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Unit 6: Series AC Circuits

In this unit we’ll pull together a lot of things from earlier units and use them to analyze series circuits containing AC voltage sources. You’ll need to remember what you’ve learned about AC fundamentals, capacitors, inductors, complex numbers, and phasors. Once you take all of that into account, though, you’ll find that to analyze a series AC circuit, you follow the same steps that you follow to analyze a series DC circuit.

Also, the same rules that hold for series DC circuits (such as Ohm’s law, Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law, and the Voltage-Divider Rule) also hold for series AC circuits. But the math is a little more complicated, because each step involves complex numbers instead of real numbers.

Units 4 and 5 Review

Review of Series DC Circuits
Review: Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law in Series DC Circuits
Review: Voltage Divider Rule in Series DC Circuits
Review: Troubleshooting Series DC Circuits

Sinusoidal Response of AC Circuits
Boldface Notation for Phasors 
Ohm’s Law for AC Circuits
How is Impedance Related to Resistance and Reactance?
Impedance of a Resistor
Impedance of a Capacitor
Impedance of an Inductor

Putting It All Together

Series Impedance
Analyzing Series AC Circuits
Step 1: Find Total Impedance
Step 2: Find Total Current
Step 3: Find Individual Currents
Step 4: Find Voltage Drops
Practice Problems

Phasor Diagrams

Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law

Voltage-Divider Rule

Troubleshooting Series AC Circuits

"Systems View" of a Circuit
Lag Circuits and Lead Circuits
RC Lag Circuits and Lead Circuits
RL Lag Circuits and Lead Circuits

Unit 6 Review

Congratulations! You’ve completed the e-Lesson for this unit.