Parallel Circuit Vs. Series Circuit: Which Is Better? – Noisylabs

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Electrons are everywhere.

They’re part of us.

Our bodies.

Our minds.

And our circuits.

Yes, a parallel circuit, and series circuit.

But they can’t move on their own.

They need assistance from another force.

That force is voltage.

Voltage is the pressure which pushes the electrons across the circuit.

Both parallel circuits and series circuits are the same except the way they’re constructed.

What Do They Have In Common?

When we’re talking about a circuit, there is one all encompassing rule:

There is a power source that powers the wires so there is power going to the device.

Then wires travel back to the power source.

If you wanted to turn off a circuit, there is a switch.

Once you flip the switch, a gap appears, and this prevents the electrons from flowing.

If you were to turn it on again, the gap will disappear so the electrons can flow again.

But this is easy to remember.

When looking at an actual circuit, you’ll probably ask yourself, “what’s going on?”

parallel circuit series circuit
Told you so

Well, this is what’s going on.

To make it easier and not to get confused, there are drawings called, “circuit diagrams”:

Circuit Schematics

The purpose of a diagram like this is to make it easier for the user.

It makes it easier to understand how all the parts come together.

To be specific, the picture above is a schematic.

A schematic is a bunch of drawings that represent all the components in the circuit.

It represents how a resistor, light, and switch go together.

This is analogous to a legend on a map.

Whenever you see a legend, it gives you the meaning of each symbol.

The only way it doesn’t resemble a schematic is it doesn’t explain how all the parts fit together.

More importantly, it also represents the direction in which electricity flows.

Now that we know about schematics and the general overview of circuits, let’s talk about circuit breakers.

Circuit Breakers

If you don’t know what a circuit breaker is, then you should stop reading this.

Just kidding.

You can tell what a circuit breaker is by just looking at the name.

It breaks circuits.

And the reason why we would want this to happen is to break current.

What happens is the conductor breaks apart from the circuit breaker pushing it out.

conductor
conductor

The purpose of this is so the conductor isn’t touching any wires connected to the electrical circuit.

What makes this process cool is the circuit can’t be fixed until someone capable comes by.

A latching mechanism keeps the conductor away from the wires.

This prevents anybody who isn’t familiar with electrical circuits from hurting themselves.

Sometimes, if a circuit gets overcharged for whatever reason, a circuit break would have to step in and break its current from flowing.

As we explained how voltages have to be tempered in households in our article about push pull amps, so does current.

The design of a circuit breaker is simple.

If it’s complex, and current is overflowing, good luck….

This is similar to asking a layman how to stop a virus when they don’t even know how computers work.

This is why the design is simple.

Here are the 4 different types of circuit breakers.

Types Of Circuit Breakers

The 4 different types of circuit breakers:

1. Magnetic

2. Thermal

3. Thermal-Magnetic

4. High-Performance

To go in-depth on these circuit breakers we need to understand solenoid first.

A solenoid is a coil of wire that tries to create a magnetic field.

Once a magnetic field is strong enough, a magnet located inside the solenoid breaks apart, and activates the latching mechanism.

(note: there are different types of mechanisms)

Compare this to getting that last ounce of toothpaste out.

To maximize your attempt, you would use both hands and place them on both sides of the tube.

Then you would squeeze with all your might until some paste comes out.

Except in this situation, your hands are analogous to magnets working in a magnetic field.

  • Magnetic Circuit Breaker: These circuit breakers are ideal for situations when the excess current is big, but shorter in duration. Similar to a power lifter who lifts weights but only lifts 1-3 times for each set.
  • Thermal Circuit Breaker: This circuit breaker is the opposite of magnetic circuit breakers. Their ideal application would be when a current is small, but longer in duration.
  • Thermal-Magnetic Breaker: A thermal magnetic breaker combines the best of both worlds when it comes to circuit breakers. It responds fast to long, but small currents, and responds well to short, but strong currents.
  • High-Performance Breaker: Think of this circuit breaker as the terminator of circuit breakers. Its main application is to be used in environments such as space and war zones….no wonder it’s called high-performance.

Choosing a circuit breaker is a difficult choice.

Other Factors To Consider

Even engineers get tripped up if they don’t consider all the variables. If you ever plan on purchasing circuit breakers, consider the design of your speakers, the environment, and what amount of current/voltage it can handle.

Also, make sure you know the difference in which speakers you’re getting. If you have an outdoor speaker, and are replacing its circuit breaker, a high-performance one might be just what you need.

Even though that might be overkill considering it’s used in much tougher situations.

It all depends on your situation.

Now, let’s move onto the bigger picture.

Series Circuit

Do you know how to tell if your device is connected to a series circuit?

when your device can only travel one way in an electrical circuit.

One reason series circuits are popular is because series circuits wiring increases resistance for the amplifier.

When this happens, the amplifier is better.

And by better we mean it’s more efficient and cooler.

When an amplifier receives resistance, it helps because there is less current.

Too much current can overheat a device and cause a short circuit.

In fact, there is an equation known as Ohm’s law which’ll help you understand the electrical relationship inside a circuit:

Ohm’s Law

i=v/r

The I is current; v equals voltage, and r equals resistance.

To illustrate this equation and make it more enjoyable for you guys, let’s imagine a hose.

When we think of voltage, we think of pressure.

If we split that pressure up with some resistance (think of something interrupting the flow of water), the current (water) gets weaker.

This is the job of a series circuit.

Useful for outdoor speakers/indoor speakers whose voltage scare.

Especially inside a household.

We remember a moment at a house party where everything was going right.

Food.

People.

Vibe.

Everything you can ask for a good time.

Although, what happened next wasn’t pleasant.

While relaxing, taking everything in, the speakers popped, and left everyone hurt.

What happened after the pop was people complaining of their ears hurting.

It was a classic case of speakers overcharged.

When you place an outdoor speaker inside a house, you’re pushing the boundaries of regulation.

A specific threshold is set for domestic places for safety.

There was too much current needed for that outdoor speaker which caused it to pop and in turn damaged everybody’s hearing.

Can you guess what happened after?

Everybody was disappointed and annoyed about the situation which eventually ended the party.

Don’t be that kind of host at your party.

Not only does it leave a poor impression, but it has health consequences.

On the otherhand, there is another type of circuit you can use.

Parallel Circuit

If you don’t want resistance, parallel circuit wiring is your choice.

Adding speakers while they’re parallel decreases the overall resistance.

Another benefit to this circuit is adding speakers and connecting them are super easy.

All you have to do is connect the +’s (positive) with the other +’s and connect the -‘s (negative) with the other -‘s just like batteries.

One negative aspect of a parallel circuit (no pun intended) is current overpowering your device.

If we take a look at Ohm’s law, we know if we take voltage and divide it by resistance, we get current.

The smaller resistance is, the bigger current is.

Let’s look at it like this:

In a parallel circuit all components share the same voltage.

All the other parts of the circuit also have current but aren’t at full capacity, so resistance lowers which in turn equals total resistance.

This is good if you want more electricity, but it causes overheating, and potential fires depending on severity.

Know that when you install a parallel circuit.

There is one more option to circuit wiring…

Series And Parallel Circuits

A series and parallel circuit combines the best of both worlds.

But it also increases the risks 2 fold.

Not only are you taking in the risks of a parallel circuit, but you’re also incorporating series circuit problems.

It’s also 2 different rules you’d have to play by.

This is comparable to mixing both guys and girls together.

If it was all guys together, we’d identify it as a sausage party.

An event with all guys is more raucous, and wild just because of testosterone.

But when girls are added to the mix, some guys wouldn’t want to put out that kind of energy because it causes girls to get uncomfortable.

Same deal with a series parallel circuit.

2 sets of speakers in a series, but in parallel directions is just that.

What Should You Pick?

Parallel circuit = less resistance

Series circuit = more resistance

Ohm’s law = i = v/r

If we look at Ohm’s law and differentiate between parallel circuit and series circuit by resistance, we should answer your question.

It all depends if you want more or less current.

Manipulate the numbers by plugging in the variables and find your answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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