Electric Circuit Analysis

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This course deals with the fundamentals of electric circuits, their components and the mathematical tools used to represent and analyze electrical circuits. By the end of the course, the student must be able to confidently analyze and build simple electric circuits.

It cannot be emphasized enough that as a foundation course it is important to understand the basics laid out in this course. Read carefully through given material and attempt all quizzes/questionnaires in this course.

Learn by doing, try out all home laboratories and don't forget to follow necessary precautionary measures.

WARNING[edit]

SEE Wikipedia:Electric shock AND UNDERSTAND THE RISKS.

As little as 10 mA AC current can cause temporary paralysis and an inability to let go or withdraw from the current source. If the current bypasses the skin, as little as 10 uA may cause heart failure. Direct current is much less dangerous, unless voltages are high or there is direct connection bypassing the skin. Wet skin has lower resistance, never approach AC-mains-connected electrical equipment or wiring with wet skin or bare feet. Pay special attention to proper grounding of AC power plugs and of anything which may be, deliberately or accidentally, connected to a hot (energized) wire. With good grounding, an accidental short circuit is likely to blow a fuse or circuit breaker, instead of maintaining a shock hazard. Low-voltage circuits, up to 12 VAC or DC may be handled quite safely, as long as the skin is not bypassed (such as with wide contact -- such as grasping non-insulated pliers -- or wet skin, or a metal ring). Working with higher voltages requires serious caution.

Syllabus[edit]

By the end of the course a student must be comfortable with the following:

  • Circuit Variables
  • Circuit Elements
  • Simple Resistive Circuits
  • Techniques of Circuit Analysis
  • Kirchhoff's Voltage Law Problems
  • Kirchhoff's Current Law Problems
  • Nodal Analysis Problems
  • Mesh Analysis Problems

Prerequisites[edit]

This is a level 1 course. It is assumed that the student has undertaken all currently available Level 0 courses. The following courses ( topics ) are recommended pre-requisite materials before registering/attempting this course.

Lessons[edit]

  1. Passive Sign Convention
  2. Simple Resistive Circuits
  3. Resistors in Series
  4. Resistors in Parallel
  5. Circuit Analysis Quiz 1
  6. Kirchhoff's Voltage Law
  7. Kirchhoff's Current Law
  8. Nodal Analysis
  9. Mesh Analysis
  10. Circuit Analysis Quiz 2
  11. Circuit Analysis - Lab1

Hints in Solving Circuit Analysis Problems[edit]

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The following is based on the typical problem solving techniques and tricks that professors and tutors have reported as helpful in solving circuit analysis problems:

  1. Don't convert fractions until the last step in the problem
  2. Be able to re-derive any needed equation from the basic V=I*R and P=I*V equations
  3. Learn Cramer's rule
  4. Often KW are divided by mA so don't bother moving the decimal around to the end
  5. Draw every problem out
  6. Never forget the ground
  7. Try using symbols in working out your expressions and only substitute numbers at the final stage

If you keep your calculation parallel to your line of thought, then you will avoid many pitfalls.