Watch
Watching this resources will notify you when proposed changes or new versions are created so you can keep track of improvements that have been made.
Favorite
Favoriting this resource allows you to save it in the “My Resources” tab of your account. There, you can easily access this resource later when you’re ready to customize it or assign it to your students.
Power
Power delivered to an RLC series AC circuit is dissipated by the resistance in the circuit, and is given as
Learning Objective

Calculate the power delivered to an RLCseries AC circuit given the current and the voltage
Key Points
 Phase angle ϕ is the phase difference between the source voltage V and the current I. See the phasor diagram in.
 At the resonant frequency or in a purely resistive circuit Z=R, so that cosϕ=1. This implies that ϕ=0º and that voltage and current are in phase.
 Average power dissipated in an RLC circuit can be calculated by taking a time average of power, P(t) = I(t)V(t), over a period.
Term

rms
Root mean square: a statistical measure of the magnitude of a varying quantity.
Full Text
If current varies with frequency in an RLC circuit, then the power delivered to it also varies with frequency. However, the average power is not simply current times voltage, as is the case in purely resistive circuits. As seen in previous Atoms, voltage and current are out of phase in an RLC circuit. There is a phase angle ϕ between the source voltage V and the current I, given as
Phasor Diagram for an RLC Series Circuit
Phasor diagram for an RLC series circuit. \phi is the phase angle, equal to the phase difference between the voltage and current.
For example, at the resonant frequency
The fact that source voltage and current are out of phase affects the power delivered to the circuit. It can be shown that the average power is
(an equation derived by taking a time average of power, P(t) = I(t)V(t), over a period. I(t) and V(t) are current and voltage at time t). Thus cosϕ is called the power factor, which can range from 0 to 1. Power factors near 1 are desirable when designing an efficient motor, for example. At the resonant frequency, cosϕ=1.
Power delivered to an RLC series AC circuit is dissipated by the resistance alone. The inductor and capacitor have energy input and output, but do not dissipate energy out of the circuit. Rather, they transfer energy back and forth to one another, with the resistor dissipating the exact amount that the voltage source gives the circuit. This assumes no significant electromagnetic radiation from the inductor and capacitor (such as radio waves).
The circuit is analogous to the wheel of a car driven over a corrugated road, as seen in . The regularly spaced bumps in the road are analogous to the voltage source, driving the wheel up and down. The shock absorber is analogous to the resistance damping and limiting the amplitude of the oscillation. Energy within the system goes back and forth between kinetic (analogous to maximum current, and energy stored in an inductor) and potential energy stored in the car spring (analogous to no current, and energy stored in the electric field of a capacitor). The amplitude of the wheels' motion is a maximum if the bumps in the road are hit at the resonant frequency.
Forced Damped Motion of a Wheel on a Car Spring
The forced but damped motion of the wheel on the car spring is analogous to an RLC series AC circuit. The shock absorber damps the motion and dissipates energy, analogous to the resistance in an RLC circuit. The mass and spring determine the resonant frequency.
Assign just this concept or entire chapters to your class for free.
Key Term Reference
 AC
 Appears in these related concepts: Driven Oscillations and Resonance, Impedance, and Resistors in AC Circuits
 Radiation
 Appears in these related concepts: B.1 Chapter 1, Atomic Structure, and Time
 amplitude
 Appears in these related concepts: Properties of Waves and Light, Period of a Mass on a Spring, and Sound
 atom
 Appears in these related concepts: Overview of Atomic Structure, Description of the Hydrogen Atom, and Stable Isotopes
 capacitor
 Appears in these related concepts: Introduction and Importance, ParallelPlate Capacitor, and ParallelPlate Capacitor
 circuit
 Appears in these related concepts: Combinations of Capacitors: Series and Parallel, Microwaves, and Maxwell's Equations
 current
 Appears in these related concepts: Reporting LongTerm Liabilities, The Battery, and Magnetic Force Between Two Parallel Conductors
 damping
 Appears in these related concepts: Forced Vibrations and Resonance, Applications of SecondOrder Differential Equations, and Damped Harmonic Motion
 diagram
 Appears in these related concepts: Motion Diagrams, Bohr Orbits, and B.4 Chapter 4
 electric field
 Appears in these related concepts: Maxwell's Predictions and Hertz' Confirmation, Gauss's Law, and Ampere's Law: Magnetic Field Due to a Long Straight Wire
 electromagnetic radiation
 Appears in these related concepts: Scattering of Light by the Atmosphere, Other Forms of Energy, and Gamma Decay
 energy
 Appears in these related concepts: Surface Tension, Energy Transportation, and Introduction to Work and Energy
 equation
 Appears in these related concepts: Equations and Inequalities, Graphs of Equations as Graphs of Solutions, and What is an Equation?
 frequency
 Appears in these related concepts: Guidelines for Plotting Frequency Distributions, Characteristics of Sound, and Antennae
 inductor
 Appears in these related concepts: Energy in a Magnetic Field, Energy Stored in a Magnetic Field, and Inductance
 kinetic
 Appears in these related concepts: Friction: Static, The Kinetic Molecular Theory of Matter, and Postmodernist Sculpture
 motion
 Appears in these related concepts: Center of Mass and Translational Motion, TwoComponent Forces, and Moving Source
 period
 Appears in these related concepts: Frequency of Sound Waves, Sine and Cosine as Functions, and Tangent as a Function
 phase
 Appears in these related concepts: Borates: BoronOxygen Compounds, The Phase of Orbitals, and The Production of Electromagnetic Waves
 phasor
 Appears in these related concepts: Resonance in RLC Circuits, Inductors in AC Circuits: Inductive Reactive and Phasor Diagrams, and Phasors
 potential
 Appears in these related concepts: What is Potential Energy?, Conservative and Nonconservative Forces, and Linear Expansion
 potential energy
 Appears in these related concepts: Escape Speed, Defining Graviational Potential Energy, and Types of Energy
 power
 Appears in these related concepts: Force of Muscle Contraction, What is Power?, and Authority
 resistance
 Appears in these related concepts: Resistors in Parallel, Resisitors in Series, and Introduction to Blood Flow, Pressure, and Resistance
 resistor
 Appears in these related concepts: Safety Precautions in the Household, Resistors and Capacitors in Series, and The Loop Rule
 resonance
 Appears in these related concepts: Bonding in Coordination Compounds: Valence Bond Theory, RLC Series Circuit: At Large and Small Frequencies; Phasor Diagram, and Standing Waves and Resonance
 series
 Appears in these related concepts: Combination Circuits, APA: Series and Lists, and The General Term of a Sequence
 voltage
 Appears in these related concepts: The Nernst Equation, Electric Potential Due to a Point Charge, and Principles of Electricity
Sources
Boundless vets and curates highquality, openly licensed content from around the Internet. This particular resource used the following sources:
Cite This Source
Source: Boundless. “Power.” Boundless Physics. Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 24 Oct. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/physics/textbooks/boundlessphysicstextbook/inductionaccircuitsandelectricaltechnologies22/accircuits162/power5871645/