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7.

Second order circuits


The second order circuits are characterized by a second order differential
equation. One of these circuits is the RLC circuit which can be arranged in series
or parallel. We can also have second order circuits with some arrangements as it
shown in the next figure.

Figure 7.1. Second order circuits.

7.1.

Source-free series RLC circuit (natural response)

Consider the series RLC circuit shown in the next figure. It is assumed that
initially the circuit had connected any independent source which allowed it to store
some energy in the capacitor and inductor. At
the system had a perturbation
leaving the circuit without independent source. Thus, stored energy is represented
by the initial capacitor voltage and initial inductor current defined by.
(7.1)

Figure 7.2. A source-free series RLC circuit for

Applying KVL around the loop in Figure 7.1 leads to

(7.2)
we differentiate with respect to time in order to eliminate the integral. We get
(7.3)
to solve it, we assume that the solution has the form
(7.4)
where A and s are constants to be determined. The first and second derivatives of
Eq. (7.4) are
(7.5)
substituting Eqs. (7.4) and (7.5) into (7.3), se obtain
(7.6)
or also
(7.7)
Because the first factor is current that we are looking for, this equation has
solution only when the second factor is zero. This is
(7.8)
which is called the characteristic equation of the differential equation (7.3). The
roots are

(7.9)

these equations can be written in a compact way as

(7.10)

where
(7.11)
are called the resonant frequency or undamped natural frequency and neper
frequency or damping factor respectively. Since there are two values for , exist
two possible solutions for and total solution of the differential equation (7.3) is a
linear combination of both solution. This is
(7.12)
where the constants
.

and

are determined from initial values

and

The Eq.(7.10) implies that there are three different cases defined by:
Overdamped case if (

Critically damped case if (

).

Underdamped case if

All these cases will be studied separately.


7.1.1. Overdamped case (

).

From Eq. (7.10),


implies that both roots,
negative. Thus, the response can be written as

and

, are real and

(7.13)
which trend to be zero as the time increases. The typical graph for the overdamped
case is shown in the next figure.

Figure 7.3. Overdamped response.

7.1.2. Critically damped case (

).

For this case,


and it can established, from any book of
differential equations, that the solution has the following form
(7.14)
A typical graph of the response is plotted in the next figure

Figure 7.4. Critically damped response.

7.1.3. Underdamped case (

).

For this case the roots can be written as

(7.15)

where
and
the natural response is

which is called the damping frequency. Thus,

(7.16)
or also

(7.17)
by applying Eulers identities we get
(7.18)
or also
(7.19)
since
or
are constants that are going to be determined using
the initial conditions, these can be replaced by
and
respectively as follow
(7.20)
A typical graph of the underdamping response is presented in the next figure

Figure 7.5. Underdamped response.

Notice that it is possible to have an oscillatory response if the damping


frequency is zero. This can happen when we have a null value of the resistance.

7.2.

Source-free parallel RLC circuit (natural response)

Consider the parallel RLC circuit shown in the next figure. It is considered that
for
the circuit had connected any independent source which allowed it to
store some energy in the capacitor and inductor. At
the system had a
perturbation leaving the circuit without independent sources. Thus, the stored
energy is represented by the initial voltage of the capacitor and initial current in the
inductor defined by.
(7.21)

Figure 7.6. A source-free parallel RLC circuit for

Applying KCL at the superior node in Figure 7.6 gives


(7.22)
we differentiate with respect to time in order to eliminate the integral. We get
(7.23)

As it can be observed, the source-free parallel RLC circuit is the dual of the
source- free series RLC. The only difference is the formula of the damping
frequency which becomes
(7.24)

The equation to determine


and
are the same. Thus the response will
have the same number cases with the same form of the responses with the only
difference of the variable, i. e., voltage in place of current.
7.2.1.

Overdamped case (

).

The response has the form


(7.25)

7.2.2.

Critically damped case (

).

The solution has the following form


(7.26)

7.2.3.

Underdamped case (

).

For this case the response looks like


(7.27)

7.3.

General solution for source-free RLC circuit

We can say that any current or voltage in any element R, L, or C have the
same form because the mathematical operations to get the variables are
integration, derivation, multiplication by a constant of harmonic or exponential
functions. The only difference between any voltage o current at any element of the
circuit are the constants determined by applying the initial conditions.
The procedure to solve this kind of problems is:
i.

Be sure that the circuit can be reduced to one equivalent resistance (


),
one inductance ( ) and one equivalent capacitance ( ) for
and
identify if the circuits is in series or parallel.

ii.

For
, considering L as s-c and C as o-c, determine
and apply

and

(7.28)
using
(7.29)
and the necessary LVK and LCK to a loop or node of the circuit to find
and
where
represents any current or voltage in any resistance,
inductance or capacitance of the circuit.
iii.

At

, find

(7.30)

iv.

Determine the case and the form of the response.


Overdamped case (

).
(7.31)

Critically damped case (

).
(7.32)

Underdamped case (
of the response looks like

). First find

, thus the form

(7.33)
v.

Apply initial conditions and find the constants.

7.4.

Step response of a series RLC circuit

The step response is obtained by the sudden application of a dc source.


Consider the series RLC circuit shown in the next figure. It is assumed that initially
the circuit could had connected or not any independent source which allowed it to
store some energy in the capacitor and inductor. At
the system has a
perturbation changing the configuration of the circuit. Thus, stored energy is
represented by the initial capacitor voltage and initial inductor current defined by.
(7.34)

Figure 7.7. Step voltage applied to a series RLC circuit for

Applying KVL around the loop in Figure 7.7 leads to

(7.35)
we know that
(7.36)
by substituting in Eq. (7.35) and rearranging gives
(7.37)
which has the same form of Eq. (7.3) except by the variable. Thus, the
characteristic equation is the same and the corresponding solution of the
homogeneous differential equation is also similar. The total solution of above
equation can be written as
(7.38)
where
is called transient response or natural response which is the solution of
associated homogeneous of Eq. (7.37) and it disappear with the time. It has the
same number of cases as it was presented in section 7.2 or 7.3. The second part
of the total solution
is called the steady state response or forced response
and it represents the final value of
. It can be defined as
(7.39)
Thus, to find the total solution
requires to find the value of two constants
that are contained in the natural response by applying the two initial conditions
and
.

7.5.

Step response of a parallel RLC circuit

Consider the series RLC circuit shown in the next figure. It is assumed that
initially the circuit could have connected or not any independent source which
allowed it to store some energy in the capacitor and inductor represented by
and
respectively. At
the system has a perturbation changing the
configuration of the circuit.

Figure 7.8. Step current applied to a parallel RLC circuit for

Applying KCL at the superior node in Figure 7.8 leads to


(7.40)
Notice that the above equation is mathematically equal to Eq. (7.35) which means
that this circuit is the dual of the step voltage series RLC circuit; thus, the step
response parallel RLC problem is equivalent to the step response series RLC
problem. In consequence the response can be written as
(7.41)
where
is the transient response or natural response and
state response or forced response defined by

is the steady

(7.42)

7.6.

General solution step response of RLC circuits

The procedure to solve this kind of problems is:


i. Obtain the form of natural response
(do not substitute the initial conditions)

as it was presented in Section 7.3

ii. Considering L as a s-c and C as o-c, determine

iii. Express the total response as


(7.43)
iv. Substitute the initial conditions to get the value of the constants.

7.7.

General solution step response of second order circuits

When we have a second order circuit which is different from the RLC circuit, it
is better to get the differential equation using necessary KVL or KCL and make the
arranges to write the differential equation with any of the next forms

(7.44)

From the above equation, the values of and


can be directly determined.
Therefore, the case and consequently form of the response can be established.
From here, the procedure will be the same as Sections 7.3 or 7.6 depending if the
problem is free-sources or step excitation.

7.8. Duality
Two circuits are said to be duals of one another if they are described by the
same characterizing equations with dual quantities interchanged.
The dual quantities are
Dual pairs
Resistance
Inductance
Voltage variables
Voltage source
Node
KVL
Thevenin

The procedure to find the dual circuit is:


i.Locate a node at the center of each mesh
ii.Draw the reference node as an external line
iii.Substitute each element by its dual
iv.Redraw the final circuit

Conductance
Capacitance
Current variable
Current source
Mesh
KCL
Norton

7.9.

Applications

Automobile ignition system