What is the Difference between Active and Passive Components?
The following basic explanatory post with examples shows the main difference between Active and Passive Components.
Those devices or components which require an external source to operate in a circuit are called Active Components.
Explanation: As we know that Diode is an active component. Therefore, it requires an external source to work and operate in a circuit.
This is because if we connect a Diode in a circuit which is further connected to the supply voltage, the diode will not conduct the current (either in forward or reverse bias) until the level of voltage reaches to 0.3V (In case of Germanium) or 0.7V (In case of Silicon).
Those devices or components which do not require an external source to operate in a circuit are called Passive Components.
Explanation: Passive Components (such as resistors. capacitors, inductors etc.) do not require an external source to their operation.
Like a Diode, Resistor does not require 0.3V or 0.7 V. i.e., when we connect a resistor to the supply voltage, it starts work and responds instantly in the circuit without using additional and conditional specific voltage like in case of diodes etc. Same is the case for inductors and capacitors etc.
Comparison between Active and Passive Elements and Devices
|Active Component||Passive Component|
|Active Device transforms and injects power or energy into a circuit.||Passive Device utilizes power or energy into a circuit.|
|Examples: Diode, Transistor, SCR, ICs, DC generator, Current & Voltage sources etc.||Examples: Resistors, Capacitors, Inductors, Transformer, Motors etc.|
|Active element produces energy in the form of voltage or current.||Passive element stores energy in the form of voltage or current.|
|They have function and provide power gain (Amplifier).||They do not have function provide power gain.|
|It can control the flow of current.||It cannot control the flow of the current.|
|Active components require an external & conditional source to operate in the circuit.||Passive Components do not require any external source to operate in the circuit.|
|They have gain more than 1, so they can amplify the signal.||They have gain less than 1, so they can’t amplify the signal.|
|They are energy donor.||They are energy acceptor.|
|They lay in Linear category.||They lay in Non-Linear category.|
In other words:
Those devices or components which produce energy in the form of Voltage or Current are called Active Components
Those devices or components which store or maintain Energy in the form of Voltage or Current are known as Passive Component
Examples: Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor etc…
In very Simple words;
- Active Components: Energy Donor
- Passive Components: Energy Acceptor
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