What is resistor capacitance? Capacitance is an ability of a body to store electrical energy in the form of electrical charge. Practical resistors always exhibit capacitance as a parasitic property. Depending on the application, resistor capacitance might be easily disregarded, especially in DC circuits. In some applications, such as snubber resistors, the capacitive parasitic effect is actually a desirable effect. On the other hand, parasitic resistor capacitance can be a significant factor in high-frequency AC applications, creating an unwanted effect. The reason for this is that the impedance of a resistor rises with the applied voltage frequency due to the increase in its reactance. The higher the frequency, the lower the impedance is, which means that the resistor can no longer be observed as a constant element at high frequencies, and becomes a frequency-dependent element. Capacitors and resistors Electrical loads can be divided into two types: real (or resistive) loads and reactive loads. Real loads are used to convert electrical power into heat. An ideal resistor is a purely resistive load, which means that all the electrical power applied to the resistor is dissipated as heat. On the other hand, reactive loads convert electrical power into a magnetic or electric field and temporarily store it before returning it to the rest of the circuit. Reactive loads can be inductive or capacitive. Inductive load store energy in the form of a magnetic field, while capacitive loads store energy in the form of an electric field. The main difference between ideal resistors and ideal capacitors is therefore that resistors dissipate electrical power as heat, while capacitors turn electrical power into an electric field. Ideal resistors have zero reactance and as a result their capacitance is zero as well. Unfortunately, electrical devices are not ideal in practice and even the simplest resistors have [… read more]

How to calculate the equivalent resistance value for resistors in series?   In many electrical circuits resistors are connected in series or parallel. A designer might for example combine several resistors with standard values (E-series) to reach a specific resistance value. For series connection, the current through each resistor is equal. There is only one path for the current to follow. The voltage drop however, is proportional to the resistance of each individual resistor. The equivalent resistance of several resistors in series is given by: The voltage across each resistor is calculated with Ohm’s law: Example Consider a circuit as shown in the picture below. Two resistors R1 and R2 connected in series are subject to a constant current I. How can we calculate the voltage drop for each resistor and how can we determine the equivalent resistance value for the two resistors? The current through each resistor is equal. Knowing this, and using Ohm’s law we get the voltage drop for R1 and R2: The equivalent resistance is equal to the sum of R1 and R2: This corresponds with the voltage drops that we calculated: Networks with resistors in parallel and series Take a look at the article resistors in parallel to find practical examples of how to solve a resistor network with resistors that are connected in series and parallel. The following video might help to get a quick understanding in solving resistor networks.

Resistance of a resistor The function of a resistor is to oppose the electric current through it. This is called electrical resistance, and is measured in the unit ohm. The resistance can be calculated with Ohms law, when the current is known and the voltage drop is measured:     The resistance of a resistor is dependent on its material and shape. Some materials have a higher resistivity, causing a higher value. The value is often printed on the resistor with a number or in the form of a color code. What is resistance? The concept of current, voltage and resistance can be explained by a hydraulic analogy. A flow of water through a pipe is restricted by a constriction. This causes a pressure drop after the constriction. The flow of water is equivalent to electric current. The pressure drop is equal to the voltage drop. The constriction is equivalent to the resistor, and has a certain resistance. The resistance is proportional to the voltage or pressure drop for a given current. In the hydraulic example, the resistance can be increased by for example reducing the diameter of the constriction. For a resistor or wire, the resistance is in general dependent on the material and the geometrical shape. The influence of the geometrical shape, can easily be explained by using the hydraulic example. A long and narrow tube will have a higher resistance than a short and wide tube. The resistance property of a material is called resistivity. The electrical resistance of a resistor is proportional to the resistivity of the material. For a rectangular cross-section resistor the resistance R is given by: where ρ is the resistivity of the resistor material (W·m), l is the length of the resistor along direction of current flow (m), and A is the [… read more]

The resistor is a passive electrical component to create resistance in the flow of electric current. In almost all electrical networks and electronic circuits they can be found. The resistance is measured in ohms. An ohm is the resistance that occurs when a current of one ampere passes through a resistor with a one volt drop across its terminals. The current is proportional to the voltage across the terminal ends. This ratio is  represented by Ohm’s law: Resistors are used for many purposes. A few examples include delimit electric current, voltage division, heat generation, matching and loading circuits, control gain, and fix time constants. They are commercially available with resistance values over a range of more than nine orders of magnitude. They can be used to as electric brakes to dissipate kinetic energy from trains, or be smaller than a square millimeter for electronics. Resistor definition and symbol A resistor is a passive electrical component with the primary function to limit the flow of electric current. The international IEC symbol is a rectangular shape. In the USA the ANSI standard is very common, this is a zigzag line (shown on the right). Overview of types and materials Resistors can be divided in construction type as well as resistance material. The following breakdown for the type can be made: Fixed resistors Variable resistors, such as the: Potentiometer Rheostat Trimpot Resistance dependent on a physical quantity: Thermistors (NTC  and PTC) as a result of temperature change Photo resistor (LDR)  as a result of a changing light level Varistor (VDR)  as a result of a changing voltage Magneto resistor (MDR) as a result of a changing magnetic field Strain Gauges as a result of mechanical load For each of these types a standard symbol exists. Another breakdown based on the material and manufacturing [… read more]