How To Calculate The Voltage Drop Across A Series Circuit

By | October 14, 2021



A series circuit is a type of electrical system made up of components that are connected in a sequence, one after the other. In such a circuit, the voltage and current must remain the same at every node or junction of the circuit as they travel from one component to the next, meaning the total voltage drop across all components will be the same as the voltage supplied by the power source. That being said, calculating the voltage drop across any particular component in the series circuit is essential for determining the efficiency of the entire system.

Luckily, calculating the voltage drop across a series circuit is fairly simple—all you need to do is determine the resistance of each component in the circuit and then take that value and multiply it by the current flowing through the circuit. For example, if you have a circuit with a battery producing 12V of potential difference and three resistors (with resistances of 3 Ω, 5 Ω, and 8 Ω respectively) connected in series, you can calculate the voltage drop across each component by multiplying the resistance of each component by the current.

In this situation, the total voltage drop would be 26V. To break this down further, the first resistor has a resistance of 3 Ω, which multiplied by the current yields a voltage drop of 9V. The second resistor has a resistance of 5 Ω, so it would have a voltage drop of 15V, and the last resistor has a resistance of 8 Ω, resulting in a voltage drop of 2V. The sum of these values (9V + 15V + 2V = 26V) is equal to the voltage supplied by the battery, confirming you have calculated the voltage drop correctly.

This means that, when working with a series circuit, knowing the voltage across each component is vital in determining the efficiency of the entire system and ensuring it is functioning properly. By understanding how to calculate the voltage drop across a series circuit, you can easily diagnose any issues and make necessary changes to ensure everything is operating at maximum efficiency.


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