Rather, it contains elements of both. The current exits the bottom of the battery, splits up to travel through R3 and R4, rejoins, then splits up again to travel through R1 and R2, then rejoins again to return to the top of the battery. There exists more than one path for current to travel (not series), yet there are more than two sets of electrically common points in the circuit (not parallel).

Because the circuit is a combination of both series and parallel, we cannot simply apply the rules for voltage, current, and resistance. For instance, if the above circuit were simple series, we could just add up R1 through R4 to arrive at a total resistance, solve for total current, and then solve for all voltage drops. Likewise, if the above circuit were simple parallel, we could just solve for branch currents, add up branch currents to figure the total current, and then calculate total resistance from total voltage and total current. However, this circuit's solution will be more complex.

To calculate the different values for series-parallel combination circuits, we'll have to be careful how and where we apply the different rules for series and parallel. Ohm's Law, of course, still works just the same for determining values.

And then, we become able to identify which parts of the circuit are series and which parts are parallel, we can...

Likewise, if the above circuit were simple parallel, we could just solve for branch currents, add up branch currents to figure the total current, and then calculate total resistance from total voltage and total current. However, this circuit's solution will be more complex.

To calculate the different values for series-parallel combination circuits, we'll have to be careful how and where we apply the different rules for series and parallel. Ohm's Law, of course, still works just the same for determining values.

And then, we become able to identify which parts of the circuit are series and which parts are parallel, we can analyze it in stages, approaching each part one at a time, using the appropriate rules to determine the relationships of voltage, current, and resistance

Note: The rules of series and parallel circuits must be applied selectively to circuits containing both types of interconnections.

Technique Analysis

The goal of series-parallel resistor circuit analysis is to be able to determine all voltage drops, currents, and power dissipations in a circuit. The general strategy to accomplish this goal is as follows.

Step 1: Assess which resistors in a circuit are connected together in simple series or simple parallel.

Step 2: Re-draw the circuit, replacing each of those series or parallel resistor combinations identified in step 1 with a single, equivalent-value resistor.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the entire circuit is reduced to one equivalent resistor.

Step 4: Calculate total current from total voltage and total resistance (I=E/R).

Step 5: Taking total voltage and total current values, go back to last step in the circuit reduction process and insert those values where applicable.

Step 6: From known
...Show more