Voltage Divider
The two resistor voltage divider is used often to supply a voltage different
from that of an available battery or power supply. In application the output
voltage depends upon the resistance of the load it drives.
where
is the
parallel resistance
of R
2
and the load resistor R
L
.
For
R
1
=
Ω, R
2
=
Ω, and V
1
=
V,
the open circuit output voltage would be V
out
=
V
If the voltage divider is suppying a load
R
L
=
Ω,
then the output circuit voltage is
V
out
=
V
For this circuit, the total power supplied by the power supply is
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DC
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total
=
watts
and the power delivered to the load resistor R
L
is
P
out
=
watts.
The load then receives
% of the total power.
The voltage divider is a very important basic circuit, and exploring the
calculation above with various values can give you insight into a large number
of practical circuit applications. One practical consideration is that a larger
value of R
2
compared to R
1
will give you a larger output voltage. But if your
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 Winter '09
 Alternating Current, Voltage divider, Resistor, power supply

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