# LCR Parallel Circuits

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1 Module 10 AC Theory Introduction to What you'll learn in Module 10. The LCR Parallel Circuit. Module 10.1 Ideal Parallel Circuits. Recognise ideal LCR parallel circuits and describe the effects of internal resistance. Module 10.2 Practical Parallel Circuits. Describe the action of practical LCR parallel circuits with the use of phasor diagrams. Module 10.3 Parallel Resonance. Describe the action of LCR parallel circuits above, below and at resonance. Describe current magnification, and dynamic resistance in LCR parallel circuits. Use appropriate formulae to carry out calculations on LCR parallel circuits, involving resonance, impedance and dynamic resistance. Module 10.4 Damping. Describe methods of damping in LCR parallel circuits, and relate Q factor and bandwidth. Module 10.5 Parallel Circuits Quiz. Quiz. In introducing the LCR Series Circuit, one of the most useful combinations of "passive components" in electronics, Module 9 set the groundwork for Module 10. If the LCR series circuit is just one of the most useful circuits, here is the other one, the LCR Parallel Circuit! The parallel LCR circuit uses the same components as the series version, its resonant frequency can be calculated in the same way, with the same formula, but just changing the arrangement of the three components from a series to a parallel connection creates some amazing transformations. Almost everything about the series circuit is turned upside down by the parallel circuit. As you read through this module, notice how many opposites there are between series and parallel circuits. It is because of these opposite effects, that series and parallel resonant circuits can together perform very many more important tasks in analogue electronics. AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 1 E. COATES

2 Module 10.1 The Ideal Parallel LCR Circuit. The circuit in Fig is an "Ideal" LC circuit consisting of only an inductor L and a capacitor C connected in parallel. Ideal circuits exist in theory only of course, but their use makes understanding of basic concepts (hopefully) easier. It allows consideration of the effects of L and C, ignoring any circuit resistance that would be present in a practical circuit. Fig shows phasor diagrams for the circuit in Fig under three different conditions, below, above and at resonance. Unlike the phasor diagrams for series circuits, these diagrams have a voltage V S as the reference (horizontal) phasor, and have several phasors depicting currents. This is because, in a parallel circuit the voltage V S is common to both the L and C arms of the circuit but each of the component arms (L and C) has individual CURRENTS. The phasors for L and C seem to be reversed compared with the phasor diagrams for series circuits in module 9, but the parallel phasor diagram shows the current I C through the capacitor leading the supply voltage V S by 90, while the inductive current I L lags the supply voltage by 90. (The mnemonic CIVIL introduced in Module 5.1 still works for these diagrams.) The supply current I S will be the phasor sum of I C and I L but as, in the ideal circuit, there is no resistance present, I C and I L are in antiphase, and I S will be simply the difference between them. Fig a shows the circuit operating at some frequency below resonance ƒ r where I L is greater than I C and the total current through the circuit I S is given by I L I C and will be in phase with I L, and it will be lagging the supply voltage by 90. Therefore at frequencies below ƒ r more current flows through L than through C and so the parallel circuit acts as an INDUCTOR. Fig b shows the conditions when the circuit is operating above ƒ r. Here, because X C will be lower than X L more current will flow through C. I C is therefore greater than I L and as a result, the total circuit current I S can be given as I L I C but this time I S is in phase with I C. The circuit is now acting as a CAPACITOR. Notice that in both of the above cases the parallel circuit seems to act in the opposite manner to the series circuit described in Module 9. The series circuit behaved like a capacitor below resonance and an inductor above. The parallel circuit is acting like an inductor below resonance and a capacitor above. This change is because the parallel circuit action is considered in terms of current through the reactances, instead of voltage across the reactances as in the series circuit. At resonance (ƒ r ) shown in Fig c, the reactances of C and L will be equal, so an equal amount of current flows in each arm of the circuit, (I C = I L ). This produces a very strange condition. Considerable current is flowing in each arm of the circuit, but the supply current is ZERO! There is no phasor for I S! This impossible state of affairs of having currents flowing around the circuit with no supply current, indicates that the circuit must have infinite impedance to the supply. As there is no resistance in either L or C in the ideal circuit, current continues to flow from L to C and back again. This only happens of course in an ideal circuit, due to the complete absence of resistance in either arm of the circuit, but it is surprisingly close to what actually happens in a practical circuit, because current is in effect "stored" within the parallel circuit at resonance, without being released to the outside world. For this reason the circuit is sometimes also called a "tank circuit". AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 2 E. COATES

3 Module 10.2 Practical Parallel Circuits Fig a Looking at the inductive (LR) branch of the parallel circuit. Fig a shows a practical LCR parallel circuit, where R is the internal resistance of the inductor L, plus any additional resistance in the inductive arm of the circuit. Before considering the whole circuit, the inductive branch will be examined as though it was a separate LR series circuit, and the arm containing C will be temporarily ignored. An understanding of what happens in L and R will be the foundation for a better understanding of the whole circuit. Fig b Phasors for the L and R Fig b shows a phasor diagram for the LR branch of the circuit in Fig a, drawn as it would be for an LR series circuit. The branch of the circuit containing C is being ignored. The reference phasor is (I S ) and because the same current (I S ) passes through both R and L, the phasors for I L and V R will be in the same phase. V S is the phasor sum of V L and V R. In a parallel circuit it will be the supply voltage V S that is common to all components and so will be used as the reference phasor in Fig Fig Phasors for the LR branch of a parallel LCR circuit Fig shows Fig b modified for a parallel circuit. The complete diagram is rotated so that the phasor for V S is horizontal and used as the reference phasor. This is because, when describing PARALLEL circuits, it is the supply voltage (V S ) that is common to all components. The phasors for I L and V R are in phase with each other, and V L leads I L by 90. However the phase angle θ between V S and I L (and I S ) will vary with frequency. This is because the value of X L and therefore V L will increase as frequency increases. Because V L changes in length, and V S is fixed, angle θ will change, which will have an effect on the phasor diagrams for the complete LCR circuit. Fig a Phasors for the LR branch of a parallel LCR circuit at HIGH frequency. Fig a represents the condition when the frequency of the supply is high, so X L and therefore V L will be large. V S is the phasor sum of V R and V L. It follows then, that the phase angle θ is some value between 0 and 90 with I L lagging on V S. In the ideal circuit I L always lags on V S by 90, so the effect of adding some resistance will be to reduce the angle of lag (θ). At higher frequencies however V L and θ increase and the circuit becomes more like a pure inductor. It is important to note that the value of X L depends on both the frequency and the value of inductance. The value of R will also depend on the design of the inductor and so V L and θ will depend on both the frequency of V S and on component values. AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 3 E. COATES

4 Fig b Phasors for the LR branch of a parallel LCR circuit at LOW frequency. Fig b shows the effect of reducing the frequency of V S to a low value. X L will now be smaller, and so will V L. V S is still the phasor sum of V R and V L, due to the reduction in X L, I L will increase and most of the supply voltage will be developed across R, increasing V R. With V L reduced in amplitude and V R increased, angle θ is very small making I S and V S nearly in phase, making the circuit much more resistive than inductive. This means that in a practical circuit, where the inductor must possess some resistance, the angle θ by which I L lags V S is not the 90 difference that would be expected of a pure inductor, but will be somewhere between 0 and 90, depending on the frequency of the supply. At frequencies where X L is much greater than R the circuit is predominantly inductive but at comparatively low frequencies where the normally small value of R may become comparable or even greater than X L the circuit becomes more predominantly resistive. Fig a The complete LCR parallel circuit. Returning to the whole LCR circuit, three phasors, I C, I L and the reference phasor V S are used to show the operation of the complete parallel circuit shown in Fig a. Current phasors for L and C are used because V L (combined with its internal resistance R L ) and V C will be the same as they are connected in parallel across the supply. It is the currents through L and through C that will differ. The phasor for I C leads V S (which is also the voltage across C and L) by 90 and I L lags V S by somewhere between 0 and 90, depending on component values and supply frequency. Fig b Phasors for the complete LCR parallel circuit. Returning to the whole LCR circuit, three phasors, I C, I L and the reference phasor V S are used to show the operation of the parallel circuit in Fig a. The phasor for I C leads V S (which is also the voltage across C) by 90 and I L lags V S by somewhere between 0 and 90, depending on component values and supply frequency. A fourth phasor I S (the supply current) will be the phasor sum of I C and I L, which in this diagram is larger than I C. The two current phasors I C and I L are not in exact anti phase so the phasor for I S is lagging that for V S. Therefore the circuit is inductive. AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 4 E. COATES

5 Module 10.3 Parallel Resonance Just as in series resonant circuits, there are three basic conditions in a parallel circuit. Dependent on frequency and component values, the circuit will be operating below, above or at resonance. This section describes these three conditions using phasor diagrams involving the current phasors I C, I L and their phasor sum I S, with the reference phasor V S. Note that V R is not shown, but its presence in the circuit is indicated by the variable angle of I L as described in Module Below Resonance Firstly, if the supply frequency is low, below the resonant frequency ƒ r then the condition shown in Fig exists, and the current I L through L will be large (due to its comparatively low reactance). At the same time the current I C through C will be comparatively small. Because I C is smaller than I L the phase angle θ will be small. Including I S in the diagram shows that it will be lagging on V S and therefore the circuit will appear to be INDUCTIVE. (Note that this is the opposite state of affairs to the series circuit, which is capacitive below resonance). Fig Below Resonance Above Resonance Fig shows what happens at frequencies above resonance. Here the current I C through C will be greater than the current I L through L, because the frequency is higher and X C is smaller than X L, θ is greater than in Fig This gives us the condition where I S (the phasor sum of I C and I L ) is leading V S and so the circuit is capacitive. At Resonance Fig Above Resonance At resonance the ideal circuit described in Module 10.1 has infinite impedance, but this is not quite the case in practical parallel circuits, although very nearly. Fig shows the conditions for resonance in a practical parallel LCR circuit. I C is leading V S by 90 but I L is not quite in anti phase (due to the resistance in the circuit s inductive branch). In the parallel circuit therefore, resonance must be defined as the frequency where the values of I C and I L are such that I S is IN PHASE with V S. Fig At Resonance AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 5 E. COATES

6 Dynamic Resistance At resonance, Fig shows that I S is very small, much smaller than either I C or I L so the impedance across the parallel circuit must be very high at ƒ r and as I S is in phase with V S, the circuit impedance is purely resistive. This pure resistance that occurs only at ƒ r is called the DYNAMIC RESISTANCE (R D ) of the circuit and it can be calculated (in ohms) for any parallel circuit from just the component values used, using the formula: Current Magnification Where R is the total resistance of the circuit, including the internal resistance of L. The other important point shown in Fig is the size of the phasor for I S compared with I C and I L. The supply current is much smaller than either of the currents in the L or C branches of the circuit. This must mean that more current is flowing within the circuit than is actually being supplied to it! This condition is real and is known as CURRENT MAGNIFICATION. Just as voltage magnification took place in series circuits, so the parallel LCR circuit will magnify current. The MAGNIFICATION FACTOR (Q) of a parallel circuit can be found using the same formula as for series circuits, namely; Adjusting for resonance. The formula for the resonant frequency of a LCR parallel circuit also uses the same formula for ƒ r as in a series circuit, that is; However, it should be noted that this formula ignores the effect of R in slightly shifting the phase of I L. In fact the formula only gives an approximate value for ƒ r. However, because the internal resistance of L is usually quite small, so is its effect in shifting the resonant frequency of the circuit. For this reason, the same formula may be used for ƒ r in both series and parallel circuits. In those practical LC circuits designed to operate at high frequencies, and where accurate control over ƒ r is required, it is normal for either L or C to be made adjustable in value. The final values for L and C would be achieved by adjusting one of the two components as shown in Fig which would be of a variable type, once the system containing the LC circuit was operating. By this method, not only is the effect of R compensated for, but also any stray inductance or capacitance in the circuit that may also affect the final value of ƒ r. Because, at high frequencies, magnetic fields easily radiate from one component in a circuit to another, LC tuned circuits would also be shielded (screened) by containing them in a metal screening can as shown in Fig Fig Tuned transformer in Screening Can Fig Parallel LC Tuned Circuits. AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 6 E. COATES

7 Module 10.4 Damping The Effects of Resistance in LC Parallel Circuits Ignoring resistance, the resonant frequency of a LC parallel circuit is given by the same formula as is used for LC series circuits: Although this formula is only approximate due to the resistance in a LC parallel circuit, inaccuracies will be small at high frequencies. In practice we can still use the above formula for both series and parallel LC circuits. Resistance in a parallel circuit does however substantially change the graph of impedance (Z) against frequency (f). The graph of impedance against frequency in Fig shows that, as frequency increases from zero towards resonance (ƒ r ) the impedance of the circuit increases to a maximum value (R D ) at resonance and then decreases again for frequencies above resonance. The graph shows the FREQUENCY RESPONSE of the circuit. Fig Parallel LCR Circuit Response Curve. The shape of the response curve can be changed considerably by adding resistance either to the inductive branch of the circuit, e.g. increasing the internal resistance of the inductor, or by adding an external resistor called a SHUNT resistor, across the LC circuit as illustrated in Fig Adding resistance by either method is called DAMPING. Fig Damping Using a Shunt Resistor Damping is frequently used in LC circuits to obtain a flatter response curve giving a wider bandwidth to the circuit, as shown by the lower curve in Fig Applying damping has two major effects. 1. It reduces current magnification by reducing the Q factor. (R is bigger compared with XL). 2. It increases the BANDWIDTH of the circuit. The bandwidth of a LC parallel circuit is a range of frequencies, either side of R D, within which the total circuit impedance is greater than of R D. The lower curve in Fig indicates the condition where the Q factor is reduced by including a damping resistor. The Dynamic Resistance is lower (R D2 ) and now the area above the (green) 0.707xR D2 line covers a wider band of frequencies. Bandwidth, resonant frequency and Q factor in a parallel circuit are connected by the formula: Where B is the bandwidth (upper frequency limit lower frequency limit) in Hz. AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 7 E. COATES

8 It can be seen from these equations that, if Q is reduced while ƒ r is constant then bandwidth (B) must increase. In a parallel circuit the amount of damping is set by both the value of the internal resistance of L and the value of the shunt resistor. The Q factor will be reduced by increasing the value of the internal resistance of L, The larger the internal resistance of the inductor, the lower the Q factor. The shunt resistor has an opposite effect on Q, and the lower the value of R, the more the Q factor is reduced. If the value of the shunt resistor is halved, then so is the Q factor but the bandwidth is doubled. Having two quite different formulae complicates the issue, but often in practice, either the internal resistance or the shunt resistance is by far the dominant effect, to the extent that the other can be ignored. 6 Things you need to know about LCR parallel Circuits (and that are different to the Series Circuit.) 1. AT RESONANCE (ƒ r ) V C is not necessarily exactly equal to V L but V S and I S are IN PHASE 2.. AT RESONANCE (ƒ r ) Impedance (Z) is at maximum and is called the DYNAMIC RESISTANCE (R D ) 3. AT RESONANCE (ƒ r ) Circuit current (I S ) is at minimum. 4. AT RESONANCE (ƒ r ) The circuit is entirely resistive. 5. BELOW RESONANCE (ƒ r ) The circuit is inductive. 6. ABOVE RESONANCE (ƒ r ) The circuit is capacitive. AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 8 E. COATES

9 Module 10.5 LCR Parallel Quiz What you should know. After studying Module 10, you should: Be able to recognise LCR parallel circuits and describe their action using phasor diagrams and appropriate equations. Be able to describe LCR parallel Circuits at resonance and the conditions for parallel resonance. Be able to carry out calculations on LCR parallel circuits, involving reactance, impedance, component and circuit voltages and current. Try our quiz, based on the information you can find in Module 10. Submit your answers and see how many you get right, but don't be disappointed if you get answers wrong. Just follow the hints to find the right answer and learn more about LCR parallel Circuits and Resonance as you go. Be able to describe current magnification, dynamic impedance and Q factor, and be able to calculate their values in LCR Parallel Circuits. 1. With reference to Fig the resonant frequency of the circuits L1/C1 and L3/C3 will be: a) The same as L2/C2 b) Twice the frequency if L2/C2 c) Half the frequency of L2 /C2 d) Above and below the frequency of L2/C2 2. In a parallel resonant circuit at resonance, the impedance is referred to as: a) The equal reactance point and is at maximum. b) The dynamic resistance and is at minimum. c) The equal reactance point and is at minimum. d) The dynamic resistance and is at maximum. 3. What will be the approximate resonant frequency of a parallel LCR circuit containing L=1mH, C=1nF, R= 15Ω? a) 159kHz b) 251kHz c) 2.5MHz d) 2.7kHz Continued. AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 9 E. COATES

10 4. Phasor diagrams a-d show a single parallel resonant circuit operating at different frequencies. Which diagram shows the highest frequency? a) Diagram a b) Diagram b Fig c) Diagram c d) Diagram d 5. For a parallel LCR circuit at resonance, which of the following statements is true? a) At resonance, XC and XL are equal. b) The phasors IL and IC are in anti phase. c) The current flowing into the circuit at resonance is at maximum. d) The impedance at resonance is at maximum. 6. If the Q factor of a parallel resonant circuit is halved, what will be the effect on the bandwidth? a) It will be halved. b) It will not be changed. c) It will double. d) It will increase by four times. 7. Which formula in Fig is correct for calculating the Q factor of a parallel resonant circuit? a) Formula a Fig b) Formula b c) Formula c d) Formula d Continued. AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 10 E. COATES

11 8. What words are missing from the following statement? The supply current phasor for IS in a parallel LCR phasor diagram at resonance will be amplitude. a) Lagging IC by 90 and at its Maximum. b) In phase with VS and at its Maximum c) In phase with VS d) Leading IL by 90 and at its Minimum.and at its Minimum. 9. With reference to Fig What quantity is represented by axis A? a) Inductive Reactance. b) Current. Fig c) Capacitive Reactance. d) Impedance 10. What is the approximate Q factor of the circuit mentioned in Question 3? a) 67 b) 81 c) 15 d) 32 AC THEORY MODULE 10.PDF 11 E. COATES

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