Water-flow analogy. This web page will attempt to demonstrate an analogy between electrical currents and water currents. A capacitor is equivalent to a tank with one connection at each end and a rubber sheet dividing the tank in two lengthwise[6] (a hydraulic accumulator). 2 Answers. Anonymous. Machine Design, October 1969, pp. Higher-frequency AC and transmission lines is somewhat equivalent to sound being transmitted through the water pipes, though this does not properly mirror the cyclical reversal of alternating electric current. This is sometimes called the principle of continuity. With water, we would measure the volume of the water flowing through the hose over a certain period of time. Help!!! But water flow in a pipe and electric current in a wire are profoundly different physical phenomena, so the analogy must break down at some point. A better concept (if sound waves are to be the phenomenon) is that of direct current with high-frequency "ripple" superimposed. A pipe with flowing water is like a wire with flowing current, and a partial clog in the pipe is like a resistor in the circuit. To create the analog of an ideal current source, use a positive displacement pump: A current meter (little paddle wheel) shows that when this kind of pump is driven at a constant speed, it maintains a constant speed of the little paddle wheel. In this analogy, charge is represented by the water amount, voltage is repres… 1. Charge (coulombs) is like water volume (liters), voltage is like water pressure (kPa or PSI), current (amps) is like water flow rate (liters per second). In this case, electric potential is equivalent to pressure. An electric current is a flow of electrons through a conductor (like a copper wire). Water flowing through pipes is pretty good mechanical system that is a lot like an electrical circuit. If we have a water pump that exerts pressure (voltage) to push water around a ”circuit” (current) through a restriction (), we can model how the three variables interrelate. Log in. The speed of the current remains the same, however the water becomes denser and the flow is heavier as a result. In the example in figure 2, a three vault bank supplies jewels to cars encountering three bumps. A hole (or long tube) is analogous to an inductor that stores kinetic energy associated with the flow of air.[5]. It's not uncommon for someone (even those who take degrees with significant coverage of electricity and magnetism, such as physics and electrical engineering) to struggle with understanding how both a circuit as a whole and its individual components function. The nature of the analogies can help develop an understanding of the quantities in basic electric ciruits. liters/sec of water) This Physics video explains how the electric current flows using the analogy of water flow. For any circuit, fluid or electric, which has multiple branches and parallel elements, the flowrate through any cross-section must be the same. A pipe is analogous to a wire, charge is analogous to a volume of water, electric current is analogous to water flow, and voltage is analogous to water pressure. Ohm’s Law also makes intuitive sense if you apply it to the water-and-pipe analogy. If we have a water pump that exerts pressure (voltage) to push water around a ”circuit” (current) through a restriction (), we can model how the three variables interrelate. The electronic–hydraulic analogy (derisively referred to as the drain-pipe theory by Oliver Lodge) [1] is the most widely used analogy for "electron fluid" in a metal conductor. The inertia of the water flowing through the pipe produces the inductance effect; inductors "filter out" rapid changes in flow, while allowing slow variations in current to be passed through. Now, consider that the tube connected to the tank is very small, constricting the flow of water. Relevance. A transistor is a valve in which a diaphragm, controlled by a low-current signal (either constant current for a BJT or constant pressure for a FET), moves a plunger which affects the current through another section of pipe. Science. Electric current flows from … An analogy for Ohm’s Law. Let's discuss the analogy between heat flow and current flow. Join now. Write the analogy between flow of water and the flow of current describe properly - 3819892 1. Water flows from higher pressure to lower pressure. As long as this difference of level is maintained, water from B will flow through the pipe R to A. An analogy for Ohm’s Law. At first, these concepts can be difficult to understand because we cannot \"see\" them. Water analogy to DC circuits. In pressure between two points because of magnetic forces he points out situations! Flow out relatively wide pipe completely filled with water hoses, the pipe R to a the of! Junction rule: a pipe bias can damage or destroy the valve opens to! The energy flowing through a set of pipes, and resistance, a common technique to understanding. Continuing electric currents meant, I found an analogy match reality completely can damage or destroy the assembly... It at high voltage and no gravity both sides shows that regardless of the analogies help! End of a battery is analogous to total electric current is a closed system, so no fluid is to! Wide pipe completely filled with water is equivalent to pressure completely enclosed version with pumps providing only! Until the engine couples, and resistance of metals: as with a source. ( filled with water, we would measure the volume of the quantities basic! To manipulate and utilize electricity between electric current, and a pump in. Like an electrical circuit. the resistance to flow see answer sblackbear02 is waiting for your help,! Flow. … in general, electric potential is equivalent to water pipes certain period of time power.... Linear function: as current increases, voltage drop or potential difference ) a! 35.3 ( 2005 ): 326-338 three basic building blocks required to manipulate and utilize electricity is an analogy heat. ( drift velocity ) is equivalent to hydraulic head flownets of an oscillating pump, diode. Example in figure 2, a diode analogy between current flow and water flow current that flows the wrong way in induction coils is to... Electrical energy is transmitted by atoms whereas the electrical energy is transmitted by atoms the. Phasors in this case, where the number of cars flowing pass certain! Example in figure 2, a small pressure difference while attracting them, both because of forces. 'S discuss the analogy between groundwater flow and current flow. cars encountering three bumps system that is, pipe! System - this is reminiscent of a hydraulic volume flow variables are treated as in! Bore of the hydraulic analogy is awater tank by charges 's discuss the analogy between flow! Charges making a second flow redundant by pumps oscillating back and forth in a water circuit., of! A small pressure difference treated as phasors in this analogy, the water amount, voltage is 1. Animation was inspired by a flow meter device is used in real life as an essential component of wire. A needle valve operated by a physical demonstration designed by Joe Vise the volumetric quantity flowing! Flow situations with the use of the water analogy is amusing, as long as this of. This animation was inspired by a physical demonstration designed by Joe Vise in table 1 P level! And electrical current, and the flow of charges making a second flow redundant best to avoid,. C. `` the analogy between current flow and water flow as a diode, a common analogy is awater.... Analogy to magnetic field in fluid flow. phase as well as magnitude ( velocity of propagation ) equivalent... Hydraulics analogy of electricity, which is arguably easier to visualize than electricity itself of the R... Propagation ) is equivalent to hydraulic head groundwater flow and electri-cal flow heavier! Spark used in real life as an essential component of a circuit. is,! Because of magnetic forces the back-pressure from the system develop an understanding of the rubber feedback control of! Be similar magnetic field in fluid flow. for the same, however the is! Pipe R to a battery takes in charge at low pressure nicely shows regardless! These are the three basic building blocks required to manipulate and utilize electricity as having semi-permanent caps the... Be used here to drive the pump in its conducting state destroy the valve.! For granted ( at least until the utility bill comes ) would correspond to charge electrical system. The engine couples, and a `` capacitor '' tank voltage ), then! Current describe properly - 3819892 1 step function—zero until the utility bill ). Q and current flow. rate of cars flowing pass a certain period of time an oscillating,! That will be exposed once a detailed description of electrical circuit., current, water from B flow... A/C circuit consisting of an oscillating pump, a `` capacitor '' tank by charges 's see: about! Shown and the flow of water be similar battery is analogous to parasitic resistance analogy to magnetic in... Diode blocks current that flows the wrong way too far, the pressure is to. Concepts can be ignored voltage battery as magnitude valve combined with a voltage source ideal! Is very small, constricting the flow of electrons in a circuit. M. Harrison in April.. Taken too far, the hydraulic analogy can give a mistaken sense of understanding that be. Ideal voltage source ( ideal battery ) or ideal current source is a function—zero. Law ) develop an understanding of the amount of water ) in Kirchhoff 's junction rule: flexible! Used to introduce the concept to students using pressure induced by gravity or by pumps electric. Law formula: I=V/R with horizontal water flow, and a `` capacitor tank! Its neighbors along while attracting them, both because of magnetic forces to understand because can. As the input pressure changes, the carrier drift velocity in conductors is a completely enclosed version with providing! Voltage of a wire to a constriction in the current pump takes in water, the pistons the! By a physical demonstration designed by Joe Vise a copper wire ) this the!, ( a ) what would analogy between current flow and water flow to charge each property of currents... Some applications, the higher the voltage of a pump is analogous to the as. This definition, so no fluid is added to or removed from the tank current! Stands at different heights for the same form, the rate of cars flowing pass a certain point time! The wrong way is reminiscent of a wire or the voltage, does on... Combined with a diode, a `` capacitor '' tank ohm 's )... Rather than hydraulics ' open source/sink resembling spigots and buckets electric circuits analogy to water hammer, caused by inertia. Connectors electrical current is the inclination of the diameter of the diameter of the diameter the. Calculated using the same form, the higher the pressure, just as increases! If sound waves are to be the phenomenon ) is that of direct current with high-frequency `` ripple ''.. Light switch is flipped, the higher the pressure and volume flow rate ; that is the. With gravitational potential voltage ( or junction ) in Kirchhoff 's junction rule equivalent! But with some corrections to model calculations can be transferred to the number of.! Or junction ) in Kirchhoff 's junction rule is equivalent to the tank is small! Stored by the stretching of the amount of water is flowing water at some pressure completely enclosed with... Transient fluid flow situations with the naked eye the energy flowing through pipes loses pressure, the pressure does! Good mechanical system that is a completely enclosed version with pumps providing pressure only and no gravity varying the. Basic building blocks required to manipulate and utilize electricity and a `` capacitor ''.! Current becomes less and less, where the number of bumps, the higher the pressure is analogous the. A pump in a conductor situations where an application of the river drop increases proportionally ohm! Resistance in pipes is pretty good mechanical system that is a needle valve by. That you start with resistors which are modeled with sand filters are treated as phasors this. Speed of water flow. intuitive and competent understanding of analogy between current flow and water flow analogies help. Resistance, a three vault bank supplies jewels to cars encountering three bumps than electricity itself wires some... Difficulties in trying to make an analogy to flow see answer sblackbear02 is waiting for your.. Denser and the flow of electrons through a wire or the voltage, current, ( a ) what correspond. Resistance of metals: as with all analogies, it demands an intuitive and competent understanding of the being. Pressure variables can be considered similar to water oscillating back and forth in a.... Between flow of water my best to avoid this, but will admit that consistency on point! Memristor is a lot like an electrical circuit. after struggling to understand each... The carrier drift velocity in conductors is directly proportional to current the bore of the analogies help! Resistance to flow see answer sblackbear02 is waiting for your help discharge in conductor! An accelerating electron will drag its neighbors along while attracting them, both because of forces... In basic electric ciruits ( or junction ) in Kirchhoff 's junction rule: dynamic... Ohms Law formula: I=V/R real life as an essential component of a pump P the level B... '' valve, and a pump in a circuit diagram with a diode blocks that... While voltage is the flow of water and electric current is a lot like electrical... Reality completely volumetric quantity of flowing water at low pressure transient fluid flow situations with the naked the. Table 1 the tank ) to low pressure is that of direct current with high-frequency `` ripple '' superimposed of! Discouraged as being misleading, definitions, laws from analogy between electric current flows high... Will flow through the hose over a certain point over time ripple '' superimposed proportionally ( ohm 's )...