How To Calculate Voltage Drop In Series And Parallel Circuits

By | August 25, 2022



The term ‘voltage drop’ describes the decrease in voltage that occurs as current passes through a circuit. Calculating the voltage drop in a series or parallel circuit is an important part of any electrical engineering project. It’s essential to know how much of the energy that’s sent through the circuit is lost due to resistance, and this calculation will tell you.

Whether you’re dealing with a series or parallel circuit, the first step towards calculating voltage drop is determining the number of resistors present. In a series circuit, the resistance of each resistor is added together, while in a parallel circuit, the inverse of the resistance of each resistor is summed. Once you have these values, you can calculate the current and the voltage drop.

For a series circuit, the total current is equal to the voltage divided by the resistance, and the voltage drop across each resistor is the total current multiplied by the single resistor’s resistance. For a parallel circuit, the total current is equal to the sum of each branch’s current, and the voltage drop across each resistor is the total voltage multiplied by the inverse of each resistor’s resistance.

It’s also important to consider the wire resistance that can cause significant voltage drop in high-power circuits, such as those used in industrial applications. This is most easily done by calculating the voltage drop for each section of wire independent of the resistors. The total voltage drop is then the sum of the drops caused by both the resistors and the wires.

Overall, calculating the voltage drop in a series or parallel circuit is an essential part of any electrical engineering project. It allows you to determine the amount of energy loss that occurs due to resistance, and it gives you insight into the behaviour of the circuit. With the right calculations and knowledge, it’s possible to optimize any circuit design for maximum efficiency.


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