# 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.

**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 (RL Circuit)
- Resistive, Capacitive (RC Circuit)
- Capacitive, Inductive (LC Circuits)
- Resistive, Inductive, Capacitive (RLC Circuit)
- 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

- Resistive, Capacitive Circuit i.e. RC Circuit

- Capacitive, Inductive Circuits i.e. LC Circuits

- Resistive, Inductive, Capacitive Circuit RLC Circuit

These all circuits are shown in fig below.

Click image to enlarge

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**

**Li****near 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.

- Related Post: Short Circuit Currents And Symmetrical Components

**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.

**L****oop**

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.

**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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