## Thursday, October 26, 2023

Why is Parallel Connection Mostly Preferred Over Series Connection?

The use, application and importance of series and parallel circuit connection today cannot be over emphasized. The application of series and parallel circuit connection can be evidently seen in our homes, school halls and in our street lights. Some people suggest that the bulbs in their homes should have individual switches.

Well, it's not a magic when more than three electric bulbs or loads are controlled by one switch. A load is anything i.e. it could be an appliances, electric bulbs or even ceiling fans that consume electrical energy when connected to a power supply. The electric bulbs, televisions, refrigerators etc. can all be referred to as a load. The bulbs convert electrical energy into light and heat form of energy. Fans convert the electrical energy into mechanical energy.

The type of connection done to our ceiling fans, electric bulbs will determine if they will have a common switch or not. Series circuit connection gives us the opportunity to connect more than two loads to a common switch. Street lights are a very good example of this. Parallel circuit connection makes it possible for us to connect loads to their individual switch.

Both series and parallel circuit connection are good but one is mostly preferred over the other for one reason or the other. Before we talk about the reason why parallel circuit connection is preferred over series connection, let’s recall what series and parallel connections are first.

Series Circuit

A series circuit is a circuit in which resistors or loads are connected end to end so that the circuit will have only one path through which electric current flows. Thus, when a number of resistors are connected in series, the effective resistance (total resistance in the circuit) is increased by adding the individual resistance algebraically. That is to say, if we have resistors with resistance R1, R2, R3...Rn connected in series, then;

Reff = RT = R1 + R2 + R3 + …Rn.

In series connections, the same current flows across all the branches of the circuits, but different voltage across it thus making the resistors to have different voltage across them. Each resistor or load will experience a voltage drop. The applied voltage is equal to the sum of the voltage drop across the different parts of the circuit. Voltage drop is proportional to the resistance current being the same throughout the circuit. When loads are connected in series, the loads will tend to have a common switch.This kind of connection is employed in school halls, street lights.

Application of Series Connection

Some people connect security lights in their homes in a series which will make them have a common switch. The problem with this type of connection is that when a load develops a problem, the other connected system will fail. It’s an all or none type of circuit connection. Till a load gets energy before it delivers it to the other and the one to deliver fails, there will be a black out.

Series circuit connections are common and greatly employed in electrical equipment. The tube filaments in small radios are usually in series. Current controlling devices are always connected in series with the device that they protect. Fuses are connected in series with the device they protect, Automatic house-heating equipment has a thermostat, electromagnetic coils, and safety cut-outs connected in series with a voltage source etc.

Related Post: Series, Parallel and Series-Parallel Connection of Batteries

The break in the wire, failure or removal of any single lamp will break the circuit and cause all of the others to stop working as there is only one single path of current to flow in the circuit.

If more lamps are added in series lighting circuit, they will all be reduced in brightness. Because voltage are shared in series circuit. If we add more loads in series circuit, the over voltage drop increases which is not a good sign for electrical appliances protection.

Series Wiring is “ALL or NONE” type wiring means all the appliances will work at once or all of them will disconnect if fault occurs at any one of the connected device in series circuit.

High supply voltage are needed if we need to add more load (light bulbs, electric heaters, air conditioner etc) in the series circuit. For example, If five, 220V Lamps are to be connected in Series, Than Supply Voltage would have to be: 5 x 220V = 1.1kV.

The overall series circuit resistance increases (and current decreases) when more load is added in the circuit.

According to future need, only those electrical appliances should be added in the current series circuit if they have the same current rating as current are the same at each point in series circuit. However, we know that electrical appliances and devices i.e. Light bulbs, fan, heater, air conditioner etc have different rating, therefore, they cannot be connected in series circuit for smooth and efficient operation.

Resistors, loads are said to be connected in parallel when the end of each of the resistors or loads have a common point or junction and the other ends are also connected to a common point or junction. Such circuits are known as parallel circuits.

Unlike the series circuit connection, when finding the total (effective) resistance in a parallel circuit, the reciprocal of the individual resistance is taken. Thus, when a number of resistances are connected in parallel, the reciprocal of the effective resistance is given by the arithmetic or algebraic sum of the reciprocal of the individual resistance.

Application of Parallel Connection

Parallel circuit connection is very common in use. Various lamps and electrical appliances in our homes are connected in parallel so that each of the lamps or bulbs and appliances can be operated independently. For us to have control over the individual lamps or loads, they have to be wired in parallel.

Each connected electrical device and appliance are independent from others. This way, switching ON / OFF the device will not affect the other appliances and their operation.

In case of break in the cable or removal of any lamp will not break all circuits and connected loads, in other words, other lights/lamps and electrical appliances will still work smoothly.

If more lamps are added in the parallel lighting circuits, they will not be reduced in brightness (as it happens only in series lightning circuits). Because voltage is the same at each point in a parallel circuit. In short, they get the same voltage as the source voltage.

It is possible to add more light fixture and load points in parallel circuits according to future need as far as the circuit is not overloaded.

Adding additional devices and components wont increase the resistance but will decrease the overall resistance of the circuit especially when high current rating devices are used such as air conditioner and electric heaters.

Parallel wiring is more reliable, safe and simple to use.

Why is Parallel Connection Mostly Preferred Over Series Connection?

The use, application and importance of series and parallel circuit connection today cannot be over emphasized. The application of series and parallel circuit connection can be evidently seen in our homes, school halls and in our street lights. Some people suggest that the bulbs in their homes should have individual switches.

Well, it's not a magic when more than three electric bulbs or loads are controlled by one switch. A load is anything i.e. it could be an appliances, electric bulbs or even ceiling fans that consume electrical energy when connected to a power supply. The electric bulbs, televisions, refrigerators etc. can all be referred to as a load. The bulbs convert electrical energy into light and heat form of energy. Fans convert the electrical energy into mechanical energy.

The type of connection done to our ceiling fans, electric bulbs will determine if they will have a common switch or not. Series circuit connection gives us the opportunity to connect more than two loads to a common switch. Street lights are a very good example of this. Parallel circuit connection makes it possible for us to connect loads to their individual switch.

Both series and parallel circuit connection are good but one is mostly preferred over the other for one reason or the other. Before we talk about the reason why parallel circuit connection is preferred over series connection, let’s recall what series and parallel connections are first.

Series Circuit

A series circuit is a circuit in which resistors or loads are connected end to end so that the circuit will have only one path through which electric current flows. Thus, when a number of resistors are connected in series, the effective resistance (total resistance in the circuit) is increased by adding the individual resistance algebraically. That is to say, if we have resistors with resistance R1, R2, R3...Rn connected in series, then;

Reff = RT = R1 + R2 + R3 + …Rn.

In series connections, the same current flows across all the branches of the circuits, but different voltage across it thus making the resistors to have different voltage across them. Each resistor or load will experience a voltage drop. The applied voltage is equal to the sum of the voltage drop across the different parts of the circuit. Voltage drop is proportional to the resistance current being the same throughout the circuit. When loads are connected in series, the loads will tend to have a common switch.This kind of connection is employed in school halls, street lights.

Application of Series Connection

Some people connect security lights in their homes in a series which will make them have a common switch. The problem with this type of connection is that when a load develops a problem, the other connected system will fail. It’s an all or none type of circuit connection. Till a load gets energy before it delivers it to the other and the one to deliver fails, there will be a black out.

Series circuit connections are common and greatly employed in electrical equipment. The tube filaments in small radios are usually in series. Current controlling devices are always connected in series with the device that they protect. Fuses are connected in series with the device they protect, Automatic house-heating equipment has a thermostat, electromagnetic coils, and safety cut-outs connected in series with a voltage source etc.

Related Post: Series, Parallel and Series-Parallel Connection of Batteries

The break in the wire, failure or removal of any single lamp will break the circuit and cause all of the others to stop working as there is only one single path of current to flow in the circuit.

If more lamps are added in series lighting circuit, they will all be reduced in brightness. Because voltage are shared in series circuit. If we add more loads in series circuit, the over voltage drop increases which is not a good sign for electrical appliances protection.

Series Wiring is “ALL or NONE” type wiring means all the appliances will work at once or all of them will disconnect if fault occurs at any one of the connected device in series circuit.

High supply voltage are needed if we need to add more load (light bulbs, electric heaters, air conditioner etc) in the series circuit. For example, If five, 220V Lamps are to be connected in Series, Than Supply Voltage would have to be: 5 x 220V = 1.1kV.

The overall series circuit resistance increases (and current decreases) when more load is added in the circuit.

According to future need, only those electrical appliances should be added in the current series circuit if they have the same current rating as current are the same at each point in series circuit. However, we know that electrical appliances and devices i.e. Light bulbs, fan, heater, air conditioner etc have different rating, therefore, they cannot be connected in series circuit for smooth and efficient operation.

Resistors, loads are said to be connected in parallel when the end of each of the resistors or loads have a common point or junction and the other ends are also connected to a common point or junction. Such circuits are known as parallel circuits.

Unlike the series circuit connection, when finding the total (effective) resistance in a parallel circuit, the reciprocal of the individual resistance is taken. Thus, when a number of resistances are connected in parallel, the reciprocal of the effective resistance is given by the arithmetic or algebraic sum of the reciprocal of the individual resistance.

Application of Parallel Connection

Parallel circuit connection is very common in use. Various lamps and electrical appliances in our homes are connected in parallel so that each of the lamps or bulbs and appliances can be operated independently. For us to have control over the individual lamps or loads, they have to be wired in parallel.

Each connected electrical device and appliance are independent from others. This way, switching ON / OFF the device will not affect the other appliances and their operation.

In case of break in the cable or removal of any lamp will not break all circuits and connected loads, in other words, other lights/lamps and electrical appliances will still work smoothly.

If more lamps are added in the parallel lighting circuits, they will not be reduced in brightness (as it happens only in series lightning circuits). Because voltage is the same at each point in a parallel circuit. In short, they get the same voltage as the source voltage.

It is possible to add more light fixture and load points in parallel circuits according to future need as far as the circuit is not overloaded.

Adding additional devices and components wont increase the resistance but will decrease the overall resistance of the circuit especially when high current rating devices are used such as air conditioner and electric heaters.

Parallel wiring is more reliable, safe and simple to use.