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close this bookIntroduction to Electrical Engineering - Basic vocational knowledge (Institut für Berufliche Entwicklung, 213 p.)
close this folder3. Electric Circuits
View the document3.1. Basic Circuit
View the document3.2. Ohm’s Law
Open this folder and view contents3.3. Branched and Unbranched Circuits

3.1. Basic Circuit

If an incandescent lamp for illuminating a working place is to be caused to light, the following pre-conditions are required.

· A voltage source whose voltage is available at the point of connection (socket outlet). The voltage source may be far away from the point of connection (e.g. in a power station). A fuse is interposed in each line as overcurrent protection.

· A 2-core line leading to the incandescent lamp which conducts the voltage via a plug to the lamp. For conveniently switching on and off, a switch is interposed. Fig. 5.1. shows the described arrangement. Fig. 5.2 the schematic representation with symbols which is called wiring diagram.


Fig. 3.1. Simplified representation of the arrangement voltage source/table lighting fitting

1 - Voltage source
2 - Table lighting fitting
3 - Plug socket
4 - Plug
5 - Fuses
6 - Switch

This shows that a closed connection from the voltage source to the incandescent lamp is essential for operation. The charge carriers driven from the source pass through the conductor, transfer their energy to the lamp and return to the source where they receive again drive energy. This is a circulatory process and, therefore, such an arrangement is called circuit.


Fig. 3.2. Wiring diagram for Fig. 3.1

Graphical symbols:

1 - Voltage source
2 - Lighting fitting
3/4 Plugged connections
5 - Fuses
6 - Switch

Since no charge carriers are lost during the passage, the current is a phenomenon closed in itself, a band without start and without end which has the same intensity at any point.

The above described example is the simplest circuit. Therefore it is called basic circuit. For the principle illustrated here it is of no consequence if in the place of the generator a different voltage source (e.g. an accumulator) is used and a heater, washing machine, motor or another consumer operates in the place of the electric bulb. In the circuit diagram, frequently the fuses, the point of connection and the switch are not represented; the consumer is frequently represented simply by the resistance symbol, see Fig. 3.3.


Fig. 3.3. Fundamental circuit

1 - Voltage source
2 - Load general

The basic circuit is a circuit which cannot be further simplified. It consists of a voltage source to which a consumer is connected. The current flowing in this circuit is a phenomenon closed in itself, a band without start and end which has the same intensity at any point.