Parallel vs Series Circuits
Series circuits and parallel circuits are two very basic types of circuits that are encountered in electronics and electrical engineering. Any circuit can be broken down to elementary series circuits and parallel circuits. The ideas of series circuits and parallel circuits are very important in fields such as electronic, electrical engineering, physics, robotics, instrumentation and data acquisition and any other field that has usages of electrical and electronic circuits. In this article, we are going to discuss what series circuits and parallel circuits are, their definitions, the similarities between series circuits and parallel circuits, the application of series circuits and parallel circuits, and finally the difference between series circuits and parallel circuits.
A series circuit is one of the simplest forms of circuits available for circuit analysis. A purely series circuit is a circuit where each of the components are connected to a single current carrying wire. The amount of current through each element is equal. The voltage difference between the nodes of each element can differ depending on the resistance or the impedance of the device. The sum of voltages between each component of the circuit is equal to the voltage between the two ends of the circuit.
If any of the components have more than two nodes, the circuit is not a pure series circuit. If a series circuit contains a capacitor, no direct current can pass through the circuit.
In the case where active circuit components are present in the circuit, the current flowing in the circuit depends on the voltage as well as the frequency of the voltage source. This is due to the impedance change of active components due to the frequency of the voltage signal.
A parallel circuit is also one of the most fundamental circuits available in circuit analysis. In a purely parallel circuit, the voltage difference between each element is the same. The two nodes of each element are connected to each other. The total voltage between the nodes of the circuit is equal to the voltage between the nodes of each element. The total current through the circuit is equal to the sum of currents flowing through each element.
If any of the components are active circuit components, the total current through those elements may vary depending on the frequency of the voltage signal. If any of the components in a parallel circuit is a component with a set of other components set up in a series mode, the circuit is not a pure parallel circuit.
What is the difference between Parallel and Series Circuits?
The voltage between each of the components is equal to the total voltage in a parallel circuit whereas, in a series circuit, the current through each of the components is equal to the total current.
In a series circuit, the voltage between the nodes of each element depends on the resistance or impedance of the circuit. In a parallel circuit, the current through each element depends on the impedance or the resistance of the element.