Compare and also contrast the voltage and also the electromagnetic force of an electric power source.Describe what wake up to the terminal voltage, current, and also power delivered to a pack as interior resistance that the voltage resource increases (due to aging of batteries, because that example).Explain why the is useful to use much more than one voltage resource connected in parallel.

You are watching: A battery has an emf of v and an internal resistance of r

When friend forget to turn off your vehicle lights, they progressively dim together the battery operation down. Why nothing they merely blink off as soon as the battery’s power is gone? Their gradual dimming suggests that battery output voltage decreases as the battery is depleted. Furthermore, if you affix an excessive variety of 12-V lights in parallel come a auto battery, they will be dim also when the battery is fresh and also even if the wires to the lights have very low resistance. This implies that the battery’s calculation voltage is decreased by the overload. The reason for the diminish in calculation voltage for depleted or overloaded battery is the all voltage sources have two fundamental parts—a resource of electrical energy and an internal resistance. Let us examine both.

Electromotive Force

You can think of many different varieties of voltage sources. Battery themselves come in countless varieties. There room many species of mechanical/electrical generators, propelled by countless different power sources, ranging from nuclear to wind. Solar cells develop voltages directly from light, while thermoelectric devices produce voltage indigenous temperature differences. A couple of voltage sources are shown in number 1. Every such devices create a potential difference and also can supply existing if connected to a resistance. On the little scale, the potential difference creates an electric field the exerts force on charges, resulting in current. We thus use the surname electromotive force, abbreviated emf. Emf is no a pressure at all; that is a special kind of potential difference. To be precise, the electromotive pressure (emf) is the potential distinction of a resource when no current is flowing. Systems of emf room volts.

Figure 1. A selection of voltage sources (clockwise from peak left): the Brazos Wind farm in Fluvanna, Texas (credit: Leaflet, Wikimedia Commons); the Krasnoyarsk Dam in Russia (credit: Alex Polezhaev); a solar farm yard (credit: U.S. Room of Energy); and also a team of nickel metal hydride batteries (credit: Tiaa Monto). The voltage calculation of each depends on that is construction and load, and also equals emf only if over there is no load.

Electromotive pressure is straight related to the resource of potential difference, such together the particular combination of chemistry in a battery. However, emf differs from the voltage calculation of the an equipment when current flows. The voltage across the terminals of a battery, for example, is less than the emf as soon as the battery provides current, and also it declines further together the battery is depleted or invited down. However, if the device’s calculation voltage deserve to be measure up without drawing current, then output voltage will equal emf (even because that a very depleted battery).

Internal Resistance

As provided before, a 12-V van battery is physically larger, contains an ext charge and energy, and also can provide a larger current than a 12-V motorcycle battery. Both space lead-acid battery with identical emf, but, since of its size, the van battery has actually a smaller internal resistance r. Inner resistance is the innate resistance to the flow of existing within the source itself. Number 2 is a schematic representation of the two fundamental parts of any voltage source. The emf (represented by a manuscript E in the figure) and internal resistance r are in series. The smaller the internal resistance because that a given emf, the more current and also the more power the source can supply.

Figure 2. Any kind of voltage resource (in this case, a carbon-zinc dried cell) has an emf related to its resource of potential difference, and an internal resistance r concerned its construction. (Note that the script E stands for emf.). Also shown room the output terminals throughout which the terminal voltage V is measured. Due to the fact that V = emf − Ir, terminal voltage amounts to emf just if there is no present flowing.

The internal resistance r can behave in facility ways. Together noted, r increases as a battery is depleted. Yet internal resistance may also depend on the magnitude and direction the the current through a voltage source, that is temperature, and also even that is history. The internal resistance the rechargeable nickel-cadmium cells, for example, relies on how plenty of times and how deep they have been depleted.

Things an excellent and Small: The Submicroscopic beginning of Battery Potential

Various varieties of batteries room available, through emfs figured out by the combination of chemistry involved. We deserve to view this together a molecular reaction (what lot of chemistry is about) the separates charge. The lead-acid battery supplied in cars and other vehicles is one of the most typical types. A solitary cell (one the six) the this battery is seen in figure 3. The cathode (positive) terminal that the cell is associated to a command oxide plate, if the anode (negative) terminal is connected to a lead plate. Both plates space immersed in sulfuric acid, the electrolyte because that the system.

Figure 3. Artist’s conception of a lead-acid cell. Chemical reactions in a lead-acid cell separate charge, sending negative charge come the anode, i beg your pardon is associated to the lead plates. The lead oxide bowl are connected to the hopeful or cathode terminal of the cell. Sulfuric mountain conducts the charge and also participating in the chemical reaction.

The details that the chemical reaction room left to the reader to seek in a chemistry text, however their outcomes at the molecular level help explain the potential produced by the battery. Figure 4 shows the an outcome of a single chemical reaction. Two electrons are inserted on the anode, making the negative, noted that the cathode supplied two electrons. This leaves the cathode positive charged, because it has lost 2 electrons. In short, a separation of charge has actually been thrust by a chemistry reaction. Keep in mind that the reaction will not take ar unless over there is a finish circuit to enable two electron to be provided to the cathode. Under plenty of circumstances, these electrons come native the anode, circulation through a resistance, and also return to the cathode. Note additionally that because the chemistry reactions involve substances with resistance, that is not possible to create the emf without an inner resistance.

Figure 4. Artist’s conception of 2 electrons being forced onto the anode of a cell and two electron being eliminated from the cathode the the cell. The chemistry reaction in a lead-acid battery places two electron on the anode and removes two from the cathode. It calls for a close up door circuit come proceed, since the 2 electrons need to be provided to the cathode.

Why are the chemistry able to produce a distinct potential difference? Quantum mechanical descriptions the molecules, which take right into account the species of atoms and numbers of electron in them, room able to predict the energy states they have the right to have and the energies the reactions in between them.

In the situation of a lead-acid battery, an energy of 2 eV is provided to every electron sent to the anode. Voltage is identified as the electric potential energy divided by charge

V=fracP_ extEq\.

An electron volt is the energy given to a single electron by a voltage of 1 V. For this reason the voltage right here is 2 V, since 2 eV is given to every electron. The is the energy produced in each molecular reaction the produces the voltage. A different reaction produce a various energy and, hence, a different voltage.

Terminal Voltage

The voltage output of a an equipment is measured across its terminals and, thus, is dubbed its terminal voltage V. Terminal voltage is given by

V = emf − Ir,

where r is the interior resistance and I is the current flowing at the moment of the measurement. I is hopeful if existing flows far from the optimistic terminal, as displayed in figure 2. You can see that the bigger the current, the smaller sized the terminal voltage. And it is an in similar way true the the larger the internal resistance, the smaller the terminal voltage. Expect a load resistance Rload is associated to a voltage source, together in number 5. Because the resistances room in series, the total resistance in the circuit is Rload + r. For this reason the current is offered by Ohm’s law to be

I=frac extemfR_ extload+r\.

Figure 5. Schematic that a voltage source and its pack Rload. Because the interior resistance r is in collection with the load, it have the right to significantly affect the terminal voltage and also current delivered to the load. (Note that the manuscript E stands for emf.)

We watch from this expression the the smaller the internal resistance r, the better the existing the voltage resource supplies come its load Rload. As batteries are depleted, r increases. If r i do not care a significant fraction that the load resistance, then the present is considerably reduced, together the following example illustrates.

Example 1. Calculating Terminal Voltage, power Dissipation, Current, and Resistance: Terminal Voltage and Load

A particular battery has actually a 12.0-V emf and an internal resistance the 0.100 Ω. (a) calculation its terminal voltage when associated to a 10.0-Ω load. (b) What is the terminal voltage when connected to a 0.500-Ω load? (c) What power does the 0.500-Ω load dissipate? (d) If the inner resistance grow to0.500 Ω, uncover the current, terminal voltage, and also power dissipated by a 0.500-Ω load.


The analysis over gave an expression for current when inner resistance is taken right into account. As soon as the present is found, the terminal voltage can be calculated utilizing the equation V = emf − Ir. Once current is found, the strength dissipated by a resistor can likewise be found.

Solution for (a)

Entering the given values for the emf, fill resistance, and internal resistance into the expression over yields

I=frac extemfR_ extload+r=frac12.0 ext V10.1 ext Omega =1.188 ext A\.

Enter the known values right into the equation V = emf − Ir to gain the terminal voltage:

eginarraylllV& =& extemf-Ir=12.0 ext V-left(1.188 ext A ight)left(0.100 ext Omega ight)\ & =& 11.9 ext Vendarray\.

Discussion for (a)

The terminal voltage here is just slightly reduced than the emf, implying the 10.0 Ω is a light load for this specific battery.

Solution because that (b)

Similarly, with Rload = 0.500 Ω, the existing is

I=frac extemfR_ extload+r=frac12.0 ext V0.600 ext Omega=20.0 ext A\.

The terminal voltage is now

eginarraylllV& =& extemf-Ir= 12.0 ext V-left(20.0 ext A ight)left(0.100 ext Omega ight)\ & =& 10.0 ext Vendarray\

Discussion because that (b)

This terminal voltage exhibits a more far-reaching reduction contrasted with emf, implying 0.500 Ω is a heavy load for this battery.

Solution because that (c)

The strength dissipated through the 0.500-Ω load have the right to be found using the formula I2R. Beginning the well-known values gives

Pload = I2Rload = (20.0 A)2(0.500 Ω) = 2.00 × 102 W.

Discussion because that (c)

Note that this strength can also be acquired using the expressions fracV^2R\ or IV, wherein V is the terminal voltage (10.0 V in this case).

Solution for (d)

Here the inner resistance has increased, perhaps as result of the depletion of the battery, come the point where that is as good as the load resistance. As before, we an initial find the present by start the recognized values into the expression, yielding

I=frac extemfR_ extload+r=frac12.0 ext V1.00 ext Omega =12.0 ext A\.

Now the terminal voltage is

eginarraylllV& =& extemf-Ir=12.0 ext V-left(12.0 ext A ight)left(0.500Omega ight) & =& 6.00 ext Vendarray\.

and the power dissipated through the load is

P_ extload=I^2R_ extload=left(12.0 ext A ight)^2left(0.500 ext Omega ight)=72.0 ext W\.

Discussion because that (d)

We see that the boosted internal resistance has significantly decreased terminal voltage, current, and power delivered to a load.

Battery testers, such as those in number 6, use tiny load resistors to deliberately draw existing to determine whether the terminal voltage drops listed below an acceptable level. They yes, really test the inner resistance of the battery. If inner resistance is high, the battery is weak, as confirmed by its low terminal voltage.

Figure 6. These 2 battery testers measure terminal voltage under a pack to recognize the condition of a battery. The huge device is being used by a U.S. Navy electronics technician come test big batteries board the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and has a small resistance that have the right to dissipate huge amounts the power. (credit: U.S. Navy picture by Photographer’s mate Airman Jason A. Johnston) The small an equipment is provided on small batteries and has a digital screen to indicate the acceptability of your terminal voltage. (credit: Keith Williamson)

Some batteries can be recharged by happen a current through lock in the direction opposite come the present they supply to a resistance. This is done consistently in cars and also batteries for tiny electrical appliances and electronic devices, and also is represented pictorially in number 7. The voltage output of the battery charger need to be higher than the emf the the battery come reverse present through it. This will cause the terminal voltage that the battery come be greater than the emf, since V = emf − Ir, and also I is currently negative.

Figure 7. A automobile battery charger reverses the normal direction of current through a battery, reversing its chemical reaction and replenishing its chemistry potential.

There are two voltage sources as soon as a battery charger is used. Voltage sources connected in collection are reasonably simple. As soon as voltage sources are in series, their inner resistances include and your emfs add algebraically. (See figure 8.) series connections the voltage resources are common—for example, in flashlights, toys, and other appliances. Usually, the cells room in series in stimulate to develop a larger complete emf. However if the cell oppose one another, together as when one is put right into an appliance backward, the complete emf is less, because it is the algebraic sum of the individual emfs. A battery is a multiple connection of voltaic cells, as presented in figure 9. The disadvantage of series connections of cells is the their inner resistances add. One of the authors when owned a 1957 MGA that had two 6-V batteries in series, fairly than a single 12-V battery. This arrangement produced a large internal resistance that resulted in him countless problems in starting the engine.

Figure 8. A collection connection of 2 voltage sources. The emfs (each labeled through a script E) and internal resistances add, providing a full emf the emf1 + emf2 and also a full internal resistance of r1+r2.

Figure 9. Batteries room multiple connections of separation, personal, instance cells, as shown in this contemporary rendition of one old print. Solitary cells, such as AA or C cells, are commonly called batteries, back this is technically incorrect.

If the series link of two voltage resources is made into a complete circuit v the emfs in opposition, then a existing of size I=fracleft( extemf_1- extemf_2 ight)r_1+r_2\ flows. See figure 10, because that example, which shows a circuit specifically analogous to the battery charger disputed above. If 2 voltage sources in series with emfs in the very same sense are connected to a pack Rload, together in figure 11, climate the complying with flows:

I=fracleft( extemf_1+ extemf_2 ight)r_1+r_2+R_ extload\

Figure 10. These 2 voltage sources are linked in series with your emfs in opposition. Existing flows in the direction of the better emf and is limited to I=fracleft( extemf_1- extemf_2 ight)r_1+r_2\ through the amount of the inner resistances. (Note the each emf is stood for by script E in the figure.) A battery charger connected to a battery is an instance of together a connection. The charger must have actually a larger emf than the battery to reverse existing through it.

Figure 11. This schematic to represent a flashlight through two cell (voltage sources) and also a single bulb (load resistance) in series. The present that operation is I=fracleft( extemf_1+ extemf_2 ight)r_1+r_2+R_ extload\. (Note the each emf is stood for by script E in the figure.)

Find a flashlight that uses several batteries and find new and old batteries. Based on the discussions in this module, suspect the brightness of the flashlight when different combinations that batteries space used. Do your predictions match what friend observe? now place new batteries in the flashlight and also leave the flashlight switched top top for number of hours. Is the flashlight still rather bright? do the same with the old batteries. Is the flashlight as bright when left on because that the same size of time v old and new batteries? What go this say for the instance when you are restricted in the number of available new batteries?

Figure 12 shows 2 voltage sources with the same emfs in parallel and connected come a load resistance. In this an easy case, the full emf is the very same as the individual emfs. But the total internal resistance is reduced, due to the fact that the interior resistances are in parallel. The parallel connection thus can create a bigger current. Here, I=frac extemfleft(r_ exttot+R_ extload ight)\ flows v the load, and rtot is less than those that the individual batteries. For example, part diesel-powered dare use two 12-V battery in parallel; they produce a full emf of 12 V but can provide the larger current needed to start a diesel engine.

Figure 12. 2 voltage resources with identical emfs (each labeled by script E) linked in parallel create the same emf however have a smaller total internal resistance 보다 the individual sources. Parallel combinations are often used come deliver an ext current. Below I=frac extemfleft(r_ exttot+R_ extload ight)\ flows v the load.

A variety of animals both produce and detect electric signals. Fish, sharks, platypuses, and also echidnas (spiny anteaters) every detect electrical fields created by nerve task in prey. Electrical eels produce their own emf through organic cells (electric organs) referred to as electroplaques, which are arranged in both collection and parallel as a collection of batteries. Electroplaques room flat, disk-like cells; those the the electric eel have a voltage of 0.15 V throughout each one. This cells room usually situated toward the head or tail of the animal, return in the case of the electric eel, castle are discovered along the whole body. The electroplaques in the south American eel are arranged in 140 rows, with each row extending horizontally follow me the body and also containing 5,000 electroplaques. This have the right to yield an emf of about 600 V, and a current of 1 A—deadly. The mechanism for detection the external electrical fields is similar to the for developing nerve signals in the cell v depolarization and also repolarization—the motion of ions across the cabinet membrane. In ~ the fish, weak electrical fields in the water create a current in a gel-filled canal that runs native the skin to sensing cells, producing a nerve signal. The Australian platypus, one of the very couple of mammals the lay eggs, deserve to detect fields of 30 frac extmV extm\, if sharks have been uncovered to be able to sense a ar in their snouts as little as 100frac extmV extm\ (Figure 13). Electrical eels use their own electric fields created by the electroplaques to shock their food or enemies.

Another example handling multiple voltage resources is that of combine of solar cells—wired in both series and parallel combinations to yield a wanted voltage and current. Photovoltaic generation (PV), the conversion of sunlight straight into electricity, is based upon the photoelectric effect, in which photons hitting the surface ar of a solar cell create an electric current in the cell. Many solar cells are made from pure silicon—either as single-crystal silicon, or as a thin film that silicon deposited upon a glass or steel backing. Most solitary cells have actually a voltage output of about 0.5 V, if the current output is a duty of the amount of sunlight upon the cabinet (the occurrence solar radiation—the insolation). Under glowing noon sunlight, a existing of about 100 mA/cm2 of cell surface ar area is produced by usual single-crystal cells. Separation, personal, instance solar cell are associated electrically in modules to satisfy electrical-energy needs. They deserve to be wired with each other in collection or in parallel—connected like the batteries disputed earlier. A solar-cell selection or module usually is composed of between 36 and 72 cells, v a power output of 50 W come 140 W. The calculation of the solar cell is straight current. For many uses in a home, AC is required, so a machine called one inverter must be used to convert the DC to AC. Any type of extra output have the right to then it is in passed on come the outside electric grid because that sale come the utility.

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One deserve to assemble a “virtual” solar cell array by making use of playing cards, or organization or table of contents cards, to represent a solar cell. Combinations of this cards in series and/or parallel deserve to model the required range output. Assume each card has an output of 0.5 V and also a present (under bright light) the 2 A. Using your cards, just how would friend arrange lock to create an output of 6 A at 3 V (18 W)? expect you to be told the you essential only 18 W (but no forced voltage). Would certainly you need an ext cards to do this arrangement?

Section Summary

All voltage sources have two fundamental parts—a source of electrical energy that has actually a characteristic electromotive force (emf), and also an inner resistance r.The emf is the potential distinction of a source when no current is flowing.The numerical value of the emf depends on the resource of potential difference.The inner resistance r of a voltage source affects the output voltage once a present flows.The voltage output of a an equipment is called its terminal voltage V and also is provided by V = emf − Ir, whereby I is the electrical current and is positive as soon as flowing far from the positive terminal the the voltage source.When many voltage resources are in series, their interior resistances add and your emfs add algebraically.Solar cells have the right to be wired in collection or parallel to carry out increased voltage or current, respectively.