06 February, 2007

Open Circuit and Short Circuit

Open Circuit :
An electric circuit that has been broken, so that there is no complete path for current flow. A condition in an electric circuit in which there is no path for current between two points; examples are a broken wire and a switch in the open, or off, position.

Open-circuit voltage is the potential difference between two points in a circuit when a branch (current path) between the points is open-circuited. Open-circuit voltage is measured by a voltmeter which has a very high resistance (theoretically infinite).

Short Circuit :
A low-resistance connection established by accident or intention between two points in an electric circuit. The current tends to flow through the area of low resistance, bypassing the rest of the circuit.

Common usage of the term implies an undesirable condition arising from failure of electrical insulation, from natural causes (lightning, wind, and so forth), or from human causes (accidents, intrusion, and so forth).

In circuit theory the short-circuit condition represents a basic condition that is used analytically to derive important information concerning the network behavior and operating capability. Thus, along with the open-circuit voltage, the short-circuit current provides important basic information about the network at a given point.

The short-circuit condition is also used in network theory to describe a general condition of zero voltage.

No comments: