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Electric circuits analogy to water pipes

2017-12-21 19:24  
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Sometimes calculating parameters and behaviour of some objects may be much easier when using analogy to objects with well developed theory and calculation methodology. In earlier article we analysed power dissipation of electronic devices using Ohms law where Voltage=temperature, Current=Dissipation and Resistance=Thermal resistance. This time lets look how can electronic devices transformed in water pipes and vice versa.

Lets takeVoltage source. A simple battery is like a water pump which provides a Pressure (a voltege analogy):


Then second electronic element is a resistor.Resistorcan be imagined as water pipe with smaller aperture. The higher resistance is a€“ the smaller aperture of pipe:


Now we have the elements needed for constructing a simple circuit. We have Pressure = Voltage, Resistance=Flow resistance of pipe. Current = Water flow.


The electric current and water flow can be calculated using the same Ohms Law formula:


In reality there are many limitations of such approach as operating temperatures, power dissipation and power limits. But with some corrections to model calculations can be quite accurate.

Ok lets see how semiconductors can be converted to water pipe system elements.

Diodeis imagined as valve allowing current flow to one direction.


In this case diode is acting as ideal. As we know diode characteristic is non linear characteristic.

More complex system isTransistor. Transistors are devices where emitter current is controlled by base current. Of course it is hard to represent real transistor, but there is a close variant:


Such models can be applied to gas flow systems. Or even human blood system or ventilation system like lungs (compliance-capacitance) and so on.

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