Electrical load

Electrical load Schematic


If an electric circuit has a well-defined output terminal, the circuit connected to this terminal (or its input impedance) is the load. (The term 'load' may also refer to the power consumed by a circuit; that topic is not discussed here.)

Load affects the performance of circuits that output voltages or currents, such as sensors, voltage sources, and amplifiers. A household's power outlets provide an easy example: they are a voltage source, outputting 120 V AC for example (in USA), with the household's appliances collectively making up the load. When a power-hungry appliance switches on, it dramatically reduces the load impedance, causing the output voltage to drop. This drop is easily observed; for instance, turning on a vacuum cleaner dims the lights.



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