An Introduction to Electrical Circuit Theory

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The transients are not entirely uninteresting to the analyst. The maximum rate of switching is determined by the speed of transition from one state to the other. Happily for the analyst, for many devices most of the transition occurs in the linear portion of the devices transfer function and linear analysis can be applied to obtain at least an approximate answer. It is mathematically possible to derive boolean algebras which have more than two states. There is not too much use found for these in electronics, although three-state devices are passingly common.

This technique is used where the operation of the circuit is to be essentially linear, but the devices used to implement it are non-linear. A transistor amplifier is an example of this kind of network.

The essence of this technique is to separate the analysis into two parts. Firstly, the dc biases are analysed using some non-linear method. This establishes the quiescent operating point of the circuit.


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Secondly, the small signal characteristics of the circuit are analysed using linear network analysis. Examples of methods that can be used for both these stages are given below. In a great many circuit designs, the dc bias is fed to a non-linear component via a resistor or possibly a network of resistors.

Since resistors are linear components, it is particularly easy to determine the quiescent operating point of the non-linear device from a graph of its transfer function. The method is as follows: from linear network analysis the output transfer function that is output voltage against output current is calculated for the network of resistor s and the generator driving them. This will be a straight line called the load line and can readily be superimposed on the transfer function plot of the non-linear device. The point where the lines cross is the quiescent operating point.

Perhaps the easiest practical method is to calculate the linear network open circuit voltage and short circuit current and plot these on the transfer function of the non-linear device.

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The straight line joining these two point is the transfer function of the network. In reality, the designer of the circuit would proceed in the reverse direction to that described. Starting from a plot provided in the manufacturers data sheet for the non-linear device, the designer would choose the desired operating point and then calculate the linear component values required to achieve it. In this case however, the plot of the network transfer function onto the device being biased would no longer be a straight line and is consequently more tedious to do.

This method can be used where the deviation of the input and output signals in a network stay within a substantially linear portion of the non-linear devices transfer function, or else are so small that the curve of the transfer function can be considered linear. Under a set of these specific conditions, the non-linear device can be represented by an equivalent linear network. It must be remembered that this equivalent circuit is entirely notional and only valid for the small signal deviations.

It is entirely inapplicable to the dc biasing of the device.

Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory by Robert Boylestad

For a simple two-terminal device, the small signal equivalent circuit may be no more than two components. A generator, because this tangent will not, in general, pass through the origin.


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With more terminals, more complicated equivalent circuits are required. A popular form of specifying the small signal equivalent circuit amongst transistor manufacturers is to use the two-port network parameters known as [h] parameters. These are a matrix of four parameters as with the [z] parameters but in the case of the [h] parameters they are a hybrid mixture of impedances, admittances, current gains and voltage gains.

In this model the three terminal transistor is considered to be a two port network, one of its terminals being common to both ports. The [h] parameters are quite different depending on which terminal is chosen as the common one.


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The most important parameter for transistors is usually the forward current gain, h 21 , in the common emitter configuration. This is designated h fe on data sheets. The small signal equivalent circuit in terms of two-port parameters leads to the concept of dependent generators. That is, the value of a voltage or current generator depends linearly on a voltage or current elsewhere in the circuit.

For instance the [z] parameter model leads to dependent voltage generators as shown in this diagram;. There will always be dependent generators in a two-port parameter equivalent circuit. This applies to the [h] parameters as well as to the [z] and any other kind.

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These dependencies must be preserved when developing the equations in a larger linear network analysis. In this method, the transfer function of the non-linear device is broken up into regions. Each of these regions is approximated by a straight line. Thus, the transfer function will be linear up to a particular point where there will be a discontinuity. Past this point the transfer function will again be linear but with a different slope. A well known application of this method is the approximation of the transfer function of a pn junction diode. The transfer function of an ideal diode has been given at the top of this non-linear section.

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However, this formula is rarely used in network analysis, a piecewise approximation being used instead. It can be seen that the diode current rapidly diminishes to -I o as the voltage falls. This current, for most purposes, is so small it can be ignored. With increasing voltage, the current increases exponentially. The diode is modelled as an open circuit up to the knee of the exponential curve, then past this point as a resistor equal to the bulk resistance of the semiconducting material.

The commonly accepted values for the transition point voltage are 0. An even simpler model of the diode, sometimes used in switching applications, is short circuit for forward voltages and open circuit for reverse voltages. The model of a forward biased pn junction having an approximately constant 0. The piecewise method is similar to the small signal method in that linear network analysis techniques can only be applied if the signal stays within certain bounds. If the signal crosses a discontinuity point then the model is no longer valid for linear analysis purposes.

The model does have the advantage over small signal however, in that it is equally applicable to signal and dc bias. These can therefore both be analysed in the same operations and will be linearly superimposable. In linear analysis, the components of the network are assumed to be unchanging, but in some circuits this does not apply, such as sweep oscillators, voltage controlled amplifiers , and variable equalisers. In many circumstances the change in component value is periodic. A non-linear component excited with a periodic signal, for instance, can be represented as a periodically varying linear component.

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Sidney Darlington disclosed a method of analysing such periodic time varying circuits. He developed canonical circuit forms which are analogous to the canonical forms of Ronald M. Foster and Wilhelm Cauer used for analysing linear circuits. Generalization of circuit theory based on scalar quantities to vectorial currents is a necessity for newly evolving circuits such as spin circuits. The voltages and currents each become vector quantities with conductance described as a 4x4 spin conductance matrix. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For other uses, see Circuit disambiguation.

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Main article: Equivalent impedance transforms. Main article: Star-mesh transform. Request permission to reuse content from this site. Undetected location. NO YES. Selected type: E-Book. Added to Your Shopping Cart. Evaluation Copy Request an Evaluation Copy. This is a dummy description. The book endeavors to help students who are being exposed to electric circuits for the first time and prepares them to solve realistic problems involving these circuits. Student View Student Companion Site.

About the Author James A. Dorf professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Davis, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in electrical engineering in the fields of circuits and control systems. An Alternating Current or Voltage , is one in which the value of either the voltage or the current varies about a particular mean value and reverses direction periodically.

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Most present day household and industrial Appliances and systems are powered using alternating current. All DC based plugged in appliances and rechargeable battery based devices technically run on Alternating current as they all use some form of DC power derived from AC for either charging of their batteries or powering of the system.

Thus Alternating current is the form via which power is delivered at the mains.