Every electrical component has a unique and highly specific job. Without one of those components, the circuit will not work properly. The circuit boards you usually see in electronic devices such as computers and televisions take a team of electrical engineers to design and create. These professionals choose and solder the right electronic component to printed circuit board that directs how the device operates. If you want to learn more about electronic components and how you can use them, you have to learn first what purpose each component serves. The following are some of the common types of electrical components.
Resistors and Variable Resistors
A circuit board routes voltage through its many different electrical components in a specific way to produce a desired outcome. Some types of electrical components require a lesser or greater voltage in order to work properly. Resistors are the component that regulate the amount of voltage or limit the current that flows in part of a circuit. Basically, a resistor is designed to be a poor conductor of electricity. There are a range of types of electronic resistance, but each component’s capacity to resist a current is measured in Ohms. On the other hand, a variable resistor, such as potentiometers and rheostats, allows for better control over current by regulating the amount of resistance. The amount of current normally decreases when the resistance increases. Some examples of variable resistors are the dimmer switch used for a light and a volume control knob on your radio.
A capacitor is a component that functions as energy storage. It comes with two metal plates separated by an insulator such as electrolytic, mylar or ceramic. The capacitance of a capacitor, which is measured in Farads, and the voltage across the capacitor determines the amount of electricity that can be stored. A capacitor only charges when the electrons flows from one plate to another. When the capacitor becomes fully charged, the current naturally diminishes because the plate can no longer hold more electrons. When it reaches its limitation, it’s considered charged because the voltage across the capacitor is now the same to the voltage of the source.
Direct current (DC) flows in one direction, like a river or a stream. Alternating current (AC), however, alternates the direction, allowing them to flow indefinitely. An inductor is one of the types of electrical components that prevent changes in current flow, allowing low-frequency currents or direct currents to pass through it more easily. Basically, an inductor is a coil of wire that looks like a solenoid. As current flows through the coil, a magnetic field is formed around it where potential energy is stored. In case the power supply is cut, the magnetic field immediately stops on itself and then releases the potential energy.
There are many other types of electrical components today and it would probably take thousands of pages to detail them all. It’s possible, however, to group electrical components by their purpose. Every electrical component has its own function. Components that work and look completely differently may have the exact same function.
Source – Goarticles.com