Today we are going to study the types of circuits that we can normally find in the electrical appliances of our homes. We distinguish between three types of circuits according to the position of their elements (which we discussed earlier), they can be series, parallel or mixed circuits.
Let us first recall the main elements of a simple circuit. A simple circuit consists of a power source, for example a battery or a cell; and a conductor, usually a copper wire, although it could also be silver. Each end of the cable is connected to the battery terminals, in such a way that when the circuit is closed (the two cables connected at the same time) the electrons flow through the circuit.
Furthermore, in all circuits it is very important that the flow of these electrons that generate the current is controlled. To avoid over-acceleration of the current flow, resistors are used. The amount of current flowing through the circuits depends on the placement of these resistors, which will also determine the type of circuit in question.
Series circuits are characterized by having the resistors connected in the same line between the ends of the battery or the cell, that is, located one after the other. Therefore, current flows through each resistor one after the other.
If we give an example using hydraulic power plants, we can say that two water tanks are connected in series if the output of one of them is connected to the input of the second. Another example where the serial connection appears may be the electric batteries, since they are made up of several batteries that are connected in series to reach the necessary voltage.
Parallel circuits are characterized by having several paths connected parallel to each other, in such a way that each path has a resistance and these paths are connected by common points, as we can see in the following image. MIXED CIRCUIT Mixed circuits, as their name suggests, are circuits that mix resistors connected in series and in parallel. That is, within one of the parallel tracks, we can find a mini circuit in series, like the one we can see in the image. First of all we have to operate with the secondary circuit (in this case the parallel circuit) to then work as if it were a single circuit (in series).
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SERIAL AND PARALLEL CIRCUITS
Mainly, parallel circuits differ from series circuits in two fundamental aspects:
1- Parallel circuits have a greater number of ways than a series system.
2- The parallel circuits have a different alignment, in such a way that it affects the current that flows through the circuit in each case.