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A New Method To Solving Kirchhoff s Laws

Mau Han Pink

Hidayatul Syakira Bt Asmawi

Faculty of Engineering Technology (FTK)

Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka(UTeM)
Ayeh Keroh, Melaka, Malysia

Faculty of Engineering Technology (FTK)

Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka(UTeM)
Ayeh Keroh, Melaka, Malysia

AbstractOhms law is used to finding the relationship

between current and voltage for a resistor. But Ohms law by
itself is cannot be sufficient to analyze circuits. However, when it
is coupled with Kirchhoffs laws, we have a sufficient to
analyzing a large variety of electric circuit. Kirchhoff's laws are
usually considered as electrical current and voltage properties.
Nevertheless, they are sometimes applied to nonelectrical
systems. One way to increase their efficacy and range of
applicability would be to show Kirchhoff's laws, and the
properties deriving from them, as being independent of any
physical system as far as possible. Some of these properties,
derived exclusively from Kirchhoff's laws, are identified in this
paper, along with systems that verify them; these systems are
presented as examples.

entering a point are taken to be positive. According to

Kirchhoffs current law,
i1 - i2 + i3 = 0
i1 + i3 = i2
Kirchhoffs second law is based on the principle of
conservation of energy. Kirchhoffs second law is also known
as Kirchhoffs voltage law. It states that the algebraic sum of
the voltage drops around any closed path of a circuit is zero at
all instants of time, the sum of the voltage drops must equal the
sum of the voltage rises.

KeywordsKirchhoffs laws, Voltage,Current, Resistance



Electric circuit theory is based on two fundamental laws

introduced by Kirchhoffs laws. These are Kirchhoffs voltage
law (abbreviated KVL) and Kirchhoffs current law
(abbreviated KCL). Kirchhoffs laws were first introduced in
1874 by the German physicist Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (18241887).
Kirchhoffs first law is based on the law of conservation of
charge, which requires that the algebraic sum of charges within
a system cannot change. Kirchhoffs first law also known as
Kirchhoffs current law. It states that the algebraic sum of the
currents entering a given point in a circuit is zero at all instants
of time. In other words, the sum of the currents entering a
given point in a circuit equals the sum of the current leaving
that point at any instant of time.
Figure 2: A closed path to which Kirchhoffs law
A simple circuit is shown in Figure 1 to illustrate the
application of Kirchhoffs voltage law. The circuit contain the
circuit elements; the references polarities for voltages across
the elements have been shown. A voltage drop is positive when
we move from a + polarity to a -polarity is negative
otherwise. According Kirchhoff law, the algebraic sum of the
voltage drops must be zero, i.e.,
V1+ V2+V3+V4 = 0
Figure 1: Application of Kirchhoffs current law at point.
In Figure 1, the currents i1 and i3 are entering the point O
and the currents i2 are leaving it. Conventionally, the currents

Equation 2 shows that the sum of the voltage drops is equal

to the sum of the voltage rises.



Kirchhoffs law is a method of finding the voltage across

every device and the current through every device. It takes into
account the circuit topology (series/ parallel), multiple sources,
sources of different types, and components of different types,
and components of different types.
Kirchhoffs law starts with a drawing. The drawing is of a
circuit that is labeled with voltage polarities and current
directions, with loops and junctions as described earlier.
Kirchhoffs law circuit analysis cannot start without any
A. Sign Conventions to be Follewed while
Applying Kirchhoffs Law
When current flows through resistance, the voltage drop
occurs across the resistance. The polarity of this voltage drop
always depends on direction of the current. The current always
flows from higher potential to lower potential.
Once all such polarities are marked in the given circuit, we
can apply KVL to any closed path in the circuit.
While tracing a closed path, if current go from negative
marked terminal to positive marked terminal that voltage must
be taken as positive. This is called potential rise.
While tracing a closed path, if current go from positive
marked terminal to negative marked terminal, which voltage
must be taken as negative. This is called potential drop.
B. Step to Apply Kirchhoffs Laws to Get Circuit
In order to apply Kirchhoffs laws to multiloop circuits
(circuits containing more than a single loop), we can follow
the steps outlined below:
1) Assign a current name and direction to each branch of the
circuit that is each section of circuit between two adjacent
nodes. Do not worries about trying to figure out the current
directions in each branch .Then just pick and draw in a
direction This gives us some number of unknown currents for
which we wish to solve. Well call this number of
unknowns N. Make sure that you assign a different current
name and direction only to each separate branch of the circuit,
which is not (necessarily) the same as assigning a different
current to each resistor!

circuit, however many you need to give you the

required N equations.
4) Solve the N equations for the N unknown currents. This will
involve solving a system of simultaneous equations.
This method for solving currents is applied in the following




The first law is Kirchhoffs current law (KCL),which state

that the algebraic sum of the current entering any node is zero.
The KCL equations for node 1 through 5 are
-i1 (t) + i2 (t) + i3 (t) = 0
i1 (t) - i4 (t) + i6 (t) = 0
i2 (t) i5 (t) + i7 (t) = 0
-i2 (t) + i4 (t) i5 (t) + i7(t) = 0
-i3 (t) + i5 (t) i8 (t) = 0
-i6 (t) i7 (t) + i8 (t) = 0
Note carefully that if we add the first for equation, we
obtain the fifth equation. What does this tell us? Recall that
this mean that this set of equation is not linearly independent.
We can show that the first four equation are, however, linearly
independent. Store this idea in memory because it will become
very important when we learn how to write the equation
necessary to solve for all current and voltage in a network in
the following chapter
Define a current i(t). We know from KCL that there is only
one current for a single-loop circuit. The current is assumed to
be flowing either clockwise or counterclockwise around the

2) Apply Kirchhoffs Voltage Law to each small loop of the

circuit. A small loop is a loop which does not contain any
secondary loops inside it. This gives us some number of
equations less than N.
3) In order to solve for the N unknowns, we will
need N equations. We have some number of equations which
is less than N from applying Kirchhoffs Voltage Law in
step 2. To get the remaining number of required equations we
apply Kirchhoffs Current Law to one or more nodes in the

Figure 4: Example for clockwise and counterclockwise

KCL is only valid if the charge density remains constant
at the point to which it is applied. Consider the current
entering a single plate of a capacitor. If one imagines a closed
surface around that single plate, current enters through the

surface, but does not exit, thus violating KCL. Certainly, the
currents through a closed surface around the entire capacitor
will meet KCL since the current entering one plate is balanced
by the current exiting the other plate, and that is usually all
that is important in circuit analysis, but there is a problem
when considering just one plate. Another common example is
the current in an antenna where current enters the antenna
from the transmitter feeder but no current exits from the other
Maxwell introduced the concept of displacement currents
to describe these situations. The current flowing into a
capacitor plate is equal to the rate of accumulation of charge
and hence is also equal to the rate of change of electric flux
due to that charge (electric flux is measured in the same units,
coulombs, as electric charge in the SI system of units). This
rate of change of flux called displacement current ID;

When the displacement currents are included, Kirchhoff's

current law once again holds. Displacement currents are not
real currents in that they do not consist of moving charges;
they should be viewed more as a correction factor to make
KCL true. In the case of the capacitor plate, the real current
entering the plate is exactly cancelled by a displacement
current leaving the plate and heading for the opposite plate.
This can also be expressed in terms of vector field
quantities by taking the divergence of amperes law with
Maxwell's correction and combining with gauss law, yielding

Kirchhoffs second law, called Kirchhoffs voltage law

(KVL), state that the algebraic sum of the voltage around any
loop is zero. KVL, states that "in any closed loop network, the
total voltage around the loop is equal to the sum of all the
voltage drops within the same loop" which is also equal to
zero. In other words the algebraic sum of all voltages within
the loop must be equal to zero. This idea by Kirchhoff is
known as the Conservation of Energy.
Kirchhoff's voltage law could be viewed as a consequence
of the principle of conservation of energy. Otherwise, it would
be possible to build a perpetual motion machine that passed a
current in a circle around the circuit.
Considering that electric potential is defined as a line integral
over an electric field, Kirchhoff's voltage law can be expressed
equivalently as which states that the electric field of the
around closed loop C is zero.

In order to return to the more special form, this integral

can be "cut in pieces" in order to get the voltage at specific
Formally, KVL states that the algebraic sum of the
voltages between successive nodes in a closed path in a circuit
is equal to zero.


is the voltage between nodes j and k.

Any circuit that has a solution must satisfy Kirchhoff's

laws. From the properties of independent sources, we can
immediately conclude that a circuit cannot be solved if there
exists a loop that is formed exclusively of independent voltage
sources. Thus, short-circuiting an independent voltage source,
as remarked earlier, is a particular case where KVL is violated.
Similarly, a circuit cannot be solved if there exists a node to
which only independent current sources are connected. Also,
open-circuiting an independent current source is a particular
case where KCL is violated.

Kirchhoffs laws are enunciated here with no reference to
any electrical variable, but as topological properties,
exclusively; that is to say, they are properties of every set of
values assigned to networks branches and node pairs. This
approach allows an easier identification of the properties that
derive from Kirchhoffs first and second laws, exclusively. It
also allows a better identification of the systems where circuit
theory analysis methods can be directly applied. Finally, this
approach shows similarities between diverse systems with
apparently unrelated properties, which can make them more
easily understand able it is possible to generalize Kirchhoffs
current law to include a closed surface .by a closed surface we
mean some set of elements completely contained within the
surface that are interconnected. Since the current entering each
element within the surface is equal to that leaving the element
(i.e.., the element stores no net charge),it follows that the
current entering an interconnection of element is equal to that
leaving the interconnection. Therefore, Kirchhoffs current
law can also be stated as follows; the algebraic sum of the
current entering any close surface is zero.


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