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• AC bridges are used to measure inductance
and capacitance.
• All the AC bridges are based on the
Wheatstone bridge.
• In the AC bridge the bridge circuit consists of
four impedances and an ac voltage source.
• The impedances can either be pure
resistance or complex impedance.
• Other than measurement of unknown
impedance, AC bridge are commonly used for
shifting phase.
General AC Bridge Circuit.
Operation of AC Bridge:
 When the specific circuit
conditions apply, the detector
current becomes zero, which is
known as null or balance
 Since zero current, it means that
there is no voltage difference
across the detector, Figure 7.2.
 Voltage at point b and c are equal.
I1 Z1  I 2 Z 2
 The same thing at point d.

I1 Z 3  I 2 Z 4
• From two above equation
yield general bridge Figure 2: Equivalent of
Balance (nulled) AC Bridge.
Operation of AC Bridge:

 Z1 Z 4  Z 2 Z 3  Z1 1 Z 4  4  Z 2  2 Z 3  3

 The first condition for bridge balance requires that

Z1 Z 4  Z 2 Z 3
 The second condition for balance requires that the
sums of the phase angles of opposite arms be
 1+  4 =  2 +  3
Simple AC Bridge Circuit
Sources and Detectors for A.C bridges

• Power line ( low frequency)
• Electronic Oscillators ( High Frequency)
• Head phones (250 Hz to 3 or 4 kHz)
• Vibration galvanometers (5 Hz to 1000 Hz,
preferred below 200 Hz)
• Tunable amplifier detectors (10 Hz to 100 kHz.)
• Maxwell’s Bridge:
– Maxwell’s Inductance Bridge
– Maxwell’s inductance Capacitance Bridge
• Hay’s Bridge
• Anderson’s Bridge
• Owen’s Bridge
Maxwell’s Inductance Bridge
Maxwell’s Inductance Bridge
Maxwell’s Inductance Bridge
(Final Equation)
Maxwell’s Inductance Bridge
(Phasor Diagram under Balancing Condition )
Maxwell’s inductance capacitance bridge

• In this bridge, an inductance is measured

by comparison with a standard variable
• The connection is shown in figure.
• One of the ratio arms has a resistance
and capacitance in parallel.
Maxwell’s inductance capacitance bridge
( Derivation)
Let, L1 – unknown inductance of resistance R1.
R1 – Variable inductance of fixed resistance r1.
R2, R3, R4 – variable resistance connected in
series with inductor L2.
C4 – known non-inductance resistance
Maxwell’s inductance capacitance bridge
( Derivation)
Maxwell’s inductance capacitance bridge
(Phasor Diagram under Balancing Condition )
Advantages & Disadvantages of the
Maxwell’s Bridges
• The balance equation of the circuit is free from frequency.
• Both the balance equations are independent of each other.
• The Maxwell’s inductor capacitance bridge is used for the
measurement of the high range inductance.
• The Maxwell inductor capacitance bridge requires a variable
capacitor which is very expensive. Thus, sometimes the
standard variable capacitor is used in the bridges.
• The bridge is only used for the measurement of medium
quality coils. 1<Q<10
Hay’s Bridge
• It is used for determining the self-
inductance of the circuit.
• The bridge is
the advanced form of Maxwell’s bridge.
• The Maxwell’s bridge is only appropriate
for measuring the medium quality factor.
• Hence, for measuring the high-quality
factor the Hays bridge is used in the circuit.
• The unknown inductor L1 is placed in the
arm ab along with the resistance R1.
• The C4 and R4 are adjusted for making the
bridge in the balanced condition.
Hay’s Bridge (Derivation)
• Let,
L1 – unknown inductance having a resistance R1
R2, R3, R4 – known non-inductive resistance.
C4 – standard capacitor.
At balance condition,

Separating the real and imaginary term, we

Hay’s Bridge (Derivation)

The equation of the unknown inductance and capacitance consists

frequency term. Thus for finding the value of unknown inductance the
frequency of the supply must be known.
Hay’s Bridge (Derivation)
Phasor Diagram of Hay’s Bridge
Advantages & Disadvantages of the Hay’s
• This bridge give a simple expression for the unknown
inductances and are suitable for the coil having the quality
factor greater than the 10 .
• It gives a simple equation for quality factor.
• The Hay’s bridge uses small value resistance for determining
the Q factor.
• it is not suitable for the measurement of the coil having the
quality factor less than 10.
Anderson’s Bridge
• It is the advanced
form of Maxwell’s inductance
capacitance bridge.
• In this bridge, the unknown
inductance is compared with
the standard fixed capacitance
which is connected between the
two arms of the bridge.
Anderson’s Bridge (Derivation)
L1 – unknown inductance having a resistance R1.
r 1 and r – Standard variable resistances
R2, R3, R4 – known non-inductive resistance
C – standard capacitor
At balance Condition,

Anderson’s Bridge (Derivation)
The other balance condition equation is
expressed as

By substituting the value of Ic in the above

equation we get,

Anderson’s Bridge (Derivation)
on equating the equation, we get

Equating the real and the imaginary part, we get

Phasor Diagram of Anderson’s Bridge
Advantages & Disadvantages of the
Anderson’s Bridge
• The balance point is easily obtained on the Anderson bridge as
compared to Maxwell’s inductance capacitance bridge.
• The bridge uses fixed capacitor because of which accurate reading is
• The bridge measures the accurate capacitances in terms of
• The circuit has more arms which make it more complex as compared
to Maxwell’s bridge. The equation of the bridge is also more complex.
• The bridge has an additional junction which arises the difficulty in
shielding the bridge.
Owen’s Bridge
• This bridge measures the inductance in terms
of capacitance.
Owen’s Bridge (Derivation)
Let, L1 – unknown self-inductance of resistance R1
R2 – variable non-inductive resistance
R3 – fixed non-inductive resistance
C2 – variable standard capacitor
C4 – fixed standard capacitor
At balance condition,

On separating the real and imaginary part we get,

Phasor Diagram of Owen’s Bridge
Advantages & Disadvantages of the Owen’s
• The balance equation is easily obtained.
• The balance equation is simple and does not contain any
frequency component
• The bridge is used for the measurement of the large range
• The bridge uses an expensive capacitor which increases the
cost of the bridge and also it gives a one percent accuracy.
• The value of the fixed capacitor C2 is much larger than the
quality factor Q2
• De sauty Bridge
• Schering Bridge

• Wien’s Bridge
De Sauty Bridge
• It is suitable method for comparing
the two values of capacitor if we
neglect dielectric losses in the
bridge circuit.
Phasor Diagram of De Sauty Bridge
Advantages and disadvantages of
De Sauty bridge
• Advantage:
– The simplicity of the bridge.
• Disadvantage:
– It is almost impossible to obtain balance if
capacitors are not free from dielectric
– By using this method only Air-capacitors
can be compared.
Schering Bridge
• Used for measuring
the capacitance of the
capacitor, dissipation
factor, properties of an
insulator, capacitor
bushing, insulating oil
and other insulating
Schering Bridge
• C1 – capacitor whose capacitance is to be
• r1 – a series resistance, representing the loss of
the capacitor C1.
• C2 – a standard capacitor (The term standard
capacitor means the capacitor is free from loss)
• R3 – a non-inductive resistance
• C4 – a variable capacitor.
• R4 – a variable non-inductive resistance parallel
with variable capacitor C4.
Schering Bridge
• When the bridge is in the balanced condition, zero
current passes through the detector, which shows
that the potential across the detector is zero. At
balance condition.

The equation (1) and (2) are the balanced equation, and it is free from the
Phasor Diagram of Schering Bridge

• The dissipation factor and Loss angle obtains with the help of the phasor
• The dissipation factor determines the rate of loss of energy that occurs because
of the oscillations of the electrical and mechanical instrument.
Advantages of Schering bridge
• Balance equations are free from
• The arrangement of the bridge is less
costly as compared to the other
Wien’s Bridge
• use in AC circuits for determining the
value of unknown frequency.
• The bridge measures the frequencies
from 100Hz to 100kHz.
• The accuracy of the bridges lies
between 0.1 to 0.5 percent.
• The bridge is used for various other
like capacitance measurement,
harmonic distortion analyzer and in
the HF frequency oscillator.
Wien’s Bridge
• This bridge is frequency sensitive.
• So, it is difficult to obtain the balance
point in it.
• The input supply voltage is not purely
sinusoidal, and they have some
• The harmonics of the supply voltage
disturbs the balance condition of the
• To overcome this problem the filter is
used in the bridge. The filter connects
in series with the null detector.
Wien’s Bridge
Wien’s Bridge