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# Maximum power transfer theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_power_transfer_theorem

## Maximum power transfer theorem

Contents
1 Maximizing power transfer versus power efficiency 2 Impedance matching 3 Calculus-based proof for purely resistive circuits 4 In reactive circuits 4.1 Proof 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

## Maximizing power transfer versus power efficiency

The theorem was originally misunderstood (notably by Joule) to imply that a system consisting of an electric motor driven by a battery could not be more than 50% efficient since, when the impedances were matched, the power lost as heat in the battery would always be equal to the power delivered to the motor. In 1880 this assumption was shown to be false by either Edison or his colleague Francis Robbins Upton, who realized that maximum efficiency was not the same as maximum power transfer. To achieve maximum efficiency, the resistance of the source (whether a battery or a dynamo) could be made close to zero. Using this new understanding, they obtained an efficiency of about 90%, and proved that the electric motor was a practical alternative to the heat engine.

The condition of maximum power transfer does not result in maximum efficiency. If we define the efficiency as the ratio of power dissipated by the load to power developed by the source, then it is straightforward to calculate from the above circuit

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## Maximum power transfer theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

diagram that

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_power_transfer_theorem

## Consider three particular cases: If If If or , then , then then

The efficiency is only 50% when maximum power transfer is achieved, but approaches 100% as the load resistance approaches infinity, though the total power level tends towards zero. Efficiency also approaches 100% if the source resistance approaches zero, and 0% if the load resistance approaches zero. In the latter case, all the power is consumed inside the source (unless the source also has no resistance), so the power dissipated in a short circuit is zero.

Impedance matching
Main article: impedance matching A related concept is reflectionless impedance matching. In radio, transmission lines, and other electronics, there is often a requirement to match the source impedance (such as a transmitter) to the load impedance (such as an antenna) to avoid reflections in the transmission line.

## Calculus-based proof for purely resistive circuits

(See Cartwright
[2]

for a non-calculus-based proof) In the diagram opposite, power is being transferred from the source, with voltage and fixed source resistance , to a load with resistance , resulting in a current . By Ohm's law, is simply the source voltage divided by the total circuit resistance:

The power dissipated in the load is the square of the current multiplied by the resistance:

The value of for which this expression is a maximum could be calculated by differentiating it, but it is easier to calculate the value of for which the denominator

is a minimum. The result will be the same in either case. Differentiating the denominator with respect to

or

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## Maximum power transfer theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_power_transfer_theorem

In practical resistive circuits, and are both positive, so the positive sign in the above is the correct solution. To find out whether this solution is a minimum or a maximum, the denominator expression is differentiated again:

and

## , showing that the denominator is a minimum, and the power is

A note of caution is in order here. This last statement, as written, implies to many people that for a given load, the source resistance must be set equal to the load resistance for maximum power transfer. However, this equation only applies if the source resistance cannot be adjusted, e.g., with antennas (see the first line in the proof stating "fixed source resistance"). For any given load resistance a source resistance of zero is the way to transfer maximum power to the load. As an example, a 100 volt source with an internal resistance of 10 ohms connected to a 10 ohm load will deliver 250 watts to that load. Make the source resistance zero ohms and the load power jumps to 1000 watts.

In reactive circuits

Proof
In this diagram, AC power is being transferred from the source, with phasor magnitude voltage (peak voltage) and fixed source impedance , to a load with impedance , resulting in a phasor magnitude current source voltage divided by the total circuit impedance: . is simply the

The average power dissipated in the load is the square of the current multiplied by the resistive portion (the real part) of the load impedance:

and reactance

, and

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## Maximum power transfer theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To determine the values of and (since , , and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_power_transfer_theorem
are fixed) for which this expression is a maximum, we for which the denominator

## , the value of the reactive term

is a minimum. Since reactances can be negative, this denominator is easily minimized by making

## The power equation is now reduced to:

and it remains to find the value of which maximizes this expression. However, this maximization problem has exactly the same form as in the purely resistive case, and the maximizing condition can be found in the same way. The combination of conditions

## can be concisely written with a complex conjugate (the *) as:

Notes
1. ^ Thompson Phillips (2009-05-30), Dynamo-Electric Machinery; A Manual for Students of Electrotechnics (http://books.google.com/?id=dKVbT-ZmdDwC&pg=PA406), BiblioBazaar, LLC, ISBN 978-1-110-35104-6 2. ^ Cartwright, Kenneth V (Spring 2008), "Non-Calculus Derivation of the Maximum Power Transfer Theorem" (http://technologyinterface.nmsu.edu/Spring08/), Technology Interface 8 (2): 19 pages

References
H.W. Jackson (1959) Introduction to Electronic Circuits, Prentice-Hall.

The complex conjugate matching false idol (http://www.analog-rf.com/match.shtml) Conjugate matching versus reflectionless matching (http://www.ece.rutgers.edu/~orfanidi/ewa/ch12.pdf) (PDF) taken from Electromagnetic Waves and Antennas (http://www.ece.rutgers.edu/~orfanidi/ewa/) The Spark Transmitter. 2. Maximising Power, part 1. (http://home.freeuk.net/dunckx/wireless/maxpower1 /maxpower1.html) Jacobi's theorem (http://www.du.edu/~jcalvert/tech/jacobi.htm) - unconfirmed claim that theorem was discovered by Moritz Jacobi [1] (http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/~eugeniik/history/jacobi.html) MH Jacobi Biographical notes Google Docs Spreadsheet (http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pANWpjmy2L4xC96TaLF6MEA) calculating max power transfer efficiencies by Sholto Maud and Dino Cevolatti. Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maximum_power_transfer_theorem&oldid=571184778" Categories: Circuit theorems Electrical engineering

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