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# Electrical Circuits Theory II

1
RLC AC Circuits

## At the end of this module you are expected to:

1. Demonstrate the response of a resistor, an inductor, and a
capacitor to the application of a sinusoidal voltage or current
2. Solve the real power to resistive elements and the reactive
power to inductive and capacitive elements.
3. Explain the phasor diagrams of resistive, inductive and
capacitive circuits.

RLC AC Circuits
In Faraday’s Law we learned that changing magnetic flux can induce an emf. If
a coil rotates in the presence of a magnetic field, the induced emf varies
sinusoidally with time and leads to an alternating current (AC) and provides a
source of AC power. The symbol for an AC voltage source is shown in Fig. 1.

## Figure 1. AC Voltage Source

Shaik, A. (n.d.). Alternating Current (AC). Retrieved September, 2018, from

An example of an AC source is
𝐸𝑞 1: 𝑉(𝑡) = 𝑉𝑚 𝑠𝑖𝑛 𝜔𝑡
wherein the maximum value V0 is called the amplitude. The voltage varies
between –Vm and Vm since a sine function varies between +1 and −1. The figure
below shows a graph of voltage as a function of time.

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Figure 2. Sinusoidal Voltage Source

The sine function is periodic in time which means that the value of the voltage
at time t will be exactly the same at a later time t′ = t + T where T is the period
and the frequency, f, defined as f = 1/T, has the unit of inverse seconds (s−1), or
hertz (Hz). The angular frequency is defined to be ω = 2πf.
The energy is provided to compensate the energy dissipation in the resistor,
and the oscillations will no longer damp out when a voltage source is
connected to an RLC circuit. The oscillations of charge, current and potential
difference are called driven or forced oscillations.
An AC current will flow in the circuit as a response to the driving voltage source
after an initial “transient time”. The current can be written as
𝐸𝑞 2: 𝐼(𝑡) = 𝐼𝑚 sin(ω𝑡 − Φ)
the same frequency as the voltage source, with an amplitude I0 and phase φ
that depends on the driving frequency.

Simple AC Circuits

Resistive Elements
For the purely resistive circuit shown in the Fig. 3, v and i are in phase,
and by KVL we can say that:
𝐸𝑞 3: 𝑉𝑚 = 𝐼𝑚 𝑅

## Figure 3. Resistive ac circuit

Boylestad, R. L. (2015). Introductory Circuit Analysis (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, US:
Pearson Prentice Hall

## In phasor form v = Vm sin ωt = V ∠0° where V = 0.707 Vm. By Ohm’s Law

Electrical Circuits Theory II
3
RLC AC Circuits

V ∠0° V
𝐸𝑞 4: 𝐼 = = ∠0°
R ∠𝜃𝑅 R
Since i and v are in phase, the angle associated with I also must be 0°. To
satisfy this condition, θR = 0°. We use the fact that θR = 0° in the following
polar format to ensure the proper phase relationship between the
voltage and current of a resistor.
𝐸𝑞 5: 𝒁𝑹 = 𝑹∠𝟎°

Inductive Reactance
For a purely inductive circuit as shown in Fig. 4, the voltage leads the
current by 90° and that the reactance of the circuit of the coil is given
as:
𝐸𝑞 6: 𝑿𝑳 = 𝝎𝑳

## Figure 4. Inductive ac circuit

Boylestad, R. L. (2015). Introductory Circuit Analysis (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, US:
Pearson Prentice Hall

By Ohm’s Law,
V ∠0° V∠0° V
𝐸𝑞 7: 𝐼 = = = ∠ − 90°
𝑋𝐿 ∠𝜃𝐿 𝑋𝐿 ∠90° 𝑋𝐿
Since v leads i by 90°, I must have an angle of -90° associated with it. To
satisfy this condition, θL must equal +90°. We use the fact that θL = 90°
in the following polar format for inductive reactance to ensure the
proper phase relationship between the voltage and current of an
inductor:
𝐸𝑞 8: 𝒁𝑳 = 𝑿𝑳 ∠𝟗𝟎°

Capacitive Reactance
For a purely capacitive circuit as shown in Fig. 5, the current leads the
voltage by 90° and that the reactance of the capacitor is given as:

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𝟏
𝐸𝑞 9: 𝑿𝑪 =
𝝎𝑪

## Figure 5. Capacitive ac circuit

Boylestad, R. L. (2015). Introductory Circuit Analysis (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, US:
Pearson Prentice Hall

By Ohm’s Law,
V ∠0° V∠0° V
𝐸𝑞 10: 𝐼 = = = ∠90°
𝑋𝐶 ∠𝜃𝐶 𝑋𝐶 ∠ − 90° 𝑋𝐶
Since i leads v by 90°, I must have an angle of +90° associated with it. To
satisfy this condition, θC must equal -90°. We use the fact that θC = 90° in
the following polar format for inductive reactance to ensure the proper
phase relationship between the voltage and current of an inductor:
𝐸𝑞 11: 𝒁𝑪 = 𝑿𝑪 ∠ − 𝟗𝟎°

## Frequency Response of RLC Circuit

Before discussing the RLC circuit, let’s focus first on the simple cases
where only one circuit element (a resistor, an inductor or a capacitor)
is connected to a sinusoidal voltage source.

## In the figure below, a purely resistive circuit with a resistor is

connected in an AC generator. (As we shall see, a purely resistive
Electrical Circuits Theory II
5
RLC AC Circuits

## circuit corresponds to infinite capacitance C = ∞ and zero

inductance L = 0.). The alternating current and voltage both
move forward as well as backwards in both direction of the
circuit.
Figure 6. Purely Resistive Circuit
“What Is a Pure Resistive Circuit? - Phasor Diagram and Waveform.” Circuit Globe, 10 Apr.
2017, circuitglobe.com/what-is-pure-resistive-ac-circuit.html.

Applying KVL, V(t) - VR(t) = V(t)- IR(t)R = 0, where VR(t) = IR(t)R is the
instantaneous voltage drop across the resistor. The instantaneous
current in the resistor is given by
𝑉𝑅 (𝑡) 𝑉𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡
𝐸𝑞 12: 𝐼𝑅 (𝑡) = = = 𝐼𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡
𝑅 𝑅
The value of current will be at maximum at angle 90° or sin ωt is equal
to 1. The phase angle difference is θ = 0° for purely resistive circuits,
and IR(t) and VR(t) are in phase with each other, meaning that they
reach their maximum or minimum values at the same time.

## Figure 7. Waveform of Pure Resistive Circuit

Fig. 7 shows the time dependence of the current and the voltage across
the resistor.
The average value of current over one period can be obtained with
integration as:
1 𝑇 1 𝑇 𝐼𝑚 𝑇 2𝜋𝑡
𝐸𝑞 13: 𝐼𝑅 (𝑡) = ∫ 𝐼𝑅 (𝑡) 𝑑𝑡 = ∫ 𝐼𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡 𝑑𝑡 = ∫ sin 𝑑𝑡
𝑇 0 𝑇 0 𝑇 0 𝑇

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This average vanishes because
1 𝑇
𝐸𝑞 14: sin 𝜔𝑡 = ∫ sin 𝜔𝑡 𝑑𝑡 = 0
𝑇 0

Likewise, one may find the following relations useful when averaging
over one period:
1 𝑇
𝒄𝑜𝑠 𝜔𝑡 = ∫ cos 𝜔𝑡 𝑑𝑡 = 0
𝑇 0
1 𝑇
𝑠𝑖𝑛 𝜔𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑠 𝜔𝑡 = ∫ 𝑠𝑖𝑛 𝜔𝑡 cos 𝜔𝑡 𝑑𝑡 = 0
𝑇 0
𝑇
1 1 𝑇 2𝜋𝑡 1
𝑠𝑖𝑛 2 𝜔𝑡 = ∫ 𝑠𝑖𝑛 2 𝜔𝑡 𝑑𝑡 = ∫ 𝑠𝑖𝑛 2 𝑑𝑡 =
𝑇 0 𝑇 0 𝑇 2
𝑇 𝑇
1 1 2𝜋𝑡 1
𝑐𝑜𝑠 2 𝜔𝑡 = ∫ 𝑐𝑜𝑠 2 𝜔𝑡 𝑑𝑡 = ∫ 𝑐𝑜𝑠 2 𝑑𝑡 =
𝑇 0 𝑇 0 𝑇 2
From the above equations we see that the average of the square of
the current is non-vanishing:
2 (𝑡)
1 𝑇 2 1 𝑇 2 1 𝑇 2𝜋𝑡
𝐼𝑅 = ∫ 𝐼𝑅 (𝑡) 𝑑𝑡 = ∫ 𝐼𝑚 𝑠𝑖𝑛 𝜔𝑡 𝑑𝑡 = 𝐼𝑚 ∫ 𝑠𝑖𝑛 2
2 2
𝑑𝑡
𝑇 0 𝑇 0 𝑇 0 𝑇
1 2
𝐼𝑅2 (𝑡) = 𝐼
2 𝑚
It is convenient to define the root-mean-square (rms) current as we
have discussed from the previous lecture:
𝐼𝑚
𝐼𝑟𝑚𝑠 = √𝐼𝑅2 (𝑡) =
√2
And the rms voltage is be defined as
𝑉𝑚
𝑉𝑟𝑚𝑠 = √𝑉𝑅2 (𝑡) =
√2
The power dissipated in the resistor is given as
𝐸𝑞 15: 𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝐼𝑅2 (𝑡)𝑅
In terms of current and resistance. We can also consider it in terms of
instantaneous voltage and current and is given as:
𝐸𝑞 16: 𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝑉𝑅 (𝑡)𝐼𝑅 (𝑡)
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = (𝑉𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡)(𝐼𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡)
𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝑠𝑖𝑛2 𝜔𝑡
2
𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = (1 − cos 2𝜔𝑡)
√2 √2
𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚 𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = − cos 2𝜔𝑡
√2 √2 √2 √2

## from which the average over one period is obtained as:

Electrical Circuits Theory II
7
RLC AC Circuits

1 2
𝐸𝑞 17: 𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝐼𝑅2 (𝑡)𝑅 = 2
𝐼 𝑅 = 𝐼𝑟𝑚𝑠 𝑅
2 𝑚
or
2
𝑉𝑟𝑚𝑠
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝐼𝑟𝑚𝑠 𝑉𝑟𝑚𝑠 =
𝑅
In Fig. 8, The behavior of IR(t) and VR(t) can also be represented with a
phasor diagram. A phasor is a rotating vector having the following

properties:
Figure 8. Phasor Diagram Resistive Circuit
“AC Resistance and Impedance in an AC Circuit.” Basic Electronics Tutorials, 24 Apr. 2018,
www.electronics-tutorials.ws/accircuits/ac-resistance.html.

## (i) Length: the length corresponds to the amplitude.

(ii) Angular speed: the vector rotates counterclockwise with an
angular speed ω.
(iii) Projection: the projection of the vector along the vertical axis
corresponds to the value of the alternating quantity at time t.

## Purely Inductive Load

Consider now a purely inductive circuit with an inductor connected to
an AC generator, as shown in the figure below. An inductor is a type of

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coil which reserves electrical energy in the magnetic field when the
current flow through it. The inductance is measured in Henry.
Figure 9. Purely Inductive Circuit
“What Is a Pure Inductive Circuit? - Phasor Diagram & Waveform.” Circuit Globe, 18 Nov. 2017,
circuitglobe.com/what-is-pure-inductive-circuit.html.

## A purely inductive circuit corresponds to infinite capacitance C = ∞ and

zero resistance R = 0. Applying the modified Kirchhoff’s rule for
inductors, the circuit equation reads
𝑑𝐼𝐿
𝐸𝑞 18: 𝑉(𝑡) − 𝑉𝐿 (𝑡) = 𝑉(𝑡) − 𝐿 =0
𝑑𝑡

which implies
𝑑𝐼𝐿 𝑉(𝑡) 𝑉𝑚
𝐸𝑞 19: = = 𝑠𝑖𝑛 𝜔𝑡
𝑑𝑡 𝐿 𝐿

## where Vm = V0. Integrating over the above equation, we find

𝑉𝑚 𝑉𝑚
𝐸𝑞 20: 𝐼𝐿 (𝑡) ∫ 𝑑𝐼𝐿 = ∫ sin 𝜔𝑡 𝑑𝑡 = − ( ) 𝑐𝑜𝑠 𝜔𝑡
𝐿 𝜔𝐿
used the trigonometric identity
𝜋
− 𝑐𝑜𝑠 𝜔𝑡 = sin (𝜔𝑡 − )
2
𝑉𝑚 𝜋
𝐸𝑞 21: 𝐼𝐿 (𝑡) = ∫ 𝑑𝐼𝐿 = ( ) sin (𝜔𝑡 − )
𝜔𝐿 2
for rewriting the last expression. We can see that the amplitude of the
current through the inductor is
𝑉𝑚 𝑉𝑚
𝐸𝑞 22: 𝐼𝑚 = =
𝜔𝐿 𝑋𝐿
and we know that
𝐸𝑞 23: 𝑋𝐿 = 𝜔𝐿
which is called the inductive reactance and has an SI units of ohms (Ω),
just like resistance. But unlike resistance, XL depends linearly on the
angular frequency ω. Thus, the resistance to current flow increases
with frequency. This is due to the fact that at higher frequencies the
current changes more rapidly than it does at lower frequencies. On the
other hand, the inductive reactance vanishes as ω approaches zero.
The phase constant is given by
𝜋
𝐸𝑞 24: 𝜃 =
2

The current and voltage plots and the corresponding phasor diagram
are shown in the Fig. 10 & Fig. 11.
Electrical Circuits Theory II
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RLC AC Circuits

## Figure 10. Plot of Current and Voltage across the Inductor

“What Is a Pure Inductive Circuit? - Phasor Diagram & Waveform.” Circuit Globe, 18 Nov. 2017,
circuitglobe.com/what-is-pure-inductive-circuit.html.

When the value of voltage and current are at its peak as positive value,
the power is also positive and similarly, when the voltage and current
give negative waveform the power will also become negative. This is
because of the phase difference between voltage and current.

## Figure 11. Phasor Diagram Inductive Circuit

“AC Inductance and Inductive Reactance in an AC Circuit.” Basic Electronics Tutorials, 24 Apr.
2018, www.electronics-tutorials.ws/accircuits/ac-inductance.html.

## Current IL(t) is out of phase with by VL(t) by θ = π/2 as can be seen in

the figure above; it reaches its maximum value after does by one
quarter of a cycle. Thus, we say that

## Power in inductive circuit is given by:

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𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝑉𝐿 (𝑡)𝐼𝐿 (𝑡)
𝜋
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = (𝑉𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡)(𝐼𝑚 sin(𝜔𝑡 + ))
2
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡 cos 𝜔𝑡
𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = sin 𝜔𝑡 cos 𝜔𝑡
2
𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = sin 2𝜔𝑡
√2 √2
𝐸𝑞 25: 𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 0
The average power consumed in a purely inductive circuit is zero.
During the first quarter cycle, the power supplied by the source, is
stored in the magnetic field set up around the coil. In the next quarter
cycle, the magnetic field diminishes and the power that was stored in
the first quarter cycle is returned to the source. This process continues
in every cycle, and thus, no power is consumed in the circuit.

## Purely Capacitive Load

In the purely capacitive case, both resistance R and inductance L are
zero. The circuit diagram is shown in Fig. 12. The capacitors stores
electrical power in the electric field. There effect is known as

## capacitance. It is also called condenser.

Figure 12. Purely Capacitive Circuit
“What Is a Pure Capacitor Circuit? - Phasor Diagram & Waveform.” Circuit Globe, 9 Feb. 2017,
circuitglobe.com/what-is-pure-capacitor-circuit.html.

By KVL,
𝑄(𝑡)
𝐸𝑞 26: 𝑉(𝑡) − 𝑉𝐶 (𝑡) = 𝑉(𝑡) − =0
𝐶
which yields
𝑄(𝑡) = 𝐶𝑉(𝑡) = 𝐶𝑉𝐶 (𝑡) = 𝐶𝑉𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡
Electrical Circuits Theory II
11
RLC AC Circuits

the current is
𝑑𝑄 𝜋
𝐸𝑞 27: 𝐼𝐶 (𝑡) = + = 𝜔𝐶𝑉𝑚 cos 𝜔𝑡 = 𝜔𝐶𝑉𝑚 sin (𝜔𝑡 + )
𝑑𝑡 2
used the trigonometric identity
𝜋
𝑐𝑜𝑠 𝜔𝑡 = 𝑠𝑖𝑛 (𝜔𝑡 + )
2
The above equation indicates that the maximum value of the current
is
𝑉𝑚
𝐼𝐶0 = 𝜔𝐶𝑉𝑚 =
𝑋𝐶

## and we know that

1
𝑋𝐶 =
𝜔𝐶
is called the capacitance reactance and also has an SI units of ohms and
represents the effective resistance for a purely capacitive circuit. Note
that XC is inversely proportional to both C and ω , and diverges as ω
approaches zero. The phase constant is given by
𝜋
𝐸𝑞 28: 𝜃 = −
2
The current and voltage plots and the corresponding phasor diagram
are shown in the Fig.13 and Fig. 14.

## Figure 10. Plot of Current and Voltage across the Inductor

“What Is a Pure Capacitor Circuit? - Phasor Diagram & Waveform.” Circuit Globe, 9 Feb. 2017,
circuitglobe.com/what-is-pure-capacitor-circuit.html.

When the voltage is increased, the capacitor gets charged and reaches
or attains its maximum value and, therefore, a positive half cycle is

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obtained and when the voltage level decreases the capacitor gets
discharged, and the negative half cycle is formed.
When the voltage attains its maximum value the current is zero that
means there is no flow of current at that time. When the value of
voltage is decreased and reaches to a value of π, the value of voltage
starts getting negative, and the current attains its peak value. As a
result the capacitor starts discharging.

## Figure 14. Phasor Diagram Capacitive Circuit

“AC Capacitance and Capacitive Reactance in AC Circuit.” Basic Electronics Tutorials, 31 May
2018, www.electronics-tutorials.ws/accircuits/ac-capacitance.html

Notice that at t = 0, the voltage across the capacitor is zero while the
current in the circuit is at a maximum. In fact, IC(t) reaches its
maximum before VC(t) by one quarter of a cycle (ɸ = π/2 ). Thus, we
say that

## Power in capacitive circuit is given by:

𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝑉𝐶 (𝑡)𝐼𝐶 (𝑡)
𝜋
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = (𝑉𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡)(𝐼𝑚 sin(𝜔𝑡 + ))
2
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚 sin 𝜔𝑡 cos 𝜔𝑡
𝑉𝑚 𝐼𝑚
𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = sin 2𝜔𝑡
√2 √2
𝐸𝑞 25: 𝑃𝑅 (𝑡) = 0
The average power in a half cycle is zero as the positive and negative
loop area in the waveform shown are same. In the first quarter cycle,
the power which is supplied by the source is stored in the electric field
set up between the capacitor plates. In the next quarter cycle, the
electric field diminishes, and thus the power stored in the field is
returned to the source. This process is repeated continuously and,
therefore, no power is consumed by the Capacitor circuit.
Electrical Circuits Theory II
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RLC AC Circuits

## References and Supplementary Materials

Books and Journals
1. Boylestad, R. L. (2015). Introductory Circuit Analysis (13th ed.). Upper
Saddle River, US: Pearson Prentice Hall
2. Nilsson, J. W., & Riedel, S. A. (2018). Electric Circuits, Hardcover (11th
ed.). Pearson Education

## Online Supplementary Reading Materials

1. Basic Electronics Tutorials and Revision. (n.d.). Retrieved August, 2018,
from https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/
2. R., & A. (2018, August 23). Latest Free Electronics Projects and Circuits.
Retrieved August, 2018, from https://www.electronicshub.org/
3. “What Is a Pure Resistive Circuit? - Phasor Diagram and Waveform.”
Circuit Globe, 10 Apr. 2017, circuitglobe.com/what-is-pure-resistive-ac-
circuit.html.
4. “What Is a Pure Inductive Circuit? - Phasor Diagram & Waveform.”
Circuit Globe, 18 Nov. 2017, circuitglobe.com/what-is-pure-inductive-
circuit.html.
5. “What Is a Pure Capacitor Circuit? - Phasor Diagram & Waveform.”
Circuit Globe, 9 Feb. 2017, circuitglobe.com/what-is-pure-capacitor-
circuit.html.

## Online Instructional Videos

1. AC Circuits Basics, Impedance, Resonant Frequency, RL RC RLC LC
Circuit Explained, Physics Problems. (2017, February 28). Retrieved
September, 2018, from
2. B. (2016, August 15). RLC Circuits (1 of 14), Calculating Capacitve
Reactance. Retrieved September, 2018, from
3. B. (2016, August 15). RLC Circuits (2 of 14), Calculating Inductive
Reactance. Retrieved September, 2018, from