Electric Circuit -Types of Electric Circuit

The main types of electric circuits are Close Circuit, Open Circuit, Short Circuit, Series Circuit, and Parallel Circuit. Electric circuit provides the conductive path for the flow of electric charge or electric current.

In this article, we will discuss the definition of electric circuits and the types of electric circuits.

What is an Electric Circuit?

When the power source is connected to the load with a conducting wire, it forms an electric circuit. A conductive wire made up of copper or aluminum is used to establish an electrical connection between the power source and the load.

We also use an ON / OFF switch and a fuse between the source and load to switch on/off the load and for the protection of the equipment connected to the source.

Types of Electric Circuit

We will discuss the different types of electric circuit.

Close Circuit

In a close circuit-

  • Load is connected to the source.
  • The source supplies current to the load.
  • The current flowing in the circuit depends on the voltage magnitude of the source.
close circuit

Open Circuit

The circuit becomes an open circuit in the following cases.

  • When circuit is switched off
  • When the fuse gets blown off due to the fault in the circuit

In this condition, the current flowing through the close circuit interrupts, and the supply source and the load disconnect.

open circuit

Short Circuit

In the case of short circuit ;

  • The connecting wires between the source and the load gets short circuit.
  • Maximum current flow through the circuit
  • It blew off the fuses
  • Finally circuit becomes open circuit.

The main reason for the short circuit is insulation failure of the connecting wires or the insulation failure in the electrical equipment.

short circuit

Series Circuit

When 2 or more electrical equipment is connected in the series connection, it forms a series circuit. In the series circuit, the magnitude of the current flowing in the equipment is the same. The series circuit has a single path for current flow.

series circuit

We call series connection an end-to-end connection or cascade connection. The disadvantage of the series circuit is the whole circuit becomes an open circuit if one piece of equipment becomes defective.

Properties of Series circuit:

  • The same magnitude of the current travels in every load.
  • The source voltage is equal to the sum of voltage drop across each load.
    V = V+ V+ V+ …..+ Vn
  • The equivalent resistance of the circuit is equal to sum of individual load resistance.
    Req = R1 +R2 +R3 +R4 +……….+ Rn
  • The equivalent resistance(Req ) has the highest resistance value of all the individual resistances.

Parallel Circuit

In a parallel circuit,

  • Two or more loads connected across the supply source.
  • The current flowing through each loads depends on the load resistance. The lower resistance draws more current and, the higher resistance draws less current as per Ohm’s law.
  • The voltage across all the loads is the same.
  • If one of the loads disconnects, the other loads keep operating.

Properties of Parallel Circuits:

  • The potential difference is the same across all the parallel loads.
  • The current distribution in the loads is according to the individual load resistance.
  • The total current drawn by all the loads is equal to the sum of individual current of the load.
    I = I+ I+ I+ ……+ In
  • The reciprocal of the equivalent resistance of a parallel circuit is equivalent to the sum of the reciprocal of the individual resistances.
    1/R = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3+ ……… 1/Rn
  • The equivalent resistance is the lesser than the smallest of all the resistance.
    R < R1, R < R2, ….., R < Rn
  • The equivalent conductance is the mathematical addition of the single conductances.
    G = G+ G+G+ ……+ Gn

The equivalent resistance is lesser than the smallest of all the resistances linked in parallel.

parallel circuit

Other Types of Circuits

  1. Series-Parallel Circuit
  2. DC circuit
  3. AC Circuit

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2 thoughts on “Electric Circuit -Types of Electric Circuit”

  1. Thanks, I was prepping for an electrical class. Your diagrams were easy to understand and it was a great refresher for me.


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