How to calculate voltage drop in a parallel circuit
Voltage drop is an essential concept to understand when working with parallel circuits. It refers to the decrease in voltage as the current flows through the various components connected in parallel within a circuit. In this article, we will discuss how to calculate voltage drop in a parallel circuit and explain the principles involved.
Principle of Voltage Drop in Parallel Circuits:
In a parallel circuit, all components share the same voltage, unlike a series circuit where current remains constant. Due to this characteristic, calculating voltage drop becomes relatively straightforward. To better understand how voltage drop works and how to calculate it, let’s look at some important concepts.
Ohm’s Law is the fundamental principle used for calculations related to electric circuits. It states that the current (I) flowing through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the voltage (V) across those two points and inversely proportional to the resistance (R) of the conductor. Mathematically, it is represented as I = V / R.
2.Parallel Circuit Rules:
In a parallel circuit,
a) The total voltage across each device connected in parallel is the same.
b) The total current flowing through the devices is equal to the sum of individual currents.
Calculating Voltage Drop:
Step 1: Determine Voltage Across Components
Since all components connected in parallel have the same voltage across them, you can simply measure or determine the voltage across any one component to find out the common voltage.
Step 2: Determine Resistance of Each Component
If you know the component’s resistance(R), you can directly use its value. If not, use Ohm’s Law (V = IR) by measuring current (I) across each component to calculate their respective resistances.
Step 3: Calculate Total Resistance
Once you have determined each component’s resistance, you can calculate their inverses (called conductances) and sum that up. The inverse of the total conductance will give you the total resistance (Rt) of the parallel circuit.
Step 4: Calculate Current Flowing Through Each Component
Now that you have the voltage across the components and their respective resistances, you can use Ohm’s Law (I = V / R) to find the current flowing through each component.
Step 5: Determine Voltage Drop
Typically in parallel circuits, we are already referring to the voltage across each component, making it unnecessary to calculate voltage drop as in series circuits. However, if you find local resistance due to connecting wires or other factors, you can use Ohm’s Law like in previous steps to find the voltage drop.
Calculating voltage drop in a parallel circuit doesn’t have to be complicated – once you understand the concepts and principles involved, it quickly becomes a manageable task. By following these steps and using Ohm’s Law, you can easily determine the voltage drop across components in your parallel circuit.