Nodal analysis is the method to determine voltage or current using nodes of the circuit. In nodal analysis we choose node voltage instead of element voltages and hence the equations reduces in this process. We have to consider voltage source is not in this circuit. We have to solve a circuit with n nodes without voltage sources. To solve a circuit using nodal analysis method you must have good knowledge about node branch loop in a circuit. If you have no clear idea read the article then come back here. There are three steps to solve a circuit using nodal analysis
- Select a node as a reference node. Give names v1, v2,…. vn-1 to remaining n-1 nodes. All the voltages are the referenced voltages respecting to the reference node.
- Apply KCL and KVL to each non reference node. To express the branch currents in terms of node voltages us ohm’s law.
- Solve the equations to get unknown node voltages.
First step is to select a reference node. It is also called datum node. The reference node commonly called the ground. It has zero potential.
In circuit the reference node is denoted by any of the three symbols in figure 1. Figure 1 (c) is called a chassis ground because it is used in the case chassis act, enclosure as a reference point in the circuit. Figure 1 (a) and (b) are used when the potential of the earth taken as reference. I use symbol (b).
In two cases nodal analysis can be done with voltage sources.
Case 1: If the voltage source (dependent or independent) is connected between two non-reference nodes, the two non-reference nodes form a generalized node or supernode, we apply both KCL and KVL to determine the node voltages.
Case 2: if a voltage source is connected between the reference node and a non-reference node, we simply set the voltage at the non-reference node equal to the voltage of the voltage source in figure 2 for example,
v1 = 20V
What is supernode?
A supernode is formed by enclosing a (dependent or independent) voltage source connected between two non-reference nodes and any elements connected in parallel with it.
In figure 2 node 2 and node 3 form a supernode. Applying KCL at super node which are node 2 and 3 we get,
i1 + i4 = i2 + i3
To apply KVL redrawing the figure 2 circuit to figure 3 and going around the loop in the clockwise direction gives,
– v2 + 10 + v3 = 0
Or v2 – v3 = 10 ————————— (ii)
From equation (i),(ii) we will obtain node voltages using any solution method.
If you want to find node voltages with current source click here to read the article.