# 5/13/2011

THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH…

THEVENIN’S THEOREM
INTRODUCTION THEVENIN’S EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT PRESENTATION OF THEVENIN’S THEOREM PROOF OF THEVENIN’S THEOREM WORKED EXAMPLE 2 WORKED EXAMPLE 3 WORKED EXAMPLE 4 SUMMARY INTRODUCTION
Thevenin’s theorem is a popular theorem, used often for analysis of electronic circuits. Its theoretical value is due to the insight it offers about the circuit. This theorem states that a linear circuit containing one or more sources and other linear elements can be represented by a voltage source and a resistance. Using this theorem, a model of the circuit can be developed based on its output characteristic. Let us try to find out what Thevenin’s theorem is by using an investigative approach.
Go To Top of the Page

THEVENIN’S EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT

In this section, the model of a circuit is derived based on its output characateristic. Let a circuit be represented by a box, as shown in Figure 8. Its output characteristic is also displayed. As the load resistor is varied, the load current varies. The load current is bounded between two limits, zero and Im, and the load voltage is bounded between limits, E Volts and zero volts. When the load resistor is infinite, it is an open circuit. In this case, the load voltage is at its highest, which is E volts and the load current is zero. This is the point at which the output characteristic intersects with the Y axis. When the load resistor is of zero value, there is a short circuit across the output terminals of the circuit and in this instance, the load
netlecturer.com/…/p03ThevA.htm 1/15

9. At first. Hence the circuit model consists of a voltage source of value E volts and a resistor RTh. the steps involved are as follows. as viewed from the load terminals. called as RTh. The task is to get an expression for the load current IL and express it in terms of Thevenin’s voltage and Thevenin’s resistance. This resistor is the resistance of the circuit.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… current is maximum. Divide the source voltage by the equivalent resistance to get current IS supplied by the source. with the load resistor removed. as shown in Fig. it can be stated that the internal resistance of circuit absorbs E volts at a current of Im. It has an output of E volts. 8. Get an expression for the equivalent resistance Req. an expression for the load current is obtained without the use of Thevenin’s theorem. This means that the internal resistance of the circuit. 11. A simple circuit is presented in Fig. The circuit in Figure 9 reflects the output characteristic. the load resistor is named as R3. Let us see how we can apply what we have learnt. when the load current is zero. Hence the model of the circuit can have a voltage source of E volts. When the output terminals are short-circuited. has a value of E over Im.com/…/p03ThevA. This netlecturer. seen by the source. as shown by the equation displayed in Fig. In this case. To get the load current. specified as Im and the load voltage is zero. displayed in Fig. Thevenin’s voltage is the voltage obtained across the load terminals.htm 2/15 . It is the point at which the output characteristic intersects with the X axis. 10.

R2 and R3 connected in parallel. Use the current division rule to get an expression for the load current.htm 3/15 . Once Thevenin’s voltage and Thevenin’s resistance are known. We can now ask what Thevenin’s voltage and Thevenin’s resistance represent? How do we obtain them in a simpler way? They can be obtained as shown next. It is the parallel value of resistors R1 and R2 . As shown by equation (17). Divide both the numerator and the denominator of equation (20) by the sum of resistors. Equation (22) defines the expressions for Thevenin’s voltage and Thevenin’s resistance. The numerator of equation (21) is Thevenin’s voltage. we can obtain a circuit and this circuit is presented in Figure 12. containing resistors R1 and R2 . Now some mathematical manipulations are required to get Thevenin’s voltage and Thevenin’s resistance. as shown by equation (19). as expressed by equation (18). Then the load current through resistor R3 is obtained using the current division rule. R1 and R2 . is Thevenin’s resistance.. and then we get equation (21). netlecturer. The expression for the load current is expressed by equation (20). the equivalent resistance is obtained by adding resistor R1 to the parallel value of resistors. R2 and R3 . From the expression for the load current. The first part of the denominator.com/…/p03ThevA.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… source current flows through resistors. The source current is the ratio of source voltage to the equivalent resistance. They are obtained from equation (21). the load current can be obtained as shown by equation (21).

and the load resistor is replaced by an open circuit. the load resistor is R3 and it is replaced by an open circuit. The voltage division rule states the division of source voltage is proportionate to resistance. In this instance.s voltage is the open circuit voltage.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… Thevenin’s voltage is the voltage across the load terminals with the load resistor removed. Thevenin’s theorem can be applied to linear networks only. Go To Top of the Page PRESENTATION OF THEVENIN’S THEOREM Thevenin’s theorem represents a linear network by an equivalent circuit. Thevenin’s resistance is the resistance. Thevenin’s voltage is the algebraic sum of voltages across the load terminals. the voltage across resistor R2. Thevenin’s resistance is the parallel value of resistors R1 and R2 . 14. netlecturer.com/…/p03ThevA. as viewed from the load terminals. marked as Thevenin’s Voltage or open-circuit voltage and a resistor marked as Thevenin’s Resistance. Here removal of the voltage source means that it is replaced by a short circuit. In other words. Let a network with one or more sources supply power to a load resistor as shown in Fig. due to each of the independent sources in the circuit.htm 4/15 . the load resistor is replaced by an open circuit. with both the load resistor and the sources in the circuit removed. acting alone. Proof of this theorem is presented below. Then Thevenin. Thevenin’s theorem states that the network can be replaced by a single equivalent voltage source. Next Thevenin’s theorem is presented in a formal manner. It can be seen that Thevenin’s theorem is an outcome of superposition theorem. This voltage can easily be obtained by using the voltage division rule.

This open-circuit voltage can be obtained as the algebraic sum of voltages. A few examples are presented after this page to illustrate the use of Thevenin’s theorem. As shown in Fig. The internal resistance of the source.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… Thevenin’s equivalent circuit consists of Thevenin’s voltage and Thevenin’s resistance. Go To Top of the Page PROOF OF THEVENIN’S THEOREM netlecturer. Thevenin’s voltage can be obtained as outlined below. Figure 15 shows how Thevenin’s voltage is to be obtained. Thevenin’s voltage is the open-circuit voltage across the load terminals. 15. is left in the circuit. reflecting the non ideal aspect of the circuit. If a source is not ideal. and replace each independent ideal current source by an open circuit. as it is where it is.htm 5/15 . The load is replaced by an open-circuit and hence Thevenin’s voltage is called as the open-circuit voltage. 16. A voltage source is connected across the load terminals. replace each independent ideal voltage source in the network by a short circuit. only the ideal part of that source is replaced by either a short circuit or an open circuit. Then Thevenin’s resistance is the ratio of this source voltage to its current. To obtain this resistance.com/…/p03ThevA. as marked in Fig. Given a circuit. Figure 16 shows how Thevenin’s resistance is to be obtained. The voltage obtained across the load terminals without the load being connected is the open-circuit voltage. Thevenin’s resistance is the resistance as seen from the load terminals. due to each of the independent sources acting alone. Thevenin’s voltage is also referred to as the open-circuit voltage. as the case may be. Here it is assumed that we have a resistive circuit with one or more sources. meaning that it is obtained across the load terminals without any load connected to them.

Then. current IY will be negative and coefficient k1 is Thevenin’s resistance. as shown by equation (3). and a linear circuit obeys the principle of superposition. Equation (1) in the diagaram expresses an external voltage VY connected to the load terminals. The step involved in the application of Thevenin’s theorem are summarized below.com/…/p03ThevA. since we are dealing with a linear circuit. Coefficient k2 reflects the contribution to terminal voltage by internal sources and components of the circuit. To determine Thevenin’s resistance. Go To Top of the Page WORKED EXAMPLE 2 netlecturer. Each independent internal source within the circuit contributes its part to terminal voltage and constant k2 is the algebraic sum of contributions of internal sources.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… The circuit in Fig. as a function of current IY and some constants. the coefficient k2 is Thevenin’s voltage. current IY will vary. If the internal sources are such as to yield positive Thevenin’s voltage. named as k1 in equation (1). It can be seen that k1 reflects resistance of the circuit as seen by external voltage source VY.htm 6/15 . Let us some that the internal independent sources remain fixed. and the variation IY with VY is accounted for by provision of a coefficient . since we are dealing with a linear circuit. It is valid to do so. as the external voltage VY is varied. This concludes the proof of Thevenin’s theorem. It is valid to do so. Adjust external voltage source such that current IY becomes zero. set external source voltage to zero. 17 can be used to prove Thevenin’s theorem. As shown by equation (2).

htm 7/15 . how to apply Thevenin’s theorem. Equation (23) is obtained using the voltage division rule. Remove the load resistor. The solution is obtained in four steps. 19 in order to get the value of Thevenin’s voltage. but the purpose here is to show. The steps are as shown above. which is the voltage across resistor R2. The two resistors are connected in series and the current through them is the same. you are asked to obtain the load current using ThevEnin’s theorem.com/…/p03ThevA. For the circuit in Fig. netlecturer.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… A problem has been presented now. and hence the voltage division rule can be applied. We have already looked at this circuit. and represent the circuit. The first step is to obtain Thevenin’s voltage as described now. Solution: It is a good practice to learn to apply a theorem in a systematic way. as shown in Fig. 18. This voltage can be obtained is shown next by equation (23).

When two resistors are connected in parallel. 20. Equation (25) shows how the load current can be obtained. 20. From Fig. R1 and R2. in parallel. Thevenin’s equivalent circuit contains only the Thevenin’s voltage and Thevenin’s resistance. The resultant value of Thevenins resistance is obtained as shown by equation (24). the equivalent conductance is the sum of conductances of the resistors. it is seen that Thevenin’s resistance is the equivalent of resistors. can be replaced by the Thevenin’s equivalent circuit as shown in Fig. The circuit in Fig. Another worked example is presented next. The last two steps are to draw the Thevenin’s equivalent circuit and then to obtain the load current. has been replaced by a short circuit.com/…/p03ThevA. the load current can be calculated. As shown by equation (24). Go To Top of the Page netlecturer. Now the part of the circuit containing source V1 and resistors R1 and R2. 21 shows the load resistor connected to the Thevenin’s equivalent circuit. Thevenin’s resistance is obtained as the reciprocal of the sum of conductances of the two resistors. Here source V1. 21.htm 8/15 . From this circuit.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… You can obtain Thevenin’s resistance from the circuit shown in Fig.

com/…/p03ThevA. The Thevenin’s theorem can be applied to circuits containing dependent sources also. as outlined before for the previous problem. The steps involved are shown above. The circuit containing the small signal model of a bipolar junction transistor looks similar to this circuit in Fig. The source voltage is 10 Volts. since it has dependent sources.htm 9/15 . The only constraint in applying Thevenin’s theorem to a circuit is that it should be a linear circuit. and then obtain Thevenin’s resistance as the ratio of open circuit voltage to the short circuit current.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… WORKED EXAMPLE 3 We take up another example now. and it is the current that flows through the short circuit. Figure 22 contains the circuit. Solution: You are asked to obtain the Thevenin’s equivalent of the circuit in Fig. This problem is a bit more difficult.: Given a circuit with dependent sources. 22. The short circuit current is obtained by replacing the load resistor by a short circuit. it may at times be preferable to obtain the open circuit voltage and the short circuit current. 22. The steps involved are the same. This technique has been used in the proof of netlecturer.

and the Thevenin’s voltage. Equation (26) expresses the voltage across resistor R2. Since there is no load connected to the output terminals.com/…/p03ThevA. Equation (28) is obtained by replacing voltage V2 in equation (27) by its corresponding expression in equation (26). voltage V2 is the open circuit voltage.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… Thevenin’s theorem. and the value of resistor R2 is 100 Ω. 23 is used for this purpose. we can obtain the value of current I. On simplifying. To obtain Thevenin’s resistance of a circuit with dependent source. The value of resistor R1 is 10 Ω. The circuit in Fig. as illustrated by equation (29). To obtain the open circuit voltage. Equation (27) is written for the loop containing the independent source voltage. and the current through it can be obtained as shown by equation (27). The second step is to obtain Thevenin’s resistance. The independent source voltage is 10 Volts.htm 10/15 . which is the same as the Thevenin’s voltage. the following equations are obtained. it is preferable to obtain the short circuit current and then obtain Thevenin’s resistance as the ratio of Thevenin’s voltage to short circuit netlecturer. The current through resistor R2 is ten times current I.

netlecturer. When the output voltage is zero.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… current. the short circuit current. Thevenin’s resistance is expressed by equation (34). 23 is used to obtain the short circuit current. Connect a source at the output as shown in Fig. is ten times current I. 23. contained in the circuit. Then Thevenin’s resistance is obtained as follows. The circuit in Fig. Equations (32) and (33) show how Norton’s current and Thevenin’s resistance can be obtained. The circuit in Fig. 24 is presented for this purpose. Alternate Method to obtain RTh Remove the independent voltage source and replace it by a short circuit.com/…/p03ThevA. current I is the ratio of source voltage to resistor R1 and it equals one Ampere. as displayed by equation (31). being replaced by a short circuit. 24. known also as the Nortons current.htm 11/15 . as shown by equation (30). Now it is shown how the Thevenin’s resistance can be obtained by another way. 24. When the output terminals are shorted. as shown in Fig. Equations (30) to (33) are obtained from the circuit in Fig. Note that the source voltage is 10 Volts. It is obtained with the independent source voltage.

Go To Top of the Page WORKED EXAMPLE 4 netlecturer. Since the source voltage is zero. The parallel value of two resistors is the Thevenin’s resistance. Equation (39) shows how this current is obtained. 24. Since we know the voltage across the dependent current source and the current through it.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… Equations (35) to (38) are obtained from the circuit in Fig. as shown in Fig. the sum of voltage across resistor R1 and the voltage across the dependent voltage source is zero and we get equation (35). we get equation (38) and the value of Thevenin’s resistance is 2 Ohms. the equivalent circuit can be drawn.htm 12/15 . Another View It is possible to obtain an expression for the current Ix marked in Fig. Equations (40) and (41) illustrate how Thevenin’s resistance is obtained. The expression obtained for current I in equation (35) is used to replace the current I in equation (36) and this leads to equation (37). On simplifying. 24. Since Thevenin’s voltage and Thevenin’s resistance are known.com/…/p03ThevA. 24. Equation (36) is obtained by using KVL at node a. we can replace it by a resistor.

as shown by equation (43). Let the resistance of the circuit in Fig. netlecturer.com/…/p03ThevA. as seen by the source be RA. Find Thevenin’s voltage. as shown by equation (42). Then the current through the load resistor RL can be determined.htm 13/15 . Solution: Thevenin’s theorem is used to get the solution. 26.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… Find the current through the load resistor RL. The circuit without RL is shown below. Replace RL by a short-circuit. First let us obtain Thevenin’s voltage. Find the current through the short-circuit. the current IA supplied by the source can be obtained. Once RA is known. The value of RA can be obtained. Remove RL. Then Thevenin’s resistance is the ratio of the open-circuit voltage and the short-circuit current.

The value of RB can be obtained. marked in Fig. by using the current division rule. Once the values of currents I3 and I5 are known. the current IB supplied by the source can be obtained. 27. as seen by the source be RB. we use the circuit in Fig.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… From the circuit in Fig.htm 14/15 .com/…/p03ThevA. as shown by equation (47). marked in Fig. 27. we can obtain currents I3 and I5. Find currents I2 and Ic. 26. 26. Let the resistance of the circuit in Fig. Thevenin’s voltage can be obtained as shown by equation (46). netlecturer. To find the short-circuit current IN . as shown by equation (48). Once RB is known. Use the current division rule. 27.

Go To Top of the Page netlecturer.com/…/p03ThevA. The next page is on Norton’s theorem.5/13/2011 THEVENIN'S THEOREM: NETWORK TH… The difference of currents I2 and Ic is the short-circuit current IN. Equation (52) expresses the Thevenin’s resistance. the load current can be determined. Equation (51) expresses the short-circuit current. It is somewhat more difficult to solve using either mesh or nodal analysis. we can obtain the Thevenin’s resistance. Once the Thevenin’s voltage and the Thevenin’s resistance are known. Go To Top of the Page SUMMARY This page has described the Thevenin’s theorem. Its use has been illustrated by using a few examples.htm 15/15 . From the Thevenin’s voltage and the short-circuit current. Equation (53) expresses the load current.