Electrical Engineering is a free introductory textbook to the basics of electrical engineering. See the editorial for more information....

Electrical Transients

Author: E.E. Kimberly

In most electrical circuits, only the steady-state currents and voltages are of importance to the engineer, inasmuch as any temporary deviation therefrom caused by closing or opening a circuit lasts but a short time. Currents or voltages in a state of non-repetitive change are called transients1. Transients are of practical importance because, even though they exist for a short time only, they may cause the blowing of fuses or the puncturing of insulation. Furthermore, repetitive transients are of great importance and highly useful in electronic and allied circuits. Transients are likely to appear in a circuit at the time of starting or stopping of current flow because of inductance or capacitance, if they are present in the circuit. Resistance in a circuit tends to limit both the magnitude and duration of a transient.

1 For further analysis of transients see "Alternating Current Circuits" by K. Y. Tang, International Textbook Company.

Last Update: 2010-10-05