Dave Shattuck University of Houston

© University of Houston

ECE 2300 Circuit Analysis

Lecture Set #1 Voltage, Current, Energy and Power
Dr. Dave Shattuck Associate Professor, ECE Dept.

What are Current and Voltage?

Dave Shattuck University of Houston

© University of Houston

Overview

In this part, we will cover: • Definitions of current and voltage • Hydraulic analogies to current and voltage • Reference polarities and actual polarities

Dave Shattuck University of Houston

© University of Houston

Current: Formal Definition

• Current is the net flow of charges, per time, past an arbitrary “plane” in some kind of electrical device. • We will only be concerned with the flow of positive charges. A negative charge moving to the right is conceptually the same as a positive charge moving to the left. • Mathematically, current is expressed as…

Current, typically in Amperes [A]

dq i dt

Charge, typically in Coulombs [C] Time, typically in seconds [s]

Dave Shattuck University of Houston

© University of Houston

The Ampere

• The unit of current is the [Ampere], which is a flow of 1 [Coulomb] of charge per [second], or: 1[A] = 1[Coul/sec] • Remember that current is defined in terms of the flow of positive charges. One coulomb of positive charges per second flowing from left to right - is equivalent to one coulomb of negative charges per second flowing from right to left.

This is of 1 [Coulomb] of charge done to make it clear that the units are indeed per [second]. Showing units is important. and is not required. important.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston What is the Deal with the Square Brackets [ and ]? In these notes. to try to avoid 1[A] = 1[Coul/sec] confusion. Using the defined in terms of the square brackets is not flow of positive charges. which is a flow brackets ([ and ]). we place • The unit of current is the units inside square [Ampere]. This step is • Remember that current is optional. or: units. .

Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Hydraulic Analogy for Current • It is often useful to think in terms of hydraulic analogies. . • The analogy here is that current is analogous to the flow rate of water: Charges going past a plane per time – is analogous to – volume of water going past a plane in a pipe per time.

Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Water flow  Current • So. • The number of charges per second passing the plane for each [Ampere] of current flow is called a [Coulomb]. if we put a plane (a screen. we get the flow rate. . and measure the volume of water that moves past that plane in a second. say) in a second. current is the number of positive charges moving past a plane in a current-carrying device (a wire. say) across a water pipe.24 x 1018 electron charges. • In a similar way. which is about 6.

this is expressed as… Voltage. typically in Coulombs [C] . Voltage is the change in potential energy as we move between two points. typically in Volts [V] Energy. typically in Joules [J] dw v dq Charge. • Mathematically. it is a potential difference.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Voltage: Formal Definition • When we move a charge in the presence of other charges. energy is transferred.

A [Volt] is defined as a [Joule per Coulomb]. . • Remember that voltage is defined in terms of the energy gained or lost by the movement of positive charges.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston What is a [Volt]? • The unit of voltage is the [Volt]. One [Joule] of energy is lost from an electric system when a [Coulomb] of positive charges moves from one potential to another potential that is one [Volt] lower.

The voltage between two points – is analogous to – the change in height between two points. In a gravitational field. the more potential energy it has. the higher that water is. . in a pipe.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Hydraulic Analogy for Voltage • Hydraulic analogy: voltage is analogous to height.

Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Hydraulic Analogy: Voltage and Current height ~ voltage flow rate ~ current .

There is a height difference across these pipes. We can extend this analogy to current through and voltage across an electric device… . This diagram is intended to show a water pipe that breaks into two parts and then combines again. The size of the blue arrows are intended to reflect the amount of water flow at that point.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Hydraulic Analogy With Two Paths Two Pipes Analogy Water is flowing through the pipes.

If we have two pipes connecting two points. . the flow rate through one pipe can be different from the flow rate through the other.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Current Through… Like flow rate. Flow rate in the smaller pipe is less than it is in the larger pipe. current is path dependent. The flow rate depends on the path.

Height . voltage is path independent. No matter which path you follow. The height does not depend on the path The height between two points does not change as you go through the two pipes. the height is the same across those two points.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston …Voltage Across Like height.

Which way is the current flowing? Where is the potential higher? To keep track of these things. and 2. or the sign. of the voltages and currents we use. . Actual polarities.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Polarities It is extremely important that we know the polarity. Reference polarities. two concepts are used: 1.

your reference direction. . It is like picking North as your reference direction. and keeping track of your direction of travel by saying that you are moving in a direction of 135 degrees.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Reference Polarities The reference polarity is a direction chosen for the purposes of keeping track. This only tells you where you are going with respect to north.

• If the actual polarity is the same direction as the reference polarity. • If the actual polarity is the opposite direction from the reference polarity. We have only two possible directions for current and voltage. we use a negative sign for the value of that quantity. we use a positive sign for the value of that quantity.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Actual Polarity The actual polarity is the direction something is actually going. .

. if we have a reference polarity defined. down. We have only two possible directions for current and voltage. we can get the actual polarity. We know then.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Relationship between Reference Polarity and Actual Polarity The actual polarity is the direction something is actually going. • Example: Suppose we pick our reference direction as „up‟. that we have moved The actual polarity is an actual distance of +5[feet] down. • Thus. quantity. The distance we go „up‟ is –5[feet]. The reference polarity is a direction chosen for the purposes of keeping track. The reference and we know the sign of the value of that polarity is up.

All variables must be defined if they are used in an expression. They cannot be assigned incorrectly. . these variables remain undefined.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Reference Polarities Reference polarities do not indicate actual polarities. Without this step. You can’t make a mistake assigning a reference polarity to a variable. Always assign reference polarities for the voltages and currents that you name.

and the sign of the number that goes with that arrow shows the actual polarity. i2 i1 -3[A] 3[A] a wire i1 = 3[A] i2 = -3[A] These are all different ways to show the same thing. The arrow shows a reference polarity. . Uppercase subscripts are preferred. • In the diagram below. a current of 3 [Coulombs] per [second] of positive charges moving from left to right through this wire. the reference polarity is given by an arrow.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Polarities for Currents • For current. • The actual polarity is indicated by a value that is associated with that arrow. the currents i1 and i2 are not defined until the arrows are shown. • Use lowercase variables for current.

Uppercase subscripts are preferred. the reference polarity is given by a + symbol and a – symbol. the voltages v1 and v2 are not defined until the + and – symbols are shown.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Polarities for Voltages • For voltage.symbols. at or near the two points involved. • In the diagram below. • The actual polarity is indicated by a value that is placed between the + and . • Use lowercase variables for voltage. + Device + - v1(t) - v2(t) + 5[V] -5[V] + .

the voltages v1 and v2 are not defined until the + and – symbols are shown. the reference polarity is given by a + symbol and a – symbol. + Device + - v1(t) - v2(t) + 5[V] -5[V] + .Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Defining Voltages • For voltage.symbols. These four labels all mean the same thing. • The actual polarity is indicated by the sign of the value that is placed between the + and . In this case. v1 = 5[V] and v2 = -5[V]. • In the diagram below. at or near the two points involved.

It is not so. we use reference polarities. . • To do this. using reference polarities helps. • The key is that often the actual polarity of a voltage or current is not known until later. and the actual polarities come out later.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Why bother with reference polarities? • Students who are new to circuits often question whether this is intended just to make something easy seem complicated. We want to be able to write expressions that will be valid no matter what the actual polarities turn out to be.

and Which Way They Go .Part 2 Energy. Power.

Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Overview of this Part In this part of the module. and yet another hydraulic analogy . we will cover the following topics: • Definitions of energy and power • Sign Conventions for power direction • Which way do the energy and power go? • Hydraulic analogy to energy and power.

Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston This is the definition found in most dictionaries. although it is dangerous to use nontechnical dictionaries to define technical terms. among them heat. light. motion of objects with mass. sound. and we will not do that! Energy • Energy is the ability or the capacity to do work. . some dictionaries list force and power as synonyms for energy. For example. • It is a quantity that can take on many forms.

energy will be conserved.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Joule Definition • The unit for energy that we use is the [Joule] [J]. • In everything that we do in circuit analysis. • One of the key concerns in circuit analysis is this: Is a device. • A [Joule] is a [Newton-meter]. or element absorbing energy or delivering energy? Go back to Overview slide. . object.

typically in Joules [J] Power. with time. typically in Watts [W] dw p dt Time. power is defined as: Energy. • Mathematically.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Power • Power is the rate of change of the energy. It is the rate at which the energy is absorbed or delivered. • Again. a key concern is this: Is power being absorbed or delivered? We will show a way to answer this question. typically in seconds [s] .

. a 100[W] light bulb is one that absorbs 100[Joules] every [second] that it is turned on. Thus.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Watt Definition • A [Watt] is defined as a [Joule per second]. • We use a capital [W] for this unit. • Light bulbs are rated in [W].

as shown below. dw dw dq p    vi dt dq dt Go back to Overview slide. Note that if voltage is given in [V]. . and current in [A]. power will come out in [W].Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Power from Voltage and Current Power can be found from the voltage and current.

You just have to understand what your choice means. A sign convention is a relationship between reference polarities for voltage and current.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Sign Conventions or Polarity Conventions • • • To determine whether power and energy are delivered or absorbed. we will introduce sign conventions. or polarity conventions. . you can‟t choose reference polarities wrong. As in all reference polarity issues.

Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Passive Sign Convention – Definition • • The passive sign convention is when the reference polarity for the current is in the direction of the reference voltage drop. we have used the passive sign convention. Passive Sign Convention iX + vX Circuit vY + iY Circuit . Another way of saying this is that when the reference polarity for the current enters the positive terminal for the reference polarity for the voltage.

these two circuits have the same relationship between the polarities of the voltage and current.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Passive Sign Convention – Discussion of the Definition • • The two circuits below have reference polarities which are in the passive sign convention. Notice that although they look different. Passive Sign Convention iX Circuit vY + iY Circuit + vX - .

Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Active Sign Convention – Definition • • The active sign convention is when the reference polarity for the current is in the direction of the reference voltage rise. Active Sign Convention iW vW + Circuit + vZ iZ Circuit . Another way of saying this is that when the reference polarity for the current enters the negative terminal for the reference polarity for the voltage. we have used the active sign convention.

these two circuits have the same relationship between the polarities of the voltage and current. Notice that although they look different. Active Sign Convention iW Circuit + vZ iZ Circuit vW + .Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Active Sign Convention – Discussion of the Definition • • The two circuits below have reference polarities which are in the active sign convention.

For now.DEVICE . • p ABS .Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Using Sign Conventions for Power Direction – Subscripts • We will use the sign conventions that we just defined in several ways in circuit analysis. let‟s just concentrate on using it to determine whether power is absorbed. We might want to write an expression for power absorbed by a device. or power is delivered.BY . or other part of a circuit. It is necessary for you to be clear about what you are talking about. A good way to do this is by using appropriate subscripts. circuit element.

and –vi gives the power delivered. • When we use the active sign convention to assign reference polarities. and –vi gives the power absorbed. vi gives the power delivered. or power is delivered. . • When we use the passive sign convention to assign reference polarities. vi gives the power absorbed.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Using Sign Conventions for Power Direction – The Rules We will use the sign conventions to determine whether power is absorbed.

vi gives the power delivered. • When we use the passive sign convention to assign reference polarities. and –vi gives the Passive Active power Convention Convention absorbed. vi gives the power absorbed. • When we use the active sign convention to assign reference polarities.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Using Sign Conventions for Power Direction – The Rules We will use the sign conventions to determine whether power is absorbed. Power absorbed pABS = vi pABS = -vi Power delivered pDEL = -vi pDEL = vi . or power is delivered. and –vi gives the power delivered.

1. Passive Convention Power absorbed Power delivered Active Convention + vS iS Sample Circuit pABS = vi pDEL = -vi pABS = -vi pDEL = vi . Determine which sign convention has been used to assign reference polarities for this Sample Circuit.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Example of Using the Power Direction Table – Step 1 We want an expression for the power absorbed by this Sample Circuit.

Next. Determine which sign convention has been used. Passive Convention Active Convention Sample Circuit iS + vS - Power absorbed Power delivered pABS = vi pABS = -vi pDEL = -vi pDEL = vi . It is highlighted in red below.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Example of Using the Power Direction Table – Step 2 We want an expression for the power absorbed by this Sample Circuit. 1. This is the active sign convention. we find the cell that is of interest to us here in the table. 2.

3. we write pABS. This cell is highlighted in red. 1. Overview slide. . Passive Convention Power absorbed Power delivered Active Convention + vS iS Sample Circuit pABS = vi pABS = -vi pDEL = -vi pDEL = vi This is the active sign convention. Determine which sign convention has been used. Thus.BY.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Example of Using the Power Direction Table – Step 3 We want an expression for the power absorbed by this Sample Circuit. Find the cell that is of interest to us here in the Go back to table. 2.CIR = -vSiS .

This cell is highlighted in red. + vS iS Sample Circuit .CIR = -vSiS . 2. 3. Uppercase subscripts are preferred. Find the cell that is of interest to us here in the Go back to table. we write pABS. Overview slide.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Example of Using the Power Direction Table – Note on Notation We want an expression for the power absorbed by this Sample Circuit. and by what. Indicate whether abs or del. Always use a two-part subscript for all power and energy variables. 1. Thus. Determine which sign convention has been used. always use lowercase variables for power. In your power expressions.BY.

A real waterfall. and a schematic waterfall are shown here. .Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Hydraulic Analogy The hydraulic analogy here can be used to test our rule for finding the direction that power goes. Imagine a waterfall.

the power absorbed will be positive. we would write: pABS = vi Since the values are positive. Flow direction Height The waterflow is in the direction of the drop in height. if we wrote an expression for power absorbed. Does this make sense? . Thus. Thus.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Hydraulic Analogy for Power Directions – Test • The hydraulic analogy here can be used to test our rule for finding the direction that power goes. this is analogous to the passive sign convention. Imagine a waterfall.

We call this energy absorbed. but only if we understand a key assumption. In circuits. Flow direction Height . as sound. Thus. Does this make sense? • Yes. the power absorbed is positive. or in other forms.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Hydraulic Analogy for Power Directions – Answer • The power absorbed will be positive. energy is being lost from the water as it falls. we mean the energy absorbed from the electrical system. heat. when we say energy absorbed. and delivered somewhere else. This energy is being delivered somewhere else. • In this hydraulic analogy.

• For example. This is the how this approach gives us direction. this power comes from chemical power in the battery. . and is converted to electrical power. a key assumption is that when we say power delivered. and therefore power will be conserved as well. the red power (nonelectrical) is being changed to the blue power (electrical). through that something. in a battery. we mean that there is power taken from someplace else. Electrical System made up of various parts and components Component in circuit which delivers positive power Nonelectrical power that will be converted to electrical power Electrical power that is delivered to the system Positive power delivered by something means that power from somewhere else enters the electrical system as electrical power. In this diagram. converted and delivered to the electrical system. • Remember that energy is conserved.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Power Directions Assumption #1 • So.

Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Power Directions Assumption #2 • So. • Remember that energy is conserved. a key assumption is that when we say power absorbed. . Electrical System made up of various parts and components Component in circuit which absorbs positive power Electrical power that is absorbed out of the system Nonelectrical power that was converted from electrical power Positive power absorbed by something means that power from the electrical system leaves as nonelectrical power. In this diagram. and therefore power will be conserved as well. This is the how this approach gives us direction. in a lightbulb. the blue power (electrical) is being changed to the red power (nonelectrical). • For example. through that something. we mean that there is power from the electrical system that is converted to nonelectrical power. the electrical power is converted to light and heat (nonelectrical power).

We may use: • Power delivered by made up of various parts and components • Power provided by Component in circuit • Power supplied by which Nonelectrical power that will be converted to electrical power delivers positive power Electrical power that is delivered to the system . We may use: Electrical System • Power absorbed by made up of various parts • Power consumed by and components Component • Power delivered to in circuit which • Power provided to absorbs Electrical power Nonelectrical power positive • Power supplied to that is absorbed that was converted power out of the system • Power dissipated by from electrical power There are a number of terms that are synonyms for power Electrical System delivered.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Power Directions Terminology – Synonyms There are a number of terms that are synonyms for power absorbed.

Bruce Carlson in his textbook.9. published by Brooks/Cole.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston • Another useful hydraulic analogy that can be used to help us understand this is presented by A. from page 11 of that textbook. Figure 1. Circuits. The diagram. is duplicated here. Another Hydraulic Analogy .

the Source delivers power. and the hydraulic analog on the right. The water pressure (potential) is higher at the inlet port of the turbine than at the outlet. and the Load absorbs power.© University of Houston Another Hydraulic Analogy – Details Dave Shattuck University of Houston • In this analogy.” Note that the Source is given with reference polarities in the active convention. the electrical circuit is shown at the left. • As Carlson puts it. and the Load with reference polarities in the passive convention. As a result. “The pump (source) forces water flow (current) through pipes (wires) to drive the turbine (load). since all quantities are positive. in this case. .

in this case. the Source delivers power. Note that the Source is given with reference polarities in the active convention. . we implicitly mean “the Source delivers positive power”. When we say things like “the Source delivers power”. and the Load with reference polarities in the passive convention. As a result. since all quantities are positive. and the Load absorbs power.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Another Point on Terminology • We always need to be careful of our context.

since all quantities are positive.SOURCE = -5000[W].Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Another Point on Terminology • At the same time. This is the same thing as saying that the power delivered is 5000[W]. and the Load absorbs power. As a result. • However. Your answer must be clear. because the direction is important! Note that the Source is given with reference polarities in the active convention.BY. . the Source delivers power. in this case. and the Load with reference polarities in the passive convention. it is also acceptable to write expressions such as pABS. unless the context is clear. it is ambiguous to just write p = 5000[W].

• The key is that often the direction that power is moving is not known until later.Dave Shattuck University of Houston © University of Houston Why bother with Sign Conventions? • Students who are new to circuits often question whether sign conventions are intended just to make something easy seem complicated. Go back to Overview slide. It is not so. and the actual directions come out later when we plug values in. . using sign conventions helps. we use sign conventions. We want to be able to write expressions now that will be valid no matter what the actual polarities turn out to be. • To do this.