Quantcast Reflections of AC voltage from a short circuit

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Since two waves of voltage are moving on the line, you need to know how to distinguish between the two. The voltages moving toward the receiving end are called INCIDENT VOLTAGES, and the whole waveshape is called the INCIDENT WAVE. The wave moving back to the sending end after reflection is called the REFLECTED WAVE. The resultant voltage curve (view B of figure 3-26) shows that the voltage is maximum at the end of the line, a condition that occurs across an open circuit.

Another step in investigating the open-circuited rf line is to see how the current waves act. The incident current wave is the solid line in figure 3-26, view C. The voltage is represented by the dotted line. The current is in phase with the voltage while traveling toward the receiving end. At the end of the line, the current is reflected in the opposite polarity; that is, it is shifted 180 degrees in phase, but its amplitude remains the same. The reflected wave of current is shown by dashed lines in view C. The heavy-line curve represents the sum of the two instantaneous currents and is the resultant wave. Notice that current is zero at the end of the line. This is reasonable, since there can be no current flow through an open circuit.

Views B and C of figure 3-26 show the voltage and current distribution along a transmission line at a point about 1/8 after a maximum voltage or current reaches the end of the line. Since the instantaneous values are continuously changing during the generation of a complete cycle, a large number of these pictures are required to show the many different relationships.

Figure 3-27 shows the incident and reflected waveshapes at several different times. The diagrams in the left column of figure 3-27 (representing voltage) show the incident wave and its reflection without change in polarity. In figure 3-27, waveform (1), the incident wave and the reflected wave are added algebraically to produce the resultant wave indicated by the heavy line. In waveform (2), a zero point preceding the negative-going cycle of the incident wave is at the end of the line. The reflected wave and incident wave are 180 degrees out of phase at all points. (The reflected wave is the positive cycle that just preceded the negative cycle now approaching the end of the line.) The resultant of the incident and reflected waves is zero at all points along the line. In waveform (3), the waves have moved 1/8l along the line; the incident wave has moved 45 degrees to the right, and the reflected wave has moved 45 degrees to the left. The resultant voltage, shown by the heavy line, has a maximum negative at the end of the line and a maximum positive 1/2l from the end of the line.

Figure 3-27. - Instantaneous values of incident and reflected waves on an open-ended line.

In waveform (4), the incident wave is at a maximum negative value at the end of the line. The wave has moved another 45 degrees to the right from the wave in the preceding illustration. The reflected wave has also moved 45 degrees, but to the left. The reflected wave is in phase with the incident wave. The resultant of these two waves, shown by the dark line, again has a negative maximum at the end of the line and a positive maximum 1/2l from the end of the line. Notice that these maxima have a greater amplitude than those in waveform (3).

In waveform (5), the incident wave has moved another 45 degrees to the right and the reflected wave 45 degrees to the left. The resultant again is maximum negative at the end and positive maximum 1/2l from the end. The maxima are lower than those in waveform (4). In waveform (6), the incident and reflected wave have moved another 1/8l. The two waves again are 180 degrees out of phase, giving a resultant wave with no amplitude. The incident and reflected waves continue moving in opposite directions, adding to produce the resultant waveshapes shown in waveforms (7) and (8). Notice that the maximum voltage in each resultant wave is at the end and 1/2l from the end.

Study each part of figure 3-27 carefully and you will get a clear picture of how the resultant waveforms of voltage are produced. You will also see that the resultant voltage wave on an open-ended line is always zero at 1/4l and 3/4l from the end of the transmission line. Since the zero and maximum points are always in the same place, the resultant of the incident and the reflected wave is called a STANDING WAVE of voltage.

The right-hand column in figure 3-27 shows the current waveshapes on the open-ended line. Since the current is reflected out of phase at an open end, the resultant waveshapes differ from those for voltage. The two out-of-phase components always cancel at the end of the transmission line, so the resultant is always zero at that point. If you check all the resultant waveshapes shown in the right-hand column of figure 3-27, you will see that a zero point always occurs at the end and at a point 1/2l from the end. Maximum voltages occur 1/4l and 3/4l from the end.

When an ac meter is used to measure the voltages and currents along a line, the polarity is not indicated. If you plot all the current and voltage readings along the length of the line, you will get curves like the ones shown in figure 3-28. Notice that all are positive. These curves are the conventional method of showing current and voltage standing waves on rf lines.

Figure 3-28. - Conventional picture of standing waves.

When an rf line is terminated in a short circuit, reflection is complete, but the effect on voltage and current differs from that in an open-ended line. Voltage is reflected in opposite phase, while current is reflected in phase. Again refer to the series of pictures shown in figure 3-27. However, this time the left column represents current, since it shows reflection in phase; and the right column of pictures now represents the voltage changes on the shorted line, since it shows reflection out of phase.

The composite diagram in figure 3-29 shows all resultant curves on a full-wavelength section of line over a complete cycle. Notice that the amplitude of the voltage varies between zero and maximum in both directions at the center and at both ends as well; but, one-fourth of the distance from each end the voltage is always zero. The resultant waveshape is referred to as a standing wave of voltage. Standing waves, then, are caused by reflections, which occur only when the line is not terminated in its characteristic impedance.

Figure 3-29. - Composite results of instantaneous waves.

The voltage at the center and the ends varies at a sinusoidal rate between the limits shown. At the one-fourth the three-fourths points, the voltage is always zero. A continuous series of diagrams such as these is difficult to see with conventional test equipment, which reads the effective or average voltage over several cycles. The curve of amplitude over the length of line for several cycles is shown in figure 3-29, view B. A meter will read zero at the points shown and will show a maximum voltage at the center, no matter how many cycles pass.

As shown in view D, the amplitude varies along the length of the line. In this case it is zero at the end and center but maximum at the one-fourth and three-fourths points. The entire diagram of the open-ended line conditions is shown in view E. The standing waves of voltage and current appear together. Observe that one is maximum when the other is minimum. The current and voltage standing waves are one-quarter cycle, or 90 degrees, out of phase with one another.

REFLECTION OF AC VOLTAGE FROM A SHORT CIRCUIT

Reflection is complete when an rf line is terminated in a short circuit, but the effect on voltage and current differs from the effect obtained in an open-ended line. Voltage is reflected in opposite phase, while current is reflected in phase. Again look at the series of diagrams in figure 3-27. The left column represents current, and the right column shows voltage changes on the shorted line. The standard representation of standing waves on a shorted line is shown in figure 3-30; the voltage is a solid line, and the current is a dashed line. The voltage is zero at the end and center (1/2l) and maximum at the 1/4l and 3/4l points, while the current is maximum at the end and center and minimum at the 1/4l and 3/4l points.

Figure 3-30. - Standing waves on a shorted line.

As we discussed voltage and current waves on transmission lines, we pointed out several differences between open and shorted lines. Basic differences also appear in the standing-wave patterns for open and shorted lines. You can see these differences by comparing figure 3-29, view E, and figure 3-30. Notice that the current and voltage standing waves are shifted 90 degrees with respect to the termination. At the open end of a line, voltage is maximum (zero if there are no losses in the line). At a short circuit, current is maximum and voltage is minimum.

Q.23 Two types of waves are formed on a transmission line. What names are given to these waves? answer.gif (214 bytes)
Q.24 In figure 3-27, which waveforms on the left have a resultant wave of zero, and what is indicated by these waves? answer.gif (214 bytes)
Q.25 On an open-ended transmission line, the voltage is always zero at what distance from each end of the line?answer.gif (214 bytes)




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