Required Components

All electrical circuits require three components to operate: a source of power, a path for current, and a load.

A source of electrical power can be a DC battery or an AC generator. The wall outlet in our homes is where we eventually tap into the AC power generated by the local utility.

A path for current flow is usually at least two wires. For an electrical circuit to function, there must be an uninterrupted path or closed loop from the source to the load and back to the source. This is often referred to as a complete or uninterrupted path. If the path is broken at any point, then the current can not flow and the circuit will not operate.

A load is any device that uses the energy of the flowing electricity. Typical loads are lights, motors, and appliances. When current flows through some load, either heat or a magnetic field is produced allowing the electrical energy to be converted into some type of other useful energy. that does work. There are several types of loads, including resistance loads like incandescent light bulbs and heating elements, and inductive loads like motors.