An electrical circuit consists of some electrical components and source of voltage or current. These circuit-components perform all the activities in a circuit. We need to know the function of every circuit components to use these properly in a circuit. Examples of some electrical components are resistor, capacitor, inductor, diode, transistor etc. In this article, we are going to discuss some important electrical and electronic circuit components with their uses.
Contents in this article:
- Types of circuit components
- Examples of electrical components used in electrical circuit
Different types of circuit components
There are two types of circuit components on the basis of the composition of materials –
- Electrical circuit components
- Electronic circuit components
The circuit components made of conductors are the electrical components and the circuit components made of semiconductors or vacuum tubes are the electronic components. Resistors, capacitors, inductors are the electrical components as they are made of metals like copper wire. On the other hand, diodes and transistors are the electronic circuit elements as their main compositions are the semiconductors like Silicon, Germanium etc.
Circuit components have two categories on the basis of their Current-Voltage curve –
- Linear circuit components
- Non-linear circuit components
Linear circuit components
Examples: Resistors, Capacitors, Inductors are the examples of the Linear circuit components.
Non-Linear Circuit components
Non-linear circuit components are just opposite to linear circuit components. This type of circuit components have non-linear nature in Current-Voltage curve. Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s law are not applicable for the circuit consisting of non-linear circuit components.
Again, there are two type of circuit components based on their function or work–
- Active Circuit components
- Passive Circuit components
Active electrical circuit components
The circuit components which can amplify or rectify the input signal at the output are the active circuit components.
Examples: Diode can rectify the ac signal, so it is an example of active circuit component. Again, Transistor can amplify the input signal, so Transistor is also an active circuit component.
Passive electrical circuit components
The circuit components which neither can amplify nor can rectify the input signal at output are the passive circuit components.
Examples: Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor are the examples of some passive circuit components.
Examples of electrical components used in electrical circuit
The examples of 10 components of electronic circuit are –
- Keys or switches
Even the connecting wires are the components of circuits.
Most common electrical components and their uses
Most common electrical components in a circuit are resistor, capacitor, Inductor, Diode, Transistor, etc. Here, we are sharing the functions or uses of these components.
Resistor is a linear and passive circuit component which opposes the current flow through an electronic circuit. So, main purpose of resistor it to control the current through the circuit. Resistance is the opposition given by the resistor on the electric current flowing through it.
The main purpose of a Capacitor is to store electric charges on it and to release the stored charges whenever the circuit requires it. The process of storage of charges is called the charging of capacitor and the process of releasing the charges is known as the discharging of capacitor.
Capacitor gives high impedance to DC and low impedance to AC. Therefore, the main purpose of a capacitor is to block the DC to flow further in the circuit. Capacitor which is used to block DC is called the Blocking capacitor. Also, capacitor connected in parallel to a high resistance can bypass AC through it. The capacitors using to bypass the AC are the bypass capacitors.
Capacitors have huge applications in our daily life, almost every electric and electronic device like ceiling fan, battery, power bank, memory circuit (DRAM), Motherboard of TV, computer, Laptop and Smartphone, etc. use capacitor.
Like resistors and capacitors, the inductors are also the linear and passive circuit elements. But the uses of inductors are different from the uses of the resistors and capacitors. Inductors offer high impedance to AC and low impedance to DC. Therefore, inductors are used to block alternating current (AC) to flow through it.
Chock coil has high inductance and low resistance which is used in Tube lights to oppose AC to pass through the Tube light.
Read more: Impedance of inductor
Semiconductor diode is a non-linear circuit element used as a rectifier to convert alternating current into direct current. A diode can also perform the switching activities in electronic circuits. Click here for more details on diode.
A Transistor is the non-linear and active circuit element used as an Amplifier to amplify the magnitude of input signal at output. Transistors also used as a switch in electronic circuits. Click here for more details on transistor.
6. Electrical switches
Switches are the much needed circuit element in an electrical or electronic circuit. Keys or switches enable us to turn off the current flow through the circuit or through a part of a circuit, even when the sources are on. Switches also help to switch the current flow from one direction to another direction in the circuit.
A transformer is very useful circuit component used in electrical and electronic circuits. It transforms the amplitude of alternating voltage (or current) from one value to another value keeping the power and frequency of the AC same. Transformers have huge application in commercial power supply. Commercial power suppliers supply AC of 33000 volts which is converted into 11000 volts and then 11000 volts into 440 volts for the people to use. Transformers help these type of transformation of AC voltages.
You can read a detailed post on Transformer and its principle.
The OP-AMP or the Operational Amplifier is another useful electronic circuit component used to amplify voltages. OP-AMP is available in integrated circuit (IC) form. IC 741 is the most common OP-AMP used in electronic circuits.
Important questions on circuit components:
Here are some important practice questions on electric circuit components. One can find all the answers of these questions from this article.
1. Is the capacitor active or passive circuit component?
2. Is capacitor linear or nonlinear circuit component?
3. Why Transistor is an active circuit element?
4. Is Inductor linear or nonlinear circuit element?
5. Is Inductor active or passive circuit component?
6. Why diode is an active circuit element?
These are the basic electrical components for the electric and electronic circuits. This is all from this article. If you have any doubt on this topic feel free to ask me in the comment section.
- Transformer and its principle
- Impedance of Inductor
- Intrinsic and extrinsic type of semiconductor material
- p-n junction diode