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# Alternating Current

Circuits
and Electromagnetic
Waves
21.1 Resistor in an AC
Circuit
 An AC circuit consists of a combination of circuit
elements and an AC generator or source
 The output of an AC generator is sinusoidal and
varies with time according to the following equations
 v = Vmax sin 2π ƒt, i = Imax sin 2π ƒt

##  v and i is the instantaneous voltage and

current, respectively
V
max is the maximum voltage of the generator
I
max is the maximum current
 ƒ is the frequency in Hz (ω =2π ƒ)
Resistor in an AC Circuit,
cont.
 Consider a circuit consisting of i, v
an AC source and a resistor
 The graph shows the current i
through and the voltage across
the resistor v
 The current and the voltage
reach their maximum values at
the same time
 The current and the voltage are
said to be in phase

## Note: The average value of

the current over one cycle is
zero!
Resistor in an AC Circuit,
cont.
The “bar” indicates average value
The average value of a sinusoidal current is zero: I = 0
However, we have to consider I2R:
P=(Imax )2R sin2ω t

sin2ω t = ½(1-cos2ω t)
Average: ½(1-cos2 ω t)= ½
Zero!

## The people want the same “shape” of formula as for DC

power: I2R → This step requires the rms (root-mean-
square) current
Resistor in an AC Circuit,
cont.

##  I2=(Imax )2sin2ω t =(½)(Imax )2

 Irms =(I2)½=[(½)(Imax )2]½ → (Irms )2=(½)(Imax )2

2
I rms = I max = 0.707 I max
2
 P=(½)(Imax )2 R= (Irms )2R
AC Power delivered to a
resistor

Pmax

## Average power delivered: P=Pmax /2=Vrms Irms =(Irms )2R

rms Current and Voltage

Rms Current:
2
I rms = I max = 0.707 I max
2

Rms Voltage:
2
Vrms = Vmax = 0.707Vmax
2
rms Current and Voltage,
cont.
 The direction of the current has no
effect on the behavior of the resistor
 The rms current is the DC current
that would dissipate the same
amount of energy in a resistor as is
dissipated by the actual AC current
Ohm’s Law in an AC
Circuit
 rmsvalues will be used when
discussing AC currents and voltages
 AC ammeters and voltmeters are designed
 Many of the equations will be in the same
form as in DC circuits
 Ohm’s Law for a resistor, R, in an AC
circuit
 Vrms = Irms R
 Also applies to the maximum values of v and i
Example: An AC power supply with Vmax =48 V is
connected to a resistor with 12 Ω . Calculate (a) the
rms current, (b) P and (c) Pmax .

Irms =2.83 A

## (b) P=(0.707× 48 V)(2.83 A)

P=96 W
(c) Pmax =2P=192 W
21.2 Capacitors in an AC
Circuit
 Consider a circuit containing a capacitor and an
AC source
 The current starts out at a large value and
charges the plates of the capacitor
 There is initially no resistance to hinder the flow of
the current while the plates are not charged
 As the charge on the plates increases, the
voltage across the plates increases and the
current flowing in the circuit decreases
an AC Circuit
 The current reverses
direction
 The voltage across the
plates decreases as the
plates lose the charge
 The voltage across the
capacitor lags behind the
current by 90° (current
Reason for the phase shift

## Charging Discharging Charging Discharging Charging

Discharging Charging Discharging

Current Voltage
Capacitive Reactance Xc
f=0 Hz, XC=∞ (remember
the DC case)

## XC=1/(ω C)=1/(2π fC) SI unit: Ω

Capacitive Reactance and
Ohm’s Law
 The impeding effect of a capacitor on the current in an
AC circuit is called the capacitive reactance and is given
by

1
X C in=Hz and C is in F, X will be in ohms
When ƒ is

2πfC C

##  Ohm’s Law for a capacitor in an AC circuit

 Vrms = Irms XC
21.3 Inductors in an AC
Circuit
 Consider an AC circuit
with a source and an
inductor
 The current in the
circuit is impeded by
the back emf of the
inductor
 The voltage across
the inductor always
90°
Proof of the phase shift

vL=L(dI/dt)

## vL=Vmax cos ω t dI=[Vmax cosω t/L]dt

Imax
L(dI/dt)=Vmax cosω t

I=(Vmax /L) cosω tdt=(Vmax /ω L)sinω t+K

## Imax =Vmax /ω L → XL=ω L inductive

reactance [unit: Ω ]
Inductive Reactance and
Ohm’s Law
 The effective resistance of a coil in an AC
circuit is called its inductive reactance
and is given by
 XL = 2π ƒL
 When ƒ is in Hz and L is in H, XL will be in ohms
 Ohm’s Law for the inductor
 Vrms = Irms XL
21.4 The RLC Series
Circuit
 The resistor,
inductor, and vR vL vC
capacitor can be
combined in a
circuit
 The current in the
circuit is the same
at any time and
varies sinusoidally
with time
Current and Voltage
Relationships in an RLC
Circuit
 The instantaneous
voltage across the
resistor is in phase
with the current
 The instantaneous
voltage across the
current by 90°
 The instantaneous
voltage across the
capacitor lags the
current by 90°
Phasor Diagrams
 To account for the
different phases of the
voltage drops, vector
techniques are used
 Represent the voltage φ
across each element as
a rotating vector, called
a phasor
 The diagram is called a
phasor diagram
Phasor Diagram for RLC
Series Circuit
 The voltage across the
resistor is on the +x axis
since it is in phase with
the current
 The voltage across the
inductor is on the +y
since it leads the current Current
by 90°
 The voltage across the
capacitor is on the –y axis
since it lags behind the
current by 90°
Phasor Diagram, cont
 The phasors are
to account for the
phase differences
VC
in the voltages
 VL and VC are on
the same line and Vmax

VL - VC
so the net y
component is VL - φ
VC VR
Vmax from the Phasor
Diagram
 The voltages are not in phase, so they
cannot simply be added to get the voltage
across the combination of the elements or
the voltage source
2
Vmax = VR + (VL − VC ) 2
VL − VC
tanφ =
VR
 φ is the phase angle between the current
and the maximum voltage
Impedance of a Circuit
 The impedance,
Z, can also be
represented in a
phasor diagram

Z = R + (XL − XC)
2 2

XL − XC
tanφ =
R
Impedance and Ohm’s
Law

to the impedance
V = I
max max Z

## Ohm’s law of the AC circuit

Summary of Circuit
Elements, Impedance and
Phase Angles
21.5 Power in an AC
Circuit
 No power losses are associated with
capacitors and pure inductors in an AC
circuit
 In a capacitor, during one-half of a cycle energy
is stored and during the other half the energy is
returned to the circuit
 In an inductor, the source does work against the
back emf of the inductor and energy is stored in
the inductor, but when the current begins to
decrease in the circuit, the energy is returned to
the circuit
Power in an AC Circuit,
cont
 The average power delivered by
the generator is converted to
internal energy in the resistor
 P = Irms VR = Irms Vrms cos φ
 cos φ is called the power factor of the
circuit
 Phase
shifts can be used to
maximize power outputs
21.6 Resonance in an AC
Circuit
 Resonance occurs at
the frequency, ƒ0,
where the current has
its maximum value Vrms
 To achieve maximum I rms =
current, the impedance
Z
must have a minimum
value
 This occurs when XL = XC

1
ƒo =
2π LC
Resonance, cont.
 Theoretically, if R = 0 the current would be infinite
at resonance
 Real circuits always have some resistance