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Wheatstone Bridge (Direct Current Bridge)

Made by : Zaid Al-Ali zeezou_tevez@yahoo.com

Wheatstone Bridge
Direct current bridge is an instrument that used to measure the resistance or change in resistance and converts it to output current Accurate method for measuring resistance between 1 ~ 1M. This bridge circuit are also used in control circuit, when one arm of the bridge contains a resistive element that is sensitive to the physical parameters (Temp, Pressure , Load)

Wheatstone Bridge
It consists of : 2 parallel resistance branches, each branch contains two series elements (Resistance) DC volt is used as a power source
Null detector (Galvanometer)
I1 + R1 I2 R2

is connected to detect balance


I3 R3

R4 I4

Using the bridge to determine unknown resistance


1- Assume R4 is unknown ,, 2- Assume we can change one resistor in the bridge (say R1) till the balance condition
R
1

I1

I2 R
2

Va

Vb

or Vo 0
I3

Vb E - I 2 R2 - - - - - - - - - -(1) Va E - I 1 R1 - - - - - - - - - -(2) Vb I 4 R4 - 0 - - - - - - - - - -(3) Va I 3 R3 - 0 - - - - - - - - - -(4)


At case of unbalance (reading= Va-Vb)

R3
I4

R4

At balance Vb - Va 0 Va Vb and I 2 I 4 , , , , , I1 I 3 From 1 , 2

E - I 2 R2 E - I1 R1 I 2 R2 I1 R1 - - - - - - - - - -(5) I 4 R4 I 3 R3 - - - - - - - - - - - (6)
R
1

From 3 , 4
I1 I2

R
2

I 1 R1 I 2 R2 I 3 R3 I 4 R4 R1 R2 R3 R4 or R1 R4 R2 R3
I3

R I4

Example
Determine the value of unknown resistor Rx in Fig. assuming the balance condition

R1 12 K R2 15K R3 32 K R x ????
Solution At Balance Vo=0
+ R1 -

I1

I2 R2

Vo
a

R3

Rx

R2 R3 R1 Rx R2 R3 Rx R1 (15) K (32) K Rx 40K 12K

Sensitivity of the bridge


When the bridge is in an unbalance, current flows through the galvanometer, causing deflection of the pointer. The sensitivity of the bridge = S deg ree A A Thevenin Theory for the bridge
E -0 I1 R1 R3 E -0 ,, I2 R2 R4
I E E I2 I1 R1 a b a I3 R 3 I3 0 0 R4 R3 I4 R4 b R2 + R1 I1 I2 R2

R3 Va I1 R3 - 0 E R1 R3 Vb I 2 R4 - 0 Vth Va - Vb R4 E R 2 R4

Thevenin Theory for the bridge


R1 R1 R
2

R2

a R3 R4 b

R3

R4 a

Vth E

R3 R4 -E R1 R3 R2 R4 R3 R4 -E ) R1 R3 R2 R4

R1R3 R1 R3

R2 R4 R2 R4

Vth E ( Rth ( I Galv

R1 R3 R2 R4 ) R1 R3 R2 R4
Vth
+ -

Vth Rth RLoad

Load b

What if it does have internal resistance ? We solve it using transformation ( - Y)

Example
Calculate the current through the galvanometer shown in Fig E 6V R1 1K R2 1.6K R3 3.5K R4 7.5K and Rgalv 200
I1 I2 R2 Rg

Solution
R3 R4 Vth E ( ) R1 R3 R4 R2 3.5 7.5 Vth 6 ( ) 0.276 Volt 3.5 1 7.5 1.6 R1 R3 R2 R4 Rth ( ) R1 R3 R2 R4

+ -

R1

a I3 R3

b R4 I4

(1) (3) (1.6)(7.5) Rth ( ) 2.097K 13 1.6 7.5 Vth I Galv Rth RLoad

I Galv

0.276 120A 3 (2.097 0.2)10

** Errors in the Wheatstone bridge are in general caused by:

(1)- Error in the standard arm ( R3 ) and the ratio arms ( R1 , R2 ).


(2)- Insufficient sensitivity of the null detector (the galvanometer). (3)- Resistance of the leads and contacts.