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# University of Aberdeen School of Engineering EG1008 PRINCIPLES OF ELECTRONICS 1. FUNDAMENTALS OF DC CIRCUITS Charge, current, voltage, power. Ohm's law.

w. Resistors. Voltage sources. 1.1. Fundamental definitions (using SI units) Charge. Symbol: Q. Charge is quantity of electricity, and can be both positive and negative. Unit: the coulomb - note lower case "c". This is correctly abbreviated as C. Definition: One electron has a charge -19 18 of -1.610 C, so that charge of -1C is carried by 6.210 electrons. Current. Symbol: I. Current is flow of electrical charge carriers. Unit: the ampere, frequently abbreviated to amp (correct abbreviation A). Definition: a current of 1 ampere flows when a charge of 1 coulomb passes through any cross-section of a conductor in 1 second. Note that a flow of negative charge in one direction (say left to right) is in almost all respects equivalent to a flow of positive charge in the opposite direction (say right to left) - same net transfer of charge, same magnetic field produced. In metallic conductors, charge is carried by electrons, but in electrolytes it is carried by a mixture of positive and negative ions, usually travelling in opposite directions, whose current carrying effects add. A convention for current flow is therefore required. Convention: conventional current is considered to flow in the direction of an equivalent flow of positive charge, i.e. opposite to the direction of 18 electron flow. A conventional current of 1A therefore flows from left to right if 6.2 10 electrons per second move from right to left past any point in a metallic conductor. Note that current is said to flow through a circuit, or component, or device - like water through a pipe. Voltage. Symbol: V. When charges of opposite sign are separated, they attract each other. When such a separation occurs, there is therefore a possibility of extracting work as the charges move towards each other. The electrical potential difference between two points represents the possibility of extracting work by allowing charge to move between the points. Unit: the volt (abbreviated V). Definition: A potential difference of 1V exists when transfer of 1C of charge dissipates 1 joule of energy or, equivalently, when current of 1A dissipates one joule per second or 1 watt of power. The ability of an electrical power source (such as a battery, generator or solar cell) to drive current through a circuit, and hence to deliver power, is referred to as electro-motive force (e.m.f.) and is also measured in volts. Definition: A source has an e.m.f. of 1V if, when it drives 1A of current through a circuit, a power of 1W is dissipated in the circuit. Both potential difference and e.m.f. are commonly described as voltage. Note that a voltage appears across a component or device - like pressure in a pumping system - so that it is always incorrect to refer to "voltage through" a component. Ohm's law. Consider two points in an electrical circuit, with current I flowing and potential difference V between them. The ratio of potential difference to current is defined as the resistance of the corresponding part of the circuit. Symbol: R. Unit: the ohm (abbreviated - Greek upper case "omega") . Definition: a circuit or device has a resistance of 1 ohm if a current of 1A flows when a potential difference of 1V exists across it. Statement: Ohm's law states that the ratio of potential difference to current is a constant (for a particular material under constant physical conditions such as temperature). This is an extremely important law but it is not universal. For a device obeying Ohm's law, a graph of voltage against current is a straight line, and the component is said to be linear or sometimes ohmic. A device designed to obey Ohm's law is referred to as a linear resistor or more usually simply as a resistor. There are many devices (e.g. diodes) which have a non-linear current-voltage relation. In many others, variation in temperature causes variation in resistance, and so resistance changes as current increases, dissipating heat. Note that "bad" conductors, or insulators, which tend to block flow of current have a high resistance and low conductance; "good" conductors have a high conductance and low resistance. Examples of good conductors are copper, aluminium, gold and other pure metals; examples of poor conductors or insulators 1 of 8

University of Aberdeen School of Engineering are plastics, ceramics and glasses. Semiconductors are a special class of materials with intermediate conductivity which can, moreover, be altered by relatively small quantities of impurity. Not all materials with intermediate conductivity count as semiconductors: some metal alloys have high resistance, but are certainly not semiconductors. 1.2 Fundamental relationships These definitions lead directly to the following relationships. Relation of voltage, current and resistance: R = V/I (definition of resistance) V = IR (loosely referred to as Ohm's law) I = V/R Note that the expression V = IR can be considered a correct statement of Ohm's law if the statement "where R is a constant (for many materials under constant physical conditions)" is added. Electrical power: P = VI (power dissipated in a resistor with voltage V across it and current I through it or power delivered by an electrical power source of e.m.f. V driving a current I) 2 P=I R 2 P = V /R (power dissipated in a resistor or other component with resistance R - using V = IR and I = V/R respectively) Note that, in a resistor, this electrical power is dissipated as heat. The statement that "good" conductors have low resistance, while "bad" conductors have high resistance is slightly loose . The property which distinguishes "good" from "bad" conductors is, more properly, resistivity or its reciprocal conductivity. The resistivity of a material (Greek lower case "rho") is defined as the resistance of a unit cube of the material - the SI unit is m. The resistance R of a cylinder of material of length l and cross-sectional area A is then R = l/A Moreover, it was stated that for Ohm's law to hold, physical conditions such as temperature should be constant. In fact, temperature is almost always the dominant influence, and its effect is usually expressed by: R(T) = R(T0)[1 + a(T-T0)] Most metals have a positive temperature coefficient of resistance (a) i.e. the resistance of a resistor made of such a metal increases with temperature. Semiconductors tend to have a negative a. EXAMPLE A resistor carrying a current of 5A has a voltage of 6V across it. What is its resistance and what power does it dissipate? Check your answer using at least one other alternative expression for the power dissipated. R = V/I = 6/5 = 1.2 P = VI = 65 = 30W also 2 2 P = I R = 5 1.2 = 251.2 = 30W or 2 2 P = V /R = 6 /1.2 = 30W 2 of 8

## University of Aberdeen School of Engineering

1.3 Voltage sources and simple circuits An ideal voltage source is defined as a source in which the potential difference appearing across its terminals (its "terminal potential difference") is equal to its e.m.f. whatever current is drawn. Figure 1 shows an ideal voltage source connected to a resistor. Note the notations for the components, and the sign convention: conventional current flows in the direction of the applied e.m.f.

Figure 1. (a) Ideal battery of e.m.f. VS connected to load resistor R. (b) Same circuit as (a), but using an ideal voltage source of unspecified type (e.g. ideal battery, generator, solar cell). (c) Real battery modelled as an ideal battery in series with a resistor R S - the internal resistance. In a real voltage source, there is usually a tendency for the terminal potential difference to fall if the current is increased. This can be modelled by including a resistor in series with an ideal voltage source, as also shown in Figure 1. If such a voltage source is connected to a load resistor R, and a current I flows round the circuit, there will be a voltage drop IR S across the resistor RS modelling the internal resistance of the source, hence its terminal potential difference will be VB = VS - IRS. Note that when I = 0, VB = VS i.e. the terminal potential difference is equal to the e.m.f. when no current is drawn, or when the source is opencircuited. This gives a means of measuring the e.m.f.

EXAMPLE A battery is found to have a terminal potential difference of 14V when open-circuited, and a terminal potential difference of 12V when connected to a 4 load. What is the internal resistance of the battery? What current will flow if an 8 load is connected? The e.m.f. VS of the battery is equal to its open circuit terminal potential difference, or 14V. When connected to the 4 load, the 3 of 8

University of Aberdeen School of Engineering current flowing is I = 12/4 = 3A. The voltage drop across R S is VS-VB = 14-12 = 2V, so RS = (VS-VB)/I = 2/3 = 0.6667 . Hence with an 8 load, if the current is I, V B = IR = 8I and VB = VB - IRS = 14 - 0.6667I. This means 8I = 14 - 0.6667I 2. SIMPLE DC CIRCUITS Resistors in series and in parallel. The voltage divider; the current divider. Voltage divider rule and current divider rule. Voltage and current measurement. 2.1 Resistors in series and in parallel Consider a number of resistors connected in series across an ideal voltage source, as shown in Figure 2. Clearly, the same current flows through each resistor. Hence, using Ohm's law, if there are N resistors: V1 = IR1 V2 = IR2 V3 = IR3 ... VN = IRN VS = V1 + V2 + V3 + ... + VN = IR1 + IR2 + IR3 +...+ IRN = I(R1 + R2 + R3 +...+ RN) VS = IR R = R1 + R2 + R3 +...+ RN This is the series resistor rule and R is the equivalent resistance of the N resistors. Series resistor rule: the equivalent resistance of a set of resistors connected in series is the sum of the individual resistances. Note that the value of R is greater than the largest individual resistor value, and that if any resistor has a value much higher than any of the others (say R large), the equivalent resistance value is approximately equal to this value: R Rlarge or I = 1.6154A

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## University of Aberdeen School of Engineering

Figure 2. Resistors in series (a) and resistors in parallel (b). Note that the head of the arrows denotes more positive potential. Now consider a number of resistors connected in parallel across an ideal voltage source (Figure 2). Clearly, in this case, the voltage across each resistor is identical, and equal to V S (but the currents are different). Using the rule relating current to voltage in the form involving conductance G = 1/R: I1 = VSG1 I2 = VSG2 I3 = VSG3 ... IN = VSGN I = I1 + I2 + I3 + ... + IN = VSG1 + VSG2 + VSG3 +...+ VSGN = VS (G1 + G2 + G3 +...+ GN) I = VSG G = G1 + G2 + G3 +...+ GN 1/R = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 +...+ 1/RN This is the parallel resistor rule and G is the equivalent conductance of the N resistors. Parallel resistor rule: the equivalent conductance of a set of resistors connected in parallel is the sum of the individual conductances or, equivalently: the reciprocal of the equivalent resistance of a set of resistors connected in parallel is the sum of the reciprocals of the individual resistances. Note that the value of R is smaller than the smallest of the individual resistor values, and that if any resistor has a value much smaller than any of the others (say R small), the equivalent resistance value is approximately equal to this value: R Rsmall 5 of 8

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University of Aberdeen School of Engineering A useful special case occurs for two resistors in parallel: 1/R = 1/R1 + 1/R2 = or R= It is frequently useful to use a symbol || to denote parallel connection. Thus R = R1||R2 means R is the equivalent resistance of R1 connected in parallel with R 2. The value of R is found as before i.e. R = R1R2/ (R1+R2) in this case. EXAMPLES (i) In the parallel resistor circuit of Figure 2(b), R1 = 20k, R2 = 20k and R3 = 10k. What is the effective resistance of the circuit? Using the general = 0.05 + 0.05 + 0.1 = 0.2mS parallel combination of two 20k i.e. 10k , and the remaining 10k resistor is expressed as follows: formula, 1/R = 1/20 + 1/20 + 1/10 so that R = 5k. Alternatively, the 20k resistors is obviously just half of parallel combination of this with the obviously 5k . This argument can be re-

R1||R2 = 20k||20k = 10k R = R1||R2||R3 = (R1||R2)||R3 = 10k ||10k = 5k (ii) In the same circuit, R 3 is replaced by a resistor of value 10 . What is the new effective resistance? Using the general formula, 1/R = 0.0510 + 0.0510 + 0.1S = 0.1001S so that R = 9.99. However, for many purposes, 10 << 20k and R Rsmall = 10 is a satisfactory answer. 2.2 Voltage divider and current divider Figure 3(a) shows a voltage divider. Applying Ohm's law, and using the fact that the same current flows in each resistor: V1 = IR1 V2 = IR2 = or = and = Either of these last two equations can be referred to as the voltage divider rule - in words "voltages divide in proportion to resistances". Note that, in the second form, V 1 + V2 = VS and that VS can be considered an input voltage and V2 can be considered an output voltage. This equivalent form is shown in Figure 3(b). The potential divider then acts as an attenuator whose output is a particular fraction of the input. A device constructed as a variable voltage divider, in which the ratio R 2/R1 is adjusted by moving a slider or wiper over a resistor of total value R = R1 + R2 is referred to as a potential divider or pot. 6 of 8
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## University of Aberdeen School of Engineering

Figure 3. (a) Voltage divider circuit. (b) Voltage divider circuit as an attenuator. (c) Current divider circuit. (d) Current divider applied to meter "shunt". Figure 3(c) shows a current divider circuit. Applying similar reasoning = = or = or = = = which is sometimes used as the current divider rule - "currents divide in proportion to conductances". EXAMPLE Design a voltage divider which produces an output voltage equal to one tenth of the input voltage. The divider must draw no more than 1mA from a 10V voltage source. To give the required division ratio, we require V 2/VS = R2/ (R1+R2) = 0.1. Also, the current drawn is I = VS/(R1+R2), so we require R1+R2 >= 10k. Let us set R 1+R2 = 10k. Then R2 = 0.110k = 1k and R1 = 9k. 2.3 Voltage and current measurement Voltage and current are measured by instruments referred to as voltmeters and ammeters respectively. Typically, each instrument has two terminals, with which it is connected to the circuit to be measured. Clearly, if it is not to disturb the current it measures, an ammeter should ideally have zero resistance between the terminals; while if it is not to disturb the voltage it measures, the voltmeter should ideally have infinite resistance. Practical instruments will depart from these ideals to some extent. Considering the effects of such departures is deferred until a discussion of Thvenin's theorem.

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University of Aberdeen School of Engineering Instruments are specified by their "f.s.d.": full-scale-deflection for an analogue meter or full-scale-display for a digital meter, accuracy (frequently expressed as a percentage of f.s.d. for analogue instruments), and resistance. Sensitivity of voltmeters and ammeters may be adjusted using voltage dividers and current dividers. EXAMPLE An ammeter has a f.s.d. of 1mA and a resistance of 1 . How could this be converted to give a f.s.d. of 1A? By use of a "shunt resistor", to give a current divider configuration - Figure 3(d). At 1A f.s.d., I meter = 1mA must flow through the basic ammeter, and Ishunt = 999mA through the shunt. Thus R meter /Rshunt = 999/1 or resistance of the meter has fallen to R meter ||Rshunt = 1m (exactly). Rshunt = 1/999 = 1.001m . Note that the equivalent

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