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# EE 201 RL transient 1

RL transients
Circuits having inductors:

## Transient a circuit changes from one DC conguration to another

DC conguration (a source value changes or a switch ips). There
will be a transient interval while the voltages and currents in the
inductors change.

## AC currents and voltages are changing continuously, so inductors

are amping up and de-amping continuously. This requires
special techniques and is the next topic for EE 201.
EE 201 RL transient 2
1. Determine the DC currents in the inductors before the change
occurs. These may be given, or you may have to solve for them from
the original conguration.
2. Let the change occur instantaneously at time t = 0. The inductors
will maintain their currents into the instant just after the change.
(Recall: inductor current cannot change instantaneously.)
3. Analyze the circuit. Since inductor voltage depend on di
L
/dt, the
result will be a differential equation.
4. Solve the differential equation, using the inductor currents from
before the change as the initial conditions.
5. The resulting equation will describe the amping (or de-amping)
of the inductor current during the transient and give the nal DC
value once the transient is complete.
Solving a circuit with transient changes
In practice, we will solve only one circuit and try to understand it
completely. Then, when we encounter other circuit congurations, we
will make those t the prototype.
EE 201 RL transient 3
Simple RL circuit transient (physics)
In the circuit, I
S
abruptly changes value from I
i
to I
f
at t = 0. Assume
that the source was at I
i
for a very long time before t = 0.
1. For t < 0, i
L
= I
i
and v
L
= 0. Therefore, i
R
= 0.
2. At t = 0, I
S
changes. But i
L
= I
i
(still), and so andy excess current
must ow through the resistor. Consequently, v
L
jumps abruptly:
3. For t > 0, i
L
increases. As i
L
increases, i
R
and v
L
will decrease.
4. After a sufciently long time, i
L
will amp up to I
f
. The current through
the resistor and voltage across it both drop to zero. The transient is
complete.
i
L
I
S
R L
+

v
L
I
f
I
i
t = 0

() =

()

EE 201 RL transient 4
Simple RL circuit transient (math)
In the circuit, I
S
abruptly changes value from I
i
to I
f
at t = 0. Assume
that the source was at I
i
for a very long time before t = 0.
For t < 0, i
L
= I
i
and v
L
= 0.

()

ln

()

ln

()

() =

exp

i
L
I
S
R L
+

v
L
I
f
I
i
t = 0
EE 201 RL transient 5

At t = 0, i
L
= I
i
, as expected.

As t ! !, i
L
! I
f
, also as expected.

## In the between the inductor current changes according to a decaying

exponential, given above.

At t = 0, v
L
jumps to up to a maximum value.

For t > 0, v
L
decays away exponentially, as the current approaches its
nal value.
Finally, note that the equation works just as well for amping down as
it does for amping up. In the example, we implied I
f
> I
i
, but that
was never a requirement in the derivation of the equation.

() =

exp

() =

() =

exp

EE 201 RL transient 6
Plots of capacitor voltage and current for a simple RL circuit with I
f
=
15 mA, V
i
= 5 mA, R = 5 k!, L = 50 mH (L/R = 50 s).
15 mA
5 mA
5 k! 50 mH
I
S
R L
+

v
L
I
f
I
i
t = 0
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
-5 0 5 10 15 20 25
i
L

(
m
A
)

t (s)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
-5 0 5 10 15 20 25
v
L

(
V
)

t (s)
EE 201 RL transient 7
Using a switch
The same transient phenomena occurs when using a switch to change
a circuit.
1. For t < 0, the inductor may have a current owing (depending on the
circuit conguration), i
L
(t < 0) = I
i
. Also, v
L
= 0.
2. At t = 0, the switch closes. The inductor maintains its current, i
L
(0) = I
i
.
The inductor voltage jumps abruptly to
3. For t > 0, the inductor current rises. The voltage drops as the current rises.
I
S
R L

v
L
+
i
L

() =

exp

() =

()

EE 201 RL transient 8

## The decay is characterized by a time constant, " = L/R.

(Check the units.)
If R = 1k! and L = 1 H, " = L/R = 1 ms.
If R = 10 k! and L = 10 mH, " = L/R = 1 s.
RL time constant

## After about 5 time constants, most of the changed has occurred.

If t = 5(L/R) ! exp(5) = 0.0067 ! 99.3% of the transition is done.
(Theoretically, i
L
never really gets to I
f
. But as engineers, we have to
be practical.)
EE 201 RL transient 9
Example
100 mA
680 !
75 mH
In the RL circuit above, I
S
abruptly changes value from I
i
= 100 mA to I
f

= 10 mA at t = 0. Assume that the source was at I
i
for a very long
time before t = 0. Find the expression for the inductor curent as a
function of time. Find the time at which i
L
= 50 mA.
Apply the transient function directly, with I
i
= 100 mA, I
F
= 5 V, and L/R =
75 mH/680 ! = 110 s.
I
S
R L
I
f
I
i
t = 0
i
L
50 mA

() =

] exp

= [] + [] exp

= [] + [] exp

= () ln

=
EE 201 RL transient 10
Example 2
The voltage source in the above circuit abruptly changes from 10 V to
+10 V at t = 0. Find expressions for the inductor current and inductor
voltage. Find the time at which the inductor current crosses 0 mA.
The circuit is in the wrong form to the equation directly. Instead use a
source transformation to change it to the standard form.
100 !
0.25 H
+

R
V
S
V
i
V
f
t = 0
i
L
L
10 V
10 V
I
S
R L I
f
I
i
t = 0
i
L
100 mA
100 mA
100 !
0.25 H

= (2.5ms) ln

2OOmA
1OOmA

= 1.73ms
= [] [] exp

() =

] exp

## = [.] [.] exp

() =

exp

= [] exp

EE 201 RL transient 11
Example 3
In the RL circuit above, V
S
abruptly changes value from V
1
to V
2
at t =
0. Find the expression for the inductor current as a function of time.
Find the Norton equivalent for the circuit attached to the inductor.
27 mH
1.5 k!
2.2 k!
1 k!
0 V
10 V
+

R
1
R
2
R
3
V
S
t < 0, I
i
= 0.
t " 0, I
f
= 3.14 mA.
L/R
N
= (27 mH)/(1.89 !) = 14.3 s
+

V
1
V
2
t = 0
R
1
R
2
R
3
i
L
L
V
S

0 V
I
N
L I
f
I
i
t = 0
i
L
R
N
3.14 mA
27 mH
1.89 k!
I
N
=
V
S
R
1
+

1 +
R
1
R
2

R
3
= 0.314 V
S
.
= 1.89 k!.
i
L
(t) = [3.14mA]

1 exp

t
14.3s

EE 201 RL transient 12
1. Work through the solution to the differential equation (slide 4) and
make sure that you understand it thoroughly.
2. Try to nd the solution to Example 3 without using the Thevenin
equivalent. It can be done, although it might be a bit messy.
3. For the example shown on slide 6, calculate the inductor energy
before and after the transient. Calculate the total energy delivered by
the source during the transient. Show that everything balances.
(Dont forget about the power consumed in the resistor.)
To study: