC and YC = + jC

R YL

1 -jBL

B C

tan = C = Xc = = RC

G 1 1

R R

Example (1):

The impedance of the basic a.c bridge are given as follows:

Z 1= 10080 o (inductive impedance) Z 2 = 250 Z 3 = 40030 o (inductive impedance)

Z 4 = unknown

Sol:

Z 2 Z3 250 400

Z4 = Z4 = = 1k 4 = 2 + 3 1 4 = 0 + 30 80 = 50 o

Z1 100

Z 4 = 1000 50 o (capacitive impedance) B

Example (2):

For the following bridge find Zx? Z1 Z

2

The balance equation Z1Z 4 = Z 2 Z 3 30

0

0

45

Z1 = R = 450 0.

26

5

1 j Vin A F C

Z2 = R + = R

j C C 1V

20

1KHz

0

Z 2 = 300 j 600 Z3

Z

15

Z 3 = R + j L

.9

m

x

Z

H

Z 3 = 200 + j100

Z 4 = Z x = unknown D

Z Z (300 j 600)(200 + j100)

Z4 = 2 3 Z4 = = 266.6 j 200

Z1 450

1

R = 266.6 C= = 0.79F

2F 200

a) Comparison Bridges:

A.c comparison bridges are used to measure unknown inductance or capacitance by

comparing it with a known inductance or capacitance.

1- Capacitive Comparison Bridge:

In capacitive comparison bridge R1 & R2 are ratio arms, Rs in series with Cs are

standard known arm, and Cx represent unknown capacitance with its leakage resistance Rx.

j j

Z1 = R1 Z 2 = R2 Z 3 = Rs Z 4 = Rx

C s C x

At balance Z1 Z 4 = Z 2 Z 3

5

Ninth Lecture Bridges and Their Application

j j B

R1 R x = R2 Rs

C x C s

Z1 Z

jR1 jR2 2

R1 R x = R2 R s R2

C x C s R1

By equating the real term with the real

and imaginary term with imaginary we get: Vin A C

R R Rs Rx

R1 R x = R2 Rs Rx= 2 s

R1 Cs Cx

4

jR1 jR2

Z

Z3

RC

= Cx = 1 s

C x C s R2

We can note that the bridge is independent D

on frequency of applied source.

2- Inductive Comparison Bridge:

The unknown inductance is determined by comparing it with a known standard inductor.

At balance we get

R R B

R x = 2 s represent resistive balance equation

R1

Z1 Z

2

R1 R2

R L

L x = 2 s inductive balance equation

R1 Vin A C

Rs Rx

Ls Lx Z

4

Z3

D

b) Maxwell bridge:

This bridge measure unknown inductance in terms of a known capacitance, at balance:

1

Z1 Z 4 = Z 2 Z 3 Z1 = thus

Y1 B

Z 4 = Z 2 Z 3Y1 where C1

1

Y1 Z

Z 2 = R2 Z 3 = R3 Y1 = + jC1 2

R1 R1 R2

Z 4 = R x + jL x

So Vin A C

1

R x + jL x = R2 R3 + jC1 R3 Rx

R1

Lx

Z3

R R

4

Z

Rx = 2 3

R1

L x = R2 R3C1 D

6

Ninth Lecture Bridges and Their Application

Maxwell bridge is limited to the measurement of medium quality factor (Q) coil with range

between 1<Q10

1

L4 Bc1 XC1

tan 1 = tan 4 = = = = R1C1 = Q

R4 G1 1

R1

c) Hay Bridge:

Hay bridge convening for measuring high Q coils

j

Z1 = R1 Z 2 = R2 Z 3 = R3

C1

Z 4 = R x + j L x B

At balance Z1 Z 4 = Z 2 Z 3

j Z1 Z

R1 (R + jL x ) = R 2 R3 2

C1 x R1 R2

L jR C1

R1 R x + x x + jR1 L x = R2 R3

C1 C1 Vin A C

Separating the real and imaginary terms

L R3 Rx

R1 R x + x = R2 R3 .. (1)

C1

Lx

Z3

4

Z

Rx

= R1 L x (2)

C1

Solving equ.(1) and (2) yields D

C12 R1 R2 R3

2

Rx =

1 + 2 C12 R12

R2 R3C1

Lx =

1 + 2 C12 R12

1 = 4 because 2 = 3 = zero

1

L4 XC1 C1 1

tan 1 = tan 4 = = = = =Q

R4 R1 R1 C1 R1

1

Thus Q = .. (3)

R1C1

Submitted equ.(3) in to equ. (2) yield

2

R2 R3C 1 1

Lx = For Q> 10, then << 1 and can be neglected, then L x = R2 R3C1

2

1 Q

1 +

Q

7

Ninth Lecture Bridges and Their Application

d) Schering Bridge:

Schering bridge used extensively for capacitive measurement, (C3) is standard high mica

capacitor for general measurement work, or (C3) may be an air capacitor for insulation

measurements. The balance condition require that 1 + 4 = 2 + 3 but 1 + 4 = 90

Thus 2 + 3 must equal (-90) to get balance

At balance Z 4 = Z 2 Z 3Y1

1 j

Y1 = + jC1 Z 2 = R2 Z3 =

R1 C 3

j

Z 4 = Rx B

C x

j j 1

Rx = R2 + jC1 C1 Z

C x C3 R1

Y1 2

R2

j R C jR2 R1

Rx = 2 1

C x C2 C3 R1

Vin A C

C

R x = R2 1 (1)

C3 C3 Rx

R Cx

C x = C3 1 (2)

Z3

R2

4

Z

The power factor (pf):

R D

pf = Cos c = x

Zx

The dissipation factor (D):

R 1

D = Cot c = x = = R x C x (3)

XC x Q

Substitute equs. (1) & (2) into (3), we get

D = R1C1

e) Wien Bridge:

This bridge is used to measured unknown frequency

j 1

Z1 = R1 Z 2 = R2 Y3 = + j C 3 Z 4 = R4

C1 R3

Z

Z1 Z 4 = 2

Y3

Z 2 = Z1Z 4Y3

j 1

R2 = R1 R4 + jC3

C1 R3

R1 R4 R4 C 3

R2 = +

R3 C1

Dividing by R4 we get

R2 R1 C 3

= + . (1)

R4 R3 C1

8

Ninth Lecture Bridges and Their Application

Equating the imaginary terms, yield

R4

C3 R1 R4 = Since = 2F

C1 R3

1 R2

Thus F = if R1 = R3 and C1 = C3 then = 2 in equ.(1)

2 C1C3 R1 R3 R4

1

And F= this is the general equation for Wien bridge

2RC

Z1 R 1 Z

2

C1 R2

Vin A R

3 C

R4

Y3

4

3

C

D

Variable Resistors:

The variable resistance usually have three leads, two fixed and one movable. If the contacts

are made to only two leads of the resistor (stationary lead and moving lead), the variable

resistance is being employed as a rheostat which limit the current flowing in circuit branches.

If all three contacts are used in a circuit, it is termed a potentiometer or pot and often used as

voltage dividers to control or vary voltage across a circuit branch.

Load

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