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Hydraulic analogy HTML5

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Summary

There is a close analogy between electric current and hydraulic current if you consider the electric voltage (potential difference) as a height (altitude difference), and if you neglect all possible extraneous effects. The current goes down the potential as the water goes down the altitude. This is a graphic illustration of the current/voltage convention:

In this simulation, electric charges are assumed to be all positive. Therefore the electric current flows from the positive (+) terminal to the negative one (-), which is the same direction as the charges. In electronics, negatively charged electrons flow from the negative (-) terminal to the positive (+) terminal of the supply, but conventional current always flowing from the (+) to the (-).

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Learning goals

  • To illustrate the analogy between electrical current ant hydraulic current.
  • To introduce the current/voltage convention according to which current is regarded as being positive as it descends through potentials/altitudes.

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