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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Lecture 4

- Methods of Circuit Analysis


10/8/2015
Reading: Chapter 3

Lecture 4

Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

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

Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

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.

Lecture 4

Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Apply Nodal Analysis

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.
Lecture 4

Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Apply Nodal Analysis II

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

Why not keep using branch currents as variables?


Lecture 4

Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Nodal Analysis: Exercise #1


R1
+
-

V1

R
3

R2

Lecture 4

R4

IS

Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

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

Lecture 4

Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

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.
Lecture 4

Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Nodal Analysis: Exercise #3


Supernode

VLL

Va

I1

Vb

R2

R4

I2

Eqn 1: KCL at supernode


Substitute property of voltage source:
Lecture 4

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 = Independent loop?

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Mesh Analysis Steps

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Mesh Analysis with Current Sources

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:

Here, the current i2 is equal to -5A.

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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

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
advance.
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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Supermesh

Apply KVL to the 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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Nodal Analysis by Inspection

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

The equations for the example


1 + 2
2

1
2
1 2
=

2
2 + 3 2

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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Exercise

By inspection, obtain the node-voltage equations for the


circuit shown below

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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Mesh Analysis by Inspection

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Exercise

By inspection, obtain the mesh-current equations for the


circuit shown below

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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Nodal vs. Mesh

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

This format is easier to solve by computer

Easy to program
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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Mesh Analysis when

If the network contains:


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

If branch or mesh currents are what is being solved for.

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Example

Pingqiang Zhou

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Circuit Analysis with PSpice

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

Application: DC Transistor Circuit

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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

KCL and KVL for a BJT

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

Applying KVL to the BJT gives:


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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Electric Circuits (Fall 2015)

Pingqiang Zhou

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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