Every electric circuit, no matter where it is or how large or little it is, has four fundamental components: an energy source (alternating current or direct current), a conductor (wire), an electrical load (device), and at least one controller (switch). Consider what occurs when you turn on a light in a room. You have turned on the load; it will always be called that, even if there is only one light in the whole house. The conductor leads from the switch to the location where the light fixture is plugged in. When you turn on the switch, it sends a signal through the conductor to the lamp socket. The electricity flows through the conductor because it needs to get from the source to the load.
The conductor can be a wire inside the wall or a cable outside the wall. A wire inside the wall is usually either black or white; they are called "hot" and "neutral", meaning high voltage and low voltage respectively. Hot wires should never be connected to each other or to neutral wires. If they were, this would create a short circuit, which could cause serious damage to your home. A cable outside the wall is called a "structure cord"; it provides power to any number of fixtures by plugging into different outlets on a hub or junction box. Structure cords must be placed deep enough in conduit so that they do not touch the walls of the conduit system.
Electric circuits include elements such as switches, outlets, and lights. These elements are referred to as electrical loads.
The combination of these elements forms a circuit.
The circuit needs to be complete before any power can flow through it. Otherwise, you have a series connection of wires and devices that does not do anything useful. For example, if there was no switch involved in the circuit, then the electricity would just keep flowing through it forever because there's no way for it to get turned off. Switches are used to make circuits active or inactive after they have been completed.
Energy sources can be man-made or natural. Man-made energy sources include batteries, generators, and solar panels. Natural energy sources include wind turbines, water wheels, and steam engines. The important thing is that energy must be added to some type of storage device to use it later. This could be another battery, another charge on a battery, or just keeping oil or water in a reservoir so it can be pumped back up when needed.
Electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductor. Electric circuits contain two types of conductors: metal wires and solid conductors.
The Fundamental Elements of an Electric Circuit Every electric circuit, no matter where it is or how large or little it is, has four fundamental components: an energy source (alternating current or direct current), a conductor (wire), an electrical load (device), and at least one controller (switch). The circuit must be complete before it can do any good. If any part of the circuit is broken, then it cannot perform its function.
The circuit must also be properly configured. A circuit is correctly configured when all the wires are connected together in a way that allows electricity to flow through them. This means that each wire in the circuit must be connected to both the device it controls and another component in the circuit.
A circuit may have many devices connected to it, but only one will actually control it. All the other devices are called "load" devices because they share the power flowing through the circuit. Controllers are used to connect or disconnect parts of the circuit so that people can use equipment that requires circuits. For example, a light switch controls a lamp by connecting it to the circuit for a time period through a controller (usually a relay). When the light switch is turned off, the connection between the lamp and the circuit is cut, preventing electricity from flowing through the circuit and causing the bulb to burn out.
Electrical circuits exist to connect elements together so that they can work cooperatively.
An electric circuit is made up of three parts: an energy source, such as a battery or mains electricity, a power supply, and a load. A lightbulb-like energy receiver. A wire-like energy route. And a light-emitting device that uses electricity to produce light.
The circuit must be complete, meaning there should be a path for electricity to flow from the energy source to the load. But how does it know where to go? That's where the power supply comes in. It can be anything that allows electricity to be routed to some kind of outlet or device. For example, a wall socket is a common power supply for home circuits; it receives electricity from the electricity grid and distributes it to various outlets based on how they are hooked up. A computer power supply is another example—it converts high voltage electricity from the wall socket into lower voltages used by components inside the computer.
All electrical circuits need an energy source and a way to get rid of the energy, so they can be recharged. In homes this is usually done with household electricity, which passes through any number of devices before it gets delivered into your house. The power company sends a current through a conductor, such as a copper wire, and everyone else who lives in your house needs their share too.