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Objectives

Ability to explain operation of ac

bridge circuit.

Ability to identify bridge by name

Ability to compute the values of

unknown impedance following ac

bridges.

AC Bridges

capacitances and all ac bridge circuits are based on

the Wheatstone bridge. The general ac bridge circuit

consists of 4 impedances, an ac voltage source, and

detector as shown in Figure below. In ac bridge

circuit, the impedances can be either pure

resistance or complex impedances.

Z1 Z 2

Z3 Z4

below;

Inductance

Capacitance

Cont.

Applications - in many communication system and complex

electronic circuits. AC bridge circuits - are commonly used

for shifting phase, providing feedback paths for oscillators

and amplifiers, filtering out undesired signals, and

measuring the frequency of audio signals.

The operation of the bridge depends on the fact that when

certain specific circuit conditions apply, the detector

current becomes zero. This is known as the null or balanced

condition. Since zero current means that there is no voltage

difference across detector, the bridge circuit may be

redrawn as in Fig. 5-8. The voltages at point a and b and

from point a to c must be equal.

phasor voltage across the element to the phasor current through the

element:

ZR

Vr

Ir

itself a phasor. That is, Z is not associated with some sinusoidal

function of time.

For DC circuits, the resistance is defined by Ohm's law to be the

ratio of the DC voltage across the resistor to the DC current through

the resistor:

VR

R

IR

Definition of Reactance, X

Reactance is the imaginary part of impedance, and is caused by the presence of

inductors or capacitors in the circuit. Reactance is denoted by the symbol X

and is measured in ohms.

its reactance, XR is 0.

A capacitance impedance: XC = -1/C

= -1/(2fC)

An inductive impedance: XL = L = 2fL

Element

Impedance

Admittance

Z= R

Y= 1/R

Z= jL

Y=1/j L

Z=-j(1/c)

Y=j c

Cont.

Fig. 5-7: General ac bridge circuit

ac bridge circuit

Cont.

I1Z1 = I2Z2

(1)

d to point c must also be equal, therefore

I1Z3 = I2Z4

equation (1) divided by equation (2)

Z1 Z 2

Z3 Z4

(2)

where Z represents magnitude and

the phase angle of complex impedance,

its can be written as,

( Z 11 )( Z 11 ) ( Z 2 2 )( Z 11 )

where

Z 1 Z 4 (1 4 ) Z 2 Z 3 ( 2 3 )

Example 5-5

The impedances of the AC bridge in Fig.

5-7 are given as follows:

0

Z 1 20030

0

Z 2 1500

Z 3 250 40 0

Z x Z 4 unknown

Determine the constants of the unknown arm.

Solution

The first condition for bridge balance

requires that

Z1Zx =Z2Z3

Zx = (Z2Z3/Z1) =[(150x250)/200]

= 187.5

Cont.

The second condition for balance requires

that the sums of the phase angles of

opposite arms be equal

1+ x = 2 + 3

x = 2 + 3 - 1

= 0 + (-40) 30

= -70o

Cont.

Hence, the unknown impedance Zx, can be

written as

Zx = 187.5 -700 = (64.13 j176.19)

Where

Zx = Zx cos + j Zx sin

capacitive element, possibly consisting of a

series resistor and a capacitor

Example 5-6

components of the unknown arms Zx.

The similar angle bridge (refer figure below) is used to

measure the impedance of a capacitive circuit. This bridge is

sometimes called the capacitance comparison bridge of the

series resistance capacitance bridge.

Z1 = R1

Z2 = R2

Z3 = R3 jXc3

Zx = Rx jXcx

Rx

R2

R3

R1

Cx

R1

C3

R2

Maxwell Bridge

to determine an unknown inductance with capacitance standard

Z1

1

1

jC1

R1

Z 2 R2

Z 3 R3

Z x Rx jX Lx

R2 R3

Rx

R1

L x R2 R3 C1

X - reactance

Z = R + jX

The Opposite Angle Bridge or Hay Bridge (see Figure below) is

used to measure the resistance and inductance of coils in which

the resistance is small fraction of the reactance XL, that is a coil

having a high Q, meaning a Q greater than 10.

2 R1 R2 R3 C12

Rx

1 2 R12 C12

R2 R3 C1

Lx

1 2 R12 C12

Wein Bridge

The Wein Bridge shown in Figure below has a series RC combination in

one arm and a parallel combination in the adjoining arm. It is designed to

measure frequency (extensively as a feedback arrangement for a circuit).

It can also be used for the measurement of an unknown capacitor with

great accuracy.

Z1 R1

Z 2 R2

Z3

1

1

1

R3

jX c 3

Z 4 R4 jX c 4

Cont..

Equivalent

parallel

component

R1

1

R4 2

R3

R2

R4C42

R2

1

C3 (

)C4

2 2

2

R1 1 R4 C4

R1

1

C4 C3 2 2 2

R2

R3 C3

Equivalent series

component

R2

R3

R4

2 2 2

R1 1 R3 C3

The radio frequency bridge shown in figure below is often

used in laboratories to measure the impedance of both

capacitance and inductive circuits at higher frequencies.

Rx

R3 '

(C1 C1 )

C2

Xx

1 1

1

( '

)

C4 C4

C1 & C4 after rebalancing

Schering Bridge

used for measuring capacitors and their insulating properties

for phase angle of nearly 90o.

Zx =Rx j/Cx

Z2 = R2

Z3 = -j/C3

Z1 = 1/(R1 + jC1)

R2 C1

Rx

C3

R1C 3

Cx

R2

Summary

The Wheatstone Bridge most basic bridge

circuit. Widely used to measure instruments and

control circuits. Have high degree of accuracy.

Kelvin Bridge modification of Wheatstone Bridge

and widely used to measure very low resistance.

Thevenins theorem analytical tool to analyzing

an unbalance Wheatstone bridge.

AC bridge more general form of Wheatstone

bridge.

Different types of AC bridges differ in the types of

impedances in the arms

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