1
EEE202:
Hardware Lab #2
NODE VOLTAGE METHOD
OBJECTIVE:
This experiment is designed to test the node-voltage method of circuit analysis.
The results measured
in lab are compared with PSpice and MATLAB simulations.
INTRODUCTION:
There are two powerful techniques for analyzing circuits:
the node-voltage and mesh-current
methods.
Because of the importance of the node-voltage method, it will be presented here in great
detail, including a discussion of supernodes and dependent sources; however, neither supernodes nor
dependent sources occur in this experiment’s circuit.
A.
Overview of the Node-Voltage Method:
The node-
voltage method is based on Kirchhoff’s
Current Law (KCL):
the sum of the currents at each node in a circuit is zero.
By summing the
currents at each essential node, it is possible to determine the relative voltage differences between
these nodes.
(An essential node is a node where three or more elements connect.)
Once these
node voltages are known, the entire circuit is basically solved since it is trivial to solve for any
of the other voltages or currents in the circuit.
Because voltage is a measure of the energy
difference between two points in a circuit, one of the essential nodes is chosen as the reference
node (called ground) and all
other voltages are measured with respect to it.
(The reference node’s
voltage is zero.)
As an example, consider the circuit shown in Figure 2.1.
Once the voltage of the top essential
node,
1
V
, is known with respect to the voltage at the ground node, it is trivial to solve for any of
the other voltages or currents in the circuit.
Figure 2.1:
Example Node-Voltage Circuit.

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