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Debora Muniz da Silveira Mendonca

Series and Parallel Circuits


Objective To investigate the characteristics of series and parallel DC Circuits
Equipment and Supplies
NI Elvis Workstation
330, 470, 220 Resistors
Procedure and Results
1.
To begin the laboratory practice, a circuit was built. Before the construction of the circuit,
a measure of the resistances was taken. Table 1 shows the results of the measurement, the
nominal value and the deviation that the measure has related to the nominal value. Figure 1
shows the diagram of the circuit build on the protoboard.

Deviation=

|Nominal ValueMeasured|
Nominal

100

Table 1 - Resistors and measurements

Nominal Value

Measure

330
470
220

324,76
467,83
218,56

Deviation from
Nominal
1.59%
0.46%
0.65%

Figure 1 - Circuit of resistances in series

2.
After building the circuit, the voltages measurement were necessary. Each resistor has its
own voltage and the sum of this voltages should be equal to the voltage of the source ( Kirchoff's
voltage law) Table 2 has the results of each measurement.
Table 2 Voltages

Resistor
R1
R2
R3
Req

Resistance Value
330
470
220
1020

Voltage measured
4.9989V
7.1875V
3.3667V
15.544V

Its possible to see that the sum of the voltages (4.9989 + 7.1875 + 3.3667 = 15.5531V) is
a little bit different from the voltage measured from the source. Sometimes this difference can
exists due the wire or the connections of the protoboard, so the Kirchoff's voltage law is satisfied
in this case.
3.

In order to calculate the current in each resistor, the Ohms law will be used.

i 1=

V 1 4.9989
=
=15.3926 mA
R1 324.76

i 2=

V 2 7.1875
=
=15.3635 mA
R2 467.83

i 3=

V 3 3.3667
=
=15.4040 mA
R3 218.56

Since its a series circuit resistor, the current must be the same. Comparing it, the currents
calculated are almost the same. They probably arent due rounding and again, possible problems
with the wires.
4.
The value of the current measured was 15.50 mA . That gives 0.69%, 0.88% and
0.62% of deviation related to the other current values. They should be the same again, but the
results are inside the tolerance.
5.
Since its a series circuit, the equivalent resistance is calculated adding all the resistances.
Then: 324.76 + 467.83 + 218.56 = 1010.7 is the equivalent resistance. Using this result and the
measured voltage:
i=

15.5531
=15.3884 mA
1010.7

That gives 0.027%, 0.16%, 0.10% of deviation related to the other current values. Which
is acceptable.
6.

Voltage divider rule:

V 3=

V x=

Rx
V
Req s now, using it for R3:

R3
220
V s=
15=3.2352V
Req
1020

The voltage calculated has a difference of 0.1315V related to the voltage measured on #2.
Since its a small difference, it can be said that the theory matches with the practice.
7.
In this part of the procedure a second circuit was built. This time, a parallel resistance
circuit, with diagram as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 - Parallel circuit

8.
Since its a parallel circuit, the equivalent resistance cant be calculated by the simple
sum of the resistances. The formula used is
Req =

1
1 1 1
+ +
R1 R2 R3

Req =

1
=103,0578
1
1
1
+
+
330 470 220

Besides, the measured voltage value was 102.13. Comparing the two values, there is a
0.9% of deviation. All the resistors tolerance are 5% (defined by the gold line they have), so the
deviation is inside the tolerance range.
9.
After placing the DMM in series with the circuit, the current obtained was it = 48.45mA.
The voltage supply was giving 4.9316V to the circuit. Using Ohms law to calculate the
equivalent resistance:
R=

4.9316
=101,7874
0.04845

This value gives a 1.2327% of deviation related with #8. Its higher than the deviation in
#9, but stills in the tolerance range. If the source gives the 5V that supposed to, the deviation
would be much smaller (0.14%).
10.
The resistor chosen was R3 = 470. The current measured was 0.01060A. The formula of
current divider is
i 2=

R eq
i
R2 t
Using the values of the circuit:

i 2=

103.0578
0.04845=0.01062
470

The deviation of value is 0.22%. Such that is a small deviation, its possible to say that
the divider rule is satisfied in this resistor.

Conclusion
The theory and the practice from series and parallel circuits are always together. Ohms
law, divider current rule, voltage divider rule, equivalent resistance, are all proved. Even all the
results had a deviation, its normal that happened because the theory always consider ideal wires
and devices.