nodal analysis

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nodal analysis

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DESCRIPTION

EXAMPLES WITH INDEPENDENT SOURCES

SUPERNODE

EXAMPLES WITH DEPENDENT SOURCES

SUMMARY

DESCRIPTION

Nodal analysis is more commonly used than mesh or loop analysis for analysing

networks. It can be used to determine the unknown node voltages of both planar

and non-planar circuits. Nodal equations are usually formed by applying

Kirchoffs Current Law to the nodes with unknown voltages, whereas equations

based on Kirchoffs Voltage Law are used to form the mesh equations. In order to

apply nodal analysis to a circuit, the first step is to select a reference node or

datum node and then assign a voltage at each of the other nodes with respect to

the reference node. In a circuit with dc sources, the node that has the lowest

voltage is usually selected as the reference node and then the other node voltages

would be positive. Often the node that has the maximum elements connected to

it in a circuit tends to be the reference node. Many electronic circuits have a

metallic chassis and the reference node, usually the negative terminal of the dc

source present in the circuit, happens to be connected to the chassis. It is common

practice to connect the chassis to earth terminal of the utility supply. Then the

reference node is at earth or ground potential and hence the reference terminal is

referred to as the ground terminal, even if it is not earthed. In a power system, the

casing of power appliances is usually earthed and the neutral of the utility supply

remains connected to earth at the source. The reference node in such a power

system is then at zero potential.

In nodal analysis, the voltage at the reference node is assumed to be zero. The

voltages at other nodes are expressed with reference to the datum node. Since the

unknown node voltages are determined by nodal analysis, it is logical to write the

KCL equations at nodes. The procedure can be summarized as follows.

! Select a reference node and treat it to be at zero or ground potential.

! Label the nodes with unknown voltages.

! At each of these nodes, mark currents in the elements as flowing away from

the node.

! Form KCL equations and solve the set of simultaneous equations for the

unknown voltages.

The voltage across an element can be expressed as the difference of voltages at

nodes to which it is connected. Use the passive sign convention and mark the

currents to be flowing away from the node at which the KCL is applied. Then the

mutual conductance term would have a negative sign whereas the self-conductance

at a node would be a positive value. This aspect should become clear after a few

examples. It is worth stressing that labelling the nodes and assigning current

direction properly are really important. The practice of this technique would

enable one to write the KCL equations and the matrix equations by inspection.

Nodal analysis is the ideal technique for analysis when all the sources in a circuit

are independent current sources and the first example shows how to analyse such

a circuit.

EXAMPLES WITH INDEPENDENT SOURCES

Worked Example 1

1 2

Obtain the unknown node voltages V and V of the circuit in Fig. 1.

Solution:

The circuit shown in Fig. 1 is presented again in Fig. 2 to show that there are only

three nodes in this circuit and that it is appropriate to select the reference node as

shown. It is seen that the node that has the highest number of elements connected

to it is the reference or datum node. It turns out that the potential at the datum

node is lowest. Let it be assumed that the voltage at the datum node is zero volt.

The datum node has been marked and the unknown node voltages have also been

labelled. The next task is to form the KCL equations at these nodes.

1

For the node with the voltage V , the circuit in Fig. 3 is used. The two nodes with

unknown voltages are marked A and B in the circuit shown in Fig. 3.

At node A, the sum of currents entering it should equal the sum of currents

leaving it. Then

It is seen from the circuit in Fig. 3 that

a b

Substituting for I and I from equation (2) into equation (1), we get that

On grouping terms, equation (3) becomes:

That is,

1 11

It is seen that the coefficient of V is G , the sum of conductances connected to

11

node A. This term, G , reflects the self-conductance connected to node A,

12

whereas the term, G , is the mutual conductance linking nodes A and B. Note

that it has a negative sign.

The KCL equation at node B is obtained from the circuit in Fig. 4.

It is seen from the circuit in Fig. 4 that

c d

Substituting for I and I from equation (7) into equation (6), we get that

On grouping terms, equation (8) becomes:

That is,

2 22

It is seen that the coefficient of V is G , the sum of conductances connected to

22

node B. This term, G , reflects the self-conductance connected to node B,

21

whereas the term, G , is the mutual conductance linking nodes A and B. Note

that it has a negative sign. Equations (5) and (10) can be combined in the form of

a matrix equation. We get that

12 21

The square matrix in equation (11) is symmetric, since G = G and this matrix

is known as the nodal conductance matrix. All the terms of this matrix are

conductance terms. The solution of equation (11) can be obtained using either

1 2

Cramers rule or Gaussian elimination method. We obtain that V = 12 V and V

= 8 V.

The solution can be verified easily. For the node voltages defined above, the

current through the 6 W resistor is 2 A, the current through the 4 W resistor is 1

A, and the current through the 2 W resistor is 4 A. It is seen that the KCL

equations at nodes A and B are satisfied.

Worked Example 2

1 2

Obtain the unknown node voltages V and V of the circuit in Fig. 5.

Solution:

The KCL equation at node A is:

The KCL equation at node B is:

These two equations, (12) and (13), can be expressed in the form of a matrix

equation.

1 2

On solving, we obtain that V = 12 Volts and V = 8 Volts.

Worked Example 3

Find the current through the 8 W resistor in the circuit shown in Fig. 8.

Solution:

The only unknown node voltage to be solved for is the voltage at node a. At

this node,

a

Then V = 64 V.

It is not appropriate to use the mesh analysis for this problem, because there are

four unknowns and the solution would not be as simple as that presented now.

Worked Example 4

a b c

Find V , V and V marked in the circuit shown in Fig. 9.

Solution:

Since three unknown node voltages have to be determined, three independent

equations are required to be formed. By applying KCL to those nodes, three

equations can be formed.

KCL equation at node a:

KCL equation at node b:

KCL equation at node c:

From equations (15), (16) and (17), we get that

a b c

The solution is: V = 10 V, V = 8 V, and V = 2 V.

The set of simultaneous equations can also be solved by elimination. This

technique is illustrated below. Equations (15), (16) and (17) can be represented

as follows:

Then

Worked Example 5

1 2 3

Find V , V and V marked in the circuit shown in Fig. 10.

Solution:

Since three unknown node voltages have to be determined, three independent

equations are required to be formed. By applying KCL to node 2, one equation

can be formed. Since the voltage source is connected to two nodes, the second

equation can be formed. The current through the voltage source has been marked

as I. Two expressions for I can be formed, one from the KCL applied to node 1

and the other from node 3. By equating these two expressions, the third equation

can be formed.

Current I through the voltage source flows away from node 1 to node 3, as shown

in Figs. 11 and 12. Then

That is,

KCL at node 2:

Since the voltage source is connected to nodes 1 and 3,

From equations (27), (28) and (29), we get that

This example is used again next to illustrate what a supernode is and how a

circuit can be analysed using a supernode.

SUPERNODE

By forming a supernode, it may be possible to reduce the number of unknowns by

one and the solution thus can become simpler. The circuit diagram used in

worked example 5 is re-presented in Fig. 14 with the box enclosed by broken lines

forming a supernode. As can be seen, the use of a supernode is appropriate when

the circuit contains a floating voltage source. A floating voltage source has neither

of its terminals to the datum node. We can apply Kirchoffs current law to

supernode. Then

That is,

The above equation can be simplified as shown next.

KCL at node 2:

From equations (30) and (31), we obtain that

To form a supernode, we enclose a region and that region becomes a supernode.

The algebraic sum of currents incident at the supernode is also to be zero. The use

of supernode is useful for circuits containing floating voltage sources . If the

floating voltage source is a dependent source, there may be no reduction in the

number of equations required to be solved for, but nonetheless the formation of

one of the equations may be slightly easier.

EXAMPLES WITH DEPENDENT SOURCES

Worked Example 7

2 3

Obtain voltages V and V of the circuit in Fig. 15.

Solution:

Two unknown node voltages have to be determined. One KCL equation can be

formed by equating the two expressions for current marked in Fig. 15. The second

equation is obtained from the expression for the dependent source.

The KCL equations obtained at nodes 2 and 3 are presented below.

KCL Equation at node 2:

KCL Equation at node 3:

From equations (32) and (33), we obtain that

From the circuit in Fig. 15,

On solving equations (34) and (35), we obtain that

Worked Example 8

1 2 3

Find V , V and V marked in the circuit shown in Fig. 16.

Solution:

Since three unknown node voltages have to be determined, three independent

equations are required to be formed. By applying KCL to node 2, one equation

can be formed. Using dependency of the floating voltage source connected to

nodes 1 and 3, the second equation can be formed. The current through the

y y

voltage source has been marked as I in Fig. 16. Two expressions for I can be

formed, one from the KCL applied to node 1 and the other from node 3. By

equating these two expressions, the third equation can be formed.

KCL at node 2:

a

Since the voltage source connected to nodes 1 and 3 is dependent on I ,

y

Current I through the voltage source flows away from node 1 to node 3. Then

That is,

From equations (36), (37) and (38), we get that

It is possible to solve this problem using a supernode. All that is necessary is to

obtain equation (8) using a supernode. For this purpose, the circuit in Fig. 16 is

re-presented below.

Worked Example 9

1 2 3

Find V , V and V marked in the circuit shown in Fig. 17.

Solution:

Three unknown node voltages have to be determined and hence three equations

have to be formed.

KCL Equation at node 1:

KCL Equation at node 2:

On simplifying, we get that

KCL equation at node 3:

a b

After substituting appropriate expressions for V and V and simplifying, we get

that

1 2 3

From equations (39), (40) and (41), we can obtain the values of V , V and V .

Worked Example 10

The task is to find the ratio of output voltage to input voltage, given that the op

amp is not ideal. It has a finite gain, a finite input resistance and a finite output

resistance.

Solution:

The first step is to draw the equivalent circuit, using the voltage amplifier model,

as shown in Fig. 19.

As shown in Fig. 19, the input resistance is the internal resistance of the op amp

between its two input terminals. The voltage across the input resistance is

amplified by the op amp with a gain of -A, and the output resistance is in series

with the dependent voltage source. In order to solve using nodal analysis, it is

A B

necessary to mark the nodes. The voltages at these nodes are marked as V , V ,

C

and V .

We need to form KCL equations at the nodes at which the voltages are not

A

known. The KCL equation at node with voltage V is shown below.

C

The voltage output V of the dependent source can be expressed in terms of the

A A

node voltage V and the source voltage V , as shown below.

The KCL equation at the output node can be obtained, and it is presented below.

Since there can be a load connected to the output terminals, it has been included

in the circuit in Fig. 21. When the op amp has a non-zero output resistance, the

output voltage is a function that has the output resistance, and the load resistance

as two of its parameters. . When the op amp has zero output resistance, the output

voltage is independent of load resistance.

Equations (43), (44) and (45) can be combined into one matrix equation, and it

is expressed below.

Given numerical values, it is not difficult to get the ratio of output voltage to

source voltage. Since it turns out to be a long expression, it is not derived here.

Next it is shown how we can simplify the ratio of output voltage to source

voltage progressively, as we drop the non-ideal parameters of the op amp one by

one.

Let the output resistance be zero. Then the matrix simplifies to 2 by 2 matrix, as

the output of the dependent source is the output voltage of the circuit, as shown

in Fig. 22.

In addition, if the input resistance is infinite, the equivalent circuit can be drawn,

as shown by the circuit in Fig. 23. In this case, the matrix equation, gets

simplified, as shown below.

As input resistance tends to infinity and output resistance tends to zero, we get

that

Now we can get the ratio of output voltage to source voltage, as shown below.

Given that the gain of the op amp is a finite value, the gain of the noninverting

amplifier circuit can be expressed by the expression shown above. The same

expression was derived in the chapter on devices. This example shows the

usefulness of nodal analysis. If this technique is not used, it is much more difficult

to obtain the gain of the circuit, if the op amp has a finite gain, a finite input

resistance and a finite output resistance.

SUMMARY

This chapter has shown nodal analysis can be applied to simple circuits and to

circuits with dependent sources. The next chapter describes the sources or signals

used for exciting an electrical circuit and their properties.

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