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Home » AC Fundamentals » What is an Electric Circuit? Types of Circuits, Network & Parts Of Circuit

What is an Electric Circuit? Types of Circuits, Network & Parts Of Circuit

Electric Circuit, Network, Complex Circuits and other Types of Circuits

What is an Electrical Network?

Combination of different electric elements or components which are connected in any way is called electric network

Complex Networks

A Circuit which contains on many electrical elements such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, current sources and Voltage source (both AC and DC) is called Complex network. These kinds of networks can’t be solved easily by simple ohm’s Law or Kirchhoff’s laws. I.e. we solve these circuits by specific technique i.e. Norton’s Theorem, Thevenin’s Theorem, Superposition theorem etc.  

What is a Circuit or Electric Circuit?

Circuit or electrical circuit is a close loop path giving a return path for the current. Or a close conducting path in which current can flow is called circuit.

What is Electric Circuit? Types of Circuits, Network & Parts Of Circuit
What is Electric Circuit?

Types of Electric Circuits

There are many types of electrical circuits such as:

  • Series circuit
  • Series circuit
  • Series-Parallel Circuit
  • Star-Delta Circuit
  • Resistive Circuit
  • Inductive Circuit
  • Capacitive Circuit
  • Resistive, Inductive Circuit (RL Circuit)
  • Resistive, Capacitive Circuit (RC Circuit)
  • Capacitive, Inductive Circuits (LC Circuits)
  • Resistive, Inductive, Capacitive Circuit (RLC Circuit)
  • Non Linear Circuit
  • Non Linear Circuit
  • Unilateral Circuits
  • Bi-lateral Circuits
  • Active Circuit
  • Passive Circuit
  • Open Circuit
  • Short Circuit

Here we will briefly discuss one by one below.

Series Circuit

In this circuits, all the electrical elements (Voltage or Current sources, inductors, capacitors, resistors etc) are connected in series i.e.  There is only one path for traveling electricity and no other branches consist in this circuit.

Parallel Circuit

In this circuits, all the electrical elements (Voltage or Current sources, inductors, capacitors, resistors etc) are connected in parallel i.e.  There are many paths for traveling electricity and the minimum branches in this circuit are two.

Series-Parallel Circuit

If circuit elements are series connected in some parts and parallel in others, that would be a series-parallel circuit. In other words, this is a combination of series and parallel circuits.Star-Delta Circuits

Star-Delta Circuit

this is not series or parallel nor series-parallel circuit. In this circuit, electrical elements are connected such a way that undefined in term of Series, parallel or Series Parallel configuration. These kinds of circuits can be solved by Star Delta Transform or Delta Star transformation.

Following are more derived circuits of the Series, parallel, and Series-parallel circuits

  • Pure Resistive Circuit
  • Pure Inductive Circuit
  • Pure Capacitive Circuit
  • Resistive, Inductive Circuit i.e. RL Circuit (Series & Parallel)
  • Resistive, Capacitive Circuit i.e. RC Circuit (Series & Parallel)
  • Capacitive, Inductive Circuits i.e. LC Circuits (Series and Parallel)
  • Resistive, Inductive, Capacitive Circuit RLC Circuit (Series & Parallel)

These all circuits are shown in fig below.

Click image to enlarge

different types of electric circuits
Different types of electric circuits

In the above circuits, all the above mentioned components or elements may be connected in series, parallel, or in series-parallel configuration.

Let’s go to discuss some more electric circuits which you must know before starting to analyze an Electric circuit or network.

Linear & Non Linear Circuits

Linear Circuit

A linear circuit is an electric circuit in which circuit parameters (Resistance, inductance, capacitance, waveform, frequency etc) are constant. In other words, a circuit whose parameters are not changed with respect to Current and Voltage is called Linear Circuit.

Non Linear Circuit

A nonlinear circuit is an electric circuit whose parameters are varied with respect to Current and Voltage. In other words, an electric circuit in which circuit parameters (Resistance, inductance, capacitance, waveform, frequency etc) is not constant, is called Non Linear Circuit.

Unilateral & Bi-lateral Circuits

Unilateral Circuits

In unilateral circuits, the property of circuit changes with the change of direction of supply voltage or current. In other words, unilateral circuit allows the current to flow only in one direction. Diode rectifier is the best example of unilateral circuit because it does not perform the rectification in both direction of supply.

Bi-lateral Circuits

In bilateral circuits, the property of circuit does not change with the change of direction of supply voltage or current. In other words, bilateral circuit allows the current to flow in both directions. Transmission line is the best example of bilateral circuit because, if you give supply from any direction, the circuit properties remain constant.

Circuit’s Parameters, Constants and Related Terms

Different components or elements which use in Electric Circuits are called circuit’s parameters or constants i.e. resistance, capacitance, inductance, frequency etc. These parameters can be lumped or distributed.

Active Circuit

A circuit which contains on one or more E.MF (Electro motive force) sources is called Active Circuit

Passive Circuit

A circuit, in which no one EMF source exist is called Passive Circuit

Open Circuit

A circuit which has no return path for current to flow in it (i.e. which is not completed) is known as open circuit. In other words, a circuit where voltage tends to zero and current tends to infinity is called an open circuit.

Example of an open circuit: A circuit with an open switch where light bulb connected to the battery. So the bulb won’t glow due to open circuit.

Short Circuit

A circuit which has a return path for current to flow in it (i.e. completed circuit) is known as short circuit. In other words,  A circuit where voltage tends to infinity and current tends to zero is called a short circuit.

Example of an short circuit: A circuit with an close switch where light bulb connected to the battery. So the bulb glows due to completed circuit.

Parts of Electric Circuits and Networks & Other Related Terms
Node

A point or junction where two or more circuit’s elements (resistor, capacitor, inductor etc) meet is called Node

Branch

That part or section of circuit which locate between two junctions is called branch. In branch, one or more elements can be connected and they have two terminals.

Loop

A closed path in circuit where more than two meshes can be occurred is called loop i.e. there may be many meshes in a loop, but a mesh does not contain on one loop.

Mesh

A closed loop which contains no other loop within it or a path which does not contain on other paths is called Mesh.

 Nodes, Branches, Loops and Meshes in a Circuit
Nodes, Branches, Loops and Meshes in a Circuit

Good to know:

We use different theorems to solve complex networks. Generally, Complex network can be solved by the following two methods.

  • Direct method
  • Equivalent Circuit Method
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7 comments

  1. plz upload direct and equivalent method

  2. please provide pdf file for dowloading

  3. i want to join your ELectirical team

  4. i want to join your Eclectically team

  5. thank you for your valuable guide

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