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Mesh ( Do you really need it)

  1. Mar 27, 2012 #1
    I've been asked to teach an electrical engineering course, due to lack of EE people at my college.

    I've been running through Mesh , nodal analysis etc.

    Its seems like these are just variations of using kirchoff's voltage and current continuity equations. It seems pointless to me, i've been able to solve every problem just using intuition and kirchoffs laws. All this mesh and supermesh stuff just seems like memorizing procedures to reduce the amount of algebra ( i guess).

    Am I missing something? Is there something these methods can do that kirchoffs methods can not?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I tend to use KCL nodal equations pretty exclusively -- they are more intuitive for me to set up versus loop mesh equations.
  4. Mar 28, 2012 #3
    they are recipies for applying Kirchoff.
    I think they have two uses for students, firstly to reinforce the concept that current must flow in loops (lacking from kcl), but mainly to provide a method for inexperienced students to find the right answer for a not so straightforward problem.
    its easier to teach recipes than creativity and intuition, but its also easier to trust answers from it.
  5. Mar 28, 2012 #4
    Mesh and Nodal analysis are just algorithms to solve circuits using KCL/KVL. I think teaching wise, its helpful early on to help build some intuition. Supermesh type stuff are just little tricks to help solve problems. I don't even remember exactly what they entail.

    After that first half of Circuits I, I've just set up the KVL/KCL equations I needed to solve for the specific thing I'm looking for. Do emphasize techniques like source transformations and especially the current/voltage divider formulas. I use things like that all the time when looking at circuits without having to set up a whole system.

    I'm a KVL guy, I always messed up signs when do node equations
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