Thevenin Theorem and Thevenin Equivalent Voltage and ResistancePublished on 4/04/2013 and last updated on 4/11/2018
Thevenin TheoremThevenin Theorem tells that an active circuit between two load terminals can be considered as an individual voltage source. The voltage of this source would be open circuit voltage across the terminals and the internal impedance of the source is the equivalent impedance of the circuit across the terminals.
To understand Thevenin Theorem let us take a simple example of a resistive active circuit as shown below.Here first we will disconnect the load from the circuit and then measure the voltage across the terminals of the circuit. This open circuit voltage across the terminals will be the source voltage if we think this entire circuit is a voltage source. This open circuit voltage is also known as Thevenin Voltage. Now we will measure the resistance between the terminals. Mathematically it can be done by replacing the individual sources with their internal resistance. In case of ideal voltage source, we can do that by replacing the individual voltage source by a short circuit. The measured or calculated equivalent resistance of the circuit across the terminals is called Thevenin Equivalent resistance.
The entire active circuit or network is a voltage source of Thevenin Voltage with Thevenin resistance connected in series with it.
Thevenin Theorem on a circuit containing current sourceHere current source is first converted to equivalent voltage source then we can easily calculate the open circuit voltage or Thevenin Voltage and resistance of the circuit and can draw the equivalent Thevenin Voltage source.
There is nothing extra to discuss Thevenin Theorem as it so simple.
The same theorem can also be applicable for ac active circuit where we have to deal with impedance instead of resistance.
After going through the following examples we can better understand the theorem further.
By applying Thevenin’s Theorem on the circuit below, find out the load current
Now follow the steps one by one.
Step 1: Draw the circuit by removing load resistance, shortening voltage sources and opening the current sources (if any) from the circuit. Name the Load terminals with A and B. Step 2: View back into the open circuited network i.e. from the open terminal A and B. Calculate equivalent resistance of the circuit, i.e. RTh. Now calculate the internal resistance of the network. You got the value of RTh = 5ohm. Of the Thevenin’s equivalent circuit. So go for the next steps to find out the value of VTh. Step 3: Draw the circuit as previous but keeping the Load Resistance removed from A and B terminal. Step 4: Find the individual Loops. Apply KVL (Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law) and find out loop current. You got two individual two loops from the circuit. Mark the loops with clock wise arrow as the direction of the current flowing. Now start to apply KVL in the first loop. [as you are in the loop 1, consider I1 > I2, through 6 ohm resistor (I1 – I2) current will flow in] By applying KVL in the second loop, we get [As you are in the loop 2, consider I2 > I1, through 6 ohm resistor (I2 – I1) current will flow in] By solving two equations we get the value of I1 = 1.041A and I2 = 1.25 A. So the actual direction of the currents is marked in the figure below. Step 5: Start journey from terminal A to B by choosing any path of branches. Calculate total Voltage that you have faced during journey. This voltage is VTh. Assume this VTh connected across A and B terminal. From terminal A start your journey along any branch to reach terminal B. Let us start journey as per marked path by Red Color. Now by applying KVL again, we can write that [There is no current through 2 ohm resistor just connected to terminal A] So Thevenin’s Voltage VTh is 17.5V. You can verify this value of VTh choosing another path in the circuit from terminal A to B. Let us choose another path as per drawing below. Now applying KVL, we get [there is no current through 2ohm resistor just connected to terminal A] Step 6: Draw the Thevenin’s equivalent circuit with the value of calculate RTh and VTh. Connect RL across AB terminal. Again apply KVL to find out the load current IL or directly put the value of VTh, RTh and RL in the formula Now connect RL = 10 ohm across A and B terminal. Again apply KVL here and get