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Published byChaya Hingson Modified about 1 year ago

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Goal: To understand AC circuits and how they apply to resistors, capacitors, and inductions Objectives: 1)To learn about alternating current 2)To explore how voltages and currents of simple AC circuits compare to DC circuits 3)To understand Capacitors in an AC circuit 4)To understand Inductors in an AC circuit

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What is alternating current? So far we have looked at what is called “direct current”. That is you have a constant current with time. However long ago it was discovered that it was far more efficient and useful to use a current that varied with time. Alternating current fluxuates over some time period from 0A to its maximum. For the home the time span of the fluxuation is 1/60 th of a second (a frequency of 60 Hz).

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Voltage with time The voltage is a sine wave. V(t) = Vmax * sin(wt) where w is the angular frequency Actual physical frequency is f = w/2π And period = 1/f

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Root Mean Square The average voltage or power is found by the Root Mean Square. RMS is just the average of the square. The square of the voltage fluxuates from 0 and 1. The average of the square of the voltage is 0.5. So: V RMS = Vmax / 2 1/2 P = V 2 / R therefore Pave = ½ Pmax (i.e. Pave = Vave 2 / R = ½ Vmax 2 / R) Finally the current is: I RMS = Imax / 2 1/2

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DC vs AC DC: V = IR P = IV AC: Vrms = Irms R Vmax = Imax R Vmax = Vrms * 2 1/2 Prms = Irms Vrms = 0.5 Imax Vmax = 0.5 Pmax Pmax = Imax Vmax V RMS = Vmax / 2 1/2 I RMS = Imax / 2 1/2 And you can mix and match here…

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Examples If the Vrms of a circuit is 5V and the resistance is 10 Ohms then what is the: A) Maximum Voltage B) RMS Current C) Maximum Current D) RMS power

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Capacitors in an AC Circuit Q = C V But if V changes then Q is going to change. This means there will be a current. I = Δq / Δt = C Δv / Δt So, I = Imax sin(wt + π/2) In a capacitor the current is 90 degrees out of phase with the rest of the circuit! The voltage is -90 degrees out of phase.

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Voltage for Capacitor Clearly the voltage will change with time. This is a problem if we want equations. So, what we do instead is look at the maximum voltage. Vc = I Xc (or Vmax = Imax Xc and Vrms = Irms Xc) Here we have created a Resistance like term that is called the reactance of the capacitor. The units of Xc will be Ohms. And Xc = 1/(wC) = 1/(2πf C) So, Xc is the effective resistance of the capacitor in an AC circuit.

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Sample You have a 0.01 F capacitor. If the angular frequency of the AC current is 60 Hz then find: A) the reactance of the capacitor. B) If attached to a 5 Vrms power source what is the maximum current?

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Voltage for Inductor For an inductor V = I X L Here X L is the reactance of the inductor. And X L = w L = 2πf L Sample: You have a rms current of 5A. If the frequency is 60 Hz and the Inductance is 0.2 H then what is the maximum voltage across the inductor?

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Phase However, for an Inductor, the current lags 90 degrees BEHIND the normal. So, for a resistor, current as normal. Capacitor, 90 degrees ahead (voltage 90 behind) Inductor, 90 degrees behind (voltage 90 ahead) So, by using a capacitor or inductor you can get parts of your circuit to do different things at different times!

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Conclusion We learned that alternating current is current that varies with time. We learned how to find RMS and Max voltage, power, and currents. We learned how to find the reactance of capacitors and inductors. We learned how to use the reactance of capacitors and inductors in circuits to find voltage and current.

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