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# Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Lecture 4

10/8/2015

Lecture 4

Pingqiang Zhou

Outline

## With Ohms and Kirchhoffs law established, they may

now be applied to circuit analysis.
Two techniques will be presented in this lecture:
Nodal analysis, which is based on KCL
Mesh analysis, which is based on KVL

## Any linear circuit can be analyzed using these two

techniques.
The analysis will result in a set of simultaneous equations
which may be solved by Cramers rule or computationally
(using MATLAB for example)
Computational circuit analysis using PSpice will also be
introduced here.
Lecture 4

Pingqiang Zhou

Nodal Analysis

## Instead of focusing on the voltages of the circuit elements, one

may look at the voltages at the nodes of the circuit.
Given a circuit with n nodes, the nodal analysis is accomplished
via three steps:
1. Select a node as the reference (i.e., ground) node. Define the
node voltages (except reference node and the ones set by the
voltage sources). Voltages are relative to the reference node.
2. Apply KCL at nodes with unknown voltage, expressing current in
terms of the node voltages (using the I-V relationships of branch
elements).
Special cases: floating voltage sources.
3. Solve the resulting simultaneous equations to obtain the unknown
node voltages.

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## Lets apply nodal analysis to this circuit to see

how it works.
This circuit has a node that is designed as
ground. We will use that as the reference node
(node 0). The remaining two nodes are
designed 1 and 2 and assigned voltages v1
and v2.
Now apply KCL to each node:
At node 1

I1 I 2 i1 i2

At node 2

I 2 i2 i3
Three variables, but only two equations.
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## We can now use Ohms law to express the

unknown currents i1, i2, and i3 in terms of node
voltages 1 , 2 .
In doing so, keep in mind that current flows
from high potential to low. From this we get:
v1 0
or i1 G1v1
R1
v v
i2 1 2 or i2 G2 v1 v2
R2
v 0
i3 2
or i3 G3v2
R3
i1

Substituting
back into the
node
equations

I1 I 2 i1 i2

I 2 i2 i3

v1 v1 v2

R1
R2
v v
v
I2 1 2 2
R2
R3

I1 I 2

or
I1 I 2 G1v1 G2 v1 v2

## The last step is to solve the system of

equations

I 2 G2 v1 v2 G3v2

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R1
+
-

V1

R
3

R2

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R4

IS

Pingqiang Zhou

## Nodal Analysis: Exercise #2

R1

Va
R3

R2

I1

R4

R5
V2

Challenges:
Determine number of nodes needed
Deal with different types of sources

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## Nodal Analysis w/ Floating Voltage Source

A floating voltage source is one for which neither side is
connected to the reference node, e.g. VLL in the circuit below:
Va

VLL
- +

I1

R2

Vb

R4

I2

## Problem: We cannot write KCL at nodes a or b because there is no

way to express the current through the voltage source in terms of Va-Vb.
Solution: Define a supernode that chunk of the circuit containing
nodes a and b. Express KCL for this supernode. Incorporate voltage
source constraint into KCL equation.
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Supernode

VLL

Va

I1

Vb

R2

R4

I2

## Eqn 1: KCL at supernode

Substitute property of voltage source:
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## Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Mesh Analysis
Another general procedure for analyzing circuits is to use the
mesh currents as the circuit variables.
Recall:

## A loop is a closed path with no node passed more than once

A mesh is a loop that does not contain any other loop within it

## Mesh analysis uses KVL to find unknown currents.

Mesh analysis is limited in one aspect: It can only apply to
circuits that is planar.
A planar circuit can be drawn such that there are no crossing
branches.
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Example

## A loop is independent if it contains at least one branch

which is not a part of any other independent loop.
A mesh is a loop that does not contain any other loop
within it

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## Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Planar vs Nonpalanar

## A planar circuit: It can be redrawn

to avoid crossing branches

## A nonplanar circuit: The branch with

the 13 resistor prevents the circuit
from being drawn without crossing
branches

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## Mesh analysis follows these steps:

1. Assign mesh currents i1,i2,in to the n meshes
2. Apply KVL to each of the n mesh currents.
3. Solve the resulting n simultaneous equations to get the
mesh currents

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## Mesh Analysis Example

The above circuit has two paths that are meshes (abefa and bcdeb)
The outer loop (abcdefa) is a loop, but not a mesh

## First, mesh currents i1 and i2 are assigned to the two meshes.

Applying KVL to the meshes:
V1 R1i1 R3 i1 i2 0

R2i2 V2 R3 i2 i1 0

R1 R3 i1 R3i2 V1

R3i1 R2 R3 i2 V2

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## The presence of a current source makes the mesh

analysis simpler in that it reduces the number of equations.
If the current source is located on only one mesh, the
current for that mesh is defined by the source.
For example:

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Supermesh

## In this example, a 6A current source is shared between mesh 1

and 2.
A supermesh is required because mesh analysis uses KVL, but
the voltage across a current source cannot be known in
The supermesh is formed by merging the two meshes.
The current source and the 2 resistor in series with it are removed.
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Supermesh

## 20 6i1 10i2 4i2 0 or 6i1 14i2 20

We next apply KCL to the node in the branch where the two meshes
intersect.

i2 i1 6

Note that the supermesh required using both KVL and KCL.
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## A faster way to construct a matrix for solving a circuit by

nodal analysis
It requires that all current sources within the circuit be
independent

1 + 2
2

1
2
1 2
=

2
2 + 3 2

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Exercise

## By inspection, obtain the node-voltage equations for the

circuit shown below

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## There is a similarly fast way to construct a matrix for

solving a circuit by mesh analysis
It requires that all voltage sources within the circuit be independent

1 + 3
3

3
1
1
=
2 + 3 2
2
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Exercise

## By inspection, obtain the mesh-current equations for the

circuit shown below

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## In principle both the nodal analysis and mesh analysis are

useful for any given circuit.
What then determines if one is going to be more efficient
for solving a circuit problem?
There are two factors that dictate the best choice:
The nature of the particular network
The information required

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## Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Nodal Analysis if

## If the network contains:

Many parallel connected elements
Current sources
Supernodes
Circuits with fewer nodes than meshes

## If node voltages are what are being solved for

Non-planar circuits can only be solved using nodal
analysis

Easy to program
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## If the network contains:

Many series connected elements
Voltage sources
Supermeshes
A circuit with fewer meshes than nodes

## Mesh analysis is the only suitable analysis for transistor

circuits
It is not appropriate for operational amplifiers because
there is no direct way to obtain the voltage across an opamp.

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Example

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## Find 0 in the circuit,

which has
4 nodes
3 meshes
2 dependent sources

Nodal
3 node-voltage equations
2 constraint equations

Mesh
1 supermesh
4 constraint equations

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## PSpice is a common program used for circuit analysis.

It is capable of determining all of the branch voltages and
currents if the numerical values for all circuit components
are known.
Analysis using PSpice begins with drawing a schematic
view of the circuit.

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## Here we will use the approaches learned in

this lecture to analyze a transistor circuit.
In general, there are two types of transistors
commonly used: Field Effect (FET) and
Bipolar Junction (BJT). This problem will use
a BJT.

## A BJT is a three terminal device, where

The input current into one terminal (the base)
affects the current flowing out of a second
terminal (the collector).
The third terminal (the emitter) is the common
terminal for both currents.
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## The currents from each terminal can

be related to each other as follows:
I E I B IC

## The base and collector current can

be related to each other by the
parameter , which can range from
50-1000
I C I B

VCE VEB VBC 0

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## Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

DC model of a BJT

## A transistor has a few operating modes depending on the

applied voltages/currents. In this problem, we will be
interested in the operation in active mode.
This is the mode used for amplifying signals.

## The figure below shows the equivalent DC model for a

BJT in active mode

Note that nodal analysis can only be applied to the BJT after using this model.
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## Setting up a BJT circuit

Below are three approaches to solving a transistor circuit. Note when
the equivalent model is used and when it is not.

= 150
= 0.7
Original circuit

Mesh analysis

Nodal analysis

PSpice analysis
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## Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Summary

Node Analysis
Node voltage is the unknown
Solve by KCL
Special case: Floating voltage source using supernode

## Mesh Analysis: OPTIONAL

Loop current is the unknown
Solve by KVL
Special case: Current source using supermesh

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