|A series circuit is one in which the components are connected one after the other. It is also called a one-to-one connection or cascade connection.
|A parallel circuit is one in which the components are connected directly across each other.
|The total voltage applied to a series circuit is distributed across the various components of the circuit in a series of voltage drops. In other words, the sum of voltage drops across the individual elements in a series circuit is equal to the total applied voltage.Vt = V1 + V2 + V3…+Vn.
|Every component in a parallel circuit operates at the same voltage as the source. In other words, the voltage across the various components in a parallel circuit is the same.Vt = V1 = V2 = V3…= Vn.
|There is only one path available for the current flow.
|There will be two or more paths available for the current flow. The number of current paths are equal to the number of components in parallel.
|Current is the same through all elements in a series circuit.It = I1 = I2 =I3 … = In.
|Current is different and additive in a parallel circuit.It = I1 + I2 + I3…+In.
|In a resistive series circuit, the total resistance is equal to the sum of the individual resistance.Rt = R1 + R2 + R3…+Rn.
|In a resistive parallel circuit, the total resistance is less than any of the individual resistances.Rt = 1 / (1/R1 + 1/R2+ . . . 1/Rn).
|In an inductive series circuit, the total inductance is equal to the sum of the individual inductances.Lt = L1 + L2 + L3…+Ln.
|In an inductive parallel circuit, the total inductance is less than any of the individual inductances.Lt = 1 / (1/L1 + 1/L2+ . . . 1/Ln).
|In a capacitive series circuit, the total capacitance is less than any of the individual capacitances.Ct = 1 / (1/C1 + 1/C2+ . . . 1/Cn).
|In a capacitive parallel circuit, the total capacitance is equal to the sum of the individual capacitances.Ct = C1 + C2 + C3…+Cn.
|Components with different current ratings cannot be connected in a parallel circuit.
|An electrical component should never be placed in a parallel circuit if it has a voltage rating less than the source voltage.
|The whole circuit becomes useless in case of a break or short circuit at any point of the circuit.
|The components in a parallel circuit operate independently of one another. In case of a break or short circuit at any point of the circuit, the rest of the circuit would still work.
|A series circuit is used to protect the circuit while connecting fuses and circuit breakers with other appliances.
|A parallel circuit is used in most household electrical wiring installations. We can switch on or off any light or appliance without affecting others.
|Series connection of light bulbs is very useful if you have a lot of low voltage bulbs to be powered from a much higher voltage. Example: Chain of small lights used for decoration purposes. Airport runway lights are wired in series, with a constant 6.6A or 20A current source. This way hundreds of lights can be powered by a small gauge wire over a great distance. The total voltage may be 10kV. Each light has a small current transformer to supply the bulb or LED with the proper voltage or current. If a bulb burns out, the small transformer just saturates and completes the circuit.
|The distribution of power in a large city is accomplished by a maze of feeder lines all connected in parallel.