# Difference between series and parallel circuits

A series of circuits refer to a circuit that has only one path through which current flow. In the series circuit, all the components are connected in such a way that if any fault happens in the circuit, the current will not flow through the circuit. The current in the series circuit is the same throughout the circuit. On the other hand, parallel circuits refer to a circuit with more than one path through which current flows. In the parallel circuit, all the components have various branches for current flow; thus, the current is not the same throughout the circuit. Read the given tutorial to know the difference between series and parallel circuits.

### What is a series circuit?

A circuit is said to be a series circuit when the flow of current is the same throughout all the components in the circuit. In series circuits, the current has only a single path.

In a series circuit, the relationships between current and voltage are the exact inverse of those in the parallel circuit. The current through each series element is the same and equal to the source current (Is). In contrast, the voltage across each series element (V1, V2. V3) varies according to the impedance (in this example, the resistance) of each element. Kirchhoff's Voltage Law (KVL) applies, and the voltage supplied by the source (Vs) is equal to the sum of the individual voltage drops across each series element.

1. It has a simple design that is easy to understand.
2. It does not overheat quickly.
3. It has a higher output voltage so that we can add more power appliances.
4. It carries the same current throughout the circuit.

1. If the total number of components increases in the circuit, circuit resistance will more.
2. If a fault occurs at one point, the total circuit will break.

Now, consider an example of a series circuit to understand the concept.

Find the current flow through the resistor R1, R2, and R3.

Given

R1 = 6 ohm

R2 = 6 ohm

R3 = 6 ohm

And V = 36V

By applying ohms law in the given circuit, we get

V = IR

V = I (R1+R2+R3)

I = V/ (R1+R2+R3)

I = 36/(6+6+6)

I = 36/18

I = 2 Amp

### What is a parallel circuit?

A parallel circuit refers to a circuit with two or more two paths for the current to flow. In a parallel circuit, all the components have the same voltage.

In a parallel circuit, the voltage across each element is the same and equal to the source voltage (Vs), and the current through each element (I1, I2, I3) varies according to the impedance (in this example, the resistance) of each element. Kirchhoff's Current Law (KCL)_ applies, and the total current flowing from the source (Is) is equal to the sum of the individual currents flowing through each parallel element.

1. In a parallel circuit, if any one component gets damaged, the current does not stop and continues to flow through the other components; hence other components work efficiently.
2. In a parallel circuit, the voltage across every component is the same; therefore, all components work efficiently.
3. In a parallel circuit, you can easily connect or disconnect a new component without affecting the working of another component.

1. In a parallel circuit, we cannot apply an additional voltage source.
2. A parallel circuit requires lots of wires for connection.

Now, consider an example of a parallel circuit to understand the concept.

Find the total resistance between the points P and Q

Here, 2ohm resistance is connected in parallel with 3ohm resistor give 6/5 ohm. Now, 6/5ohm resistor is connected in series with 5 and 4ohm resistance, so total resistance between point P and Q = 6/5+5+4 = 10.2 ohm.

## Difference between series and parallel circuit

Series Circuit Parallel Circuit
A circuit is said to be a series circuit when the flow of current is the same throughout all the components in the circuit. A parallel circuit refers to a circuit with two or more two paths for the current to flow.
If a fault occurs at one point, the total circuit will break. In a parallel circuit, if any one component gets damaged, the current does not stop and continues to flow through the other components; hence other components work efficiently.
In a series circuit, all the components are arranged in a single line. In a parallel circuit, all the components are arranged parallel to each other.
If more than one resistor is connected in series, the voltage across each resistor is not the same though the current flow is the same throughout the circuit. If the resistors are connected in parallel, the voltage across each of the resistors is the same.
If V is the total voltage across the total components in the series circuit, it is equal to V1+V2+V3. If V is the total voltage across the total components in the parallel circuit, it is equal to V1=V2=V3
In a series circuit, R = R1+R2+R3 In parallel circuit, R = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3

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