In electric circuits analysis, nodal analysis, node-voltage analysis, or the branch current method is a method of determining the voltage (potential difference) between "nodes" (points where elements or branches connect) in an electrical circuit in terms of the branch currents.
In analyzing a circuit using Kirchhoff's circuit laws, one can either do nodal analysis using Kirchhoff's current law (KCL) or mesh analysis using Kirchhoff's voltage law (KVL). Nodal analysis writes an equation at each electrical node, requiring that the branch currents incident at a node must sum to zero. The branch currents are written in terms of the circuit node voltages. As a consequence, each branch constitutive relation must give current as a function of voltage; an admittance representation. For instance, for a resistor, Ibranch = Vbranch * G, where G (=1/R) is the admittance (conductance) of the resistor.
Nodal analysis is possible when all the circuit elements' branch constitutive relations have an admittance representation. Nodal analysis produces a compact set of equations for the network, which can be solved by hand if small, or can be quickly solved using linear algebra by computer. Because of the compact system of equations, many circuit simulation programs (e.g. SPICE) use nodal analysis as a basis. When elements do not have admittance representations, a more general extension of nodal analysis, modified nodal analysis, can be used.
While simple examples of nodal analysis focus on linear elements, more complex nonlinear networks can also be solved with nodal analysis by using Newton's method to turn the nonlinear problem into a sequence of linear problems.
Read more about Nodal Analysis: Method
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