# Transistor Load Line Analysis

In the transistor circuit analysis, it is generally required to determine the collector current for various collector-emitter voltages. One of the methods can be used to plot the output characteristics and determine the collector current at any desired collector-emitter voltage. However, a more convenient method, known as load line method can be used to solve such problems. As explained later in this section, this method is quite easy and is frequently used in the analysis of transistor applications.

d.c. load line. Consider a common emitter npn transistor circuit shown in Fig. (i) where no signal is applied. Therefore, d.c. conditions prevail in the circuit. The output characteristics of this circuit are shown in Fig. (ii).

The value of collector-emitter voltage VCEÂ at any time is given by ;

VCEÂ Â Â  Â = VCCÂ â€“ ICÂ RC

As VCCÂ and RCÂ are fixed values, therefore, it is a first degree equation and can be represented by a straight line on the output characteristics. This is known as d.c. load line and determines the locusÂ of VCEÂ Â Â Â  Â ICÂ points for any given value of RC. To add load line, we need two end points of the straight line. These two points can be located as under :

(i) When the collector current ICÂ = 0, then collector-emitter voltage is maximum and is equal to VÂ cc Â i.e

Max. VCEÂ = VCCÂ â€“ ICÂ RC Â = VCCÂ  Â  Â  Â  Â  as Â  Â (ICÂ = 0)

This gives the first point B (OB = VCC) on the collector-emitter voltage axis as shown in Fig. (ii).

(ii) When collector-emitter voltage VCEÂ = 0, the collector current is maximum and is equal to VCCÂ /RCÂ i.e.

VCEÂ = VCCÂ â€“Â ICÂ RCÂ or

0 = VCCÂ â€“Â ICÂ RC

Max. ICÂ = VCCÂ /RC

This gives the second point A (OA = VCCÂ /RC) on the collector current axis as shown in Fig. Â (ii).Â By joining these two points, d.c. *load line AB is constructed.

Importance. The current (IC) and voltage (VCE) conditions in the transistor circuit are represented byÂ some point on the output characteristics. The same information can be obtained from the load line. ThusÂ when ICÂ is maximum (= VCCÂ /RC), then VCEÂ = 0 as shown in Above Fig. If ICÂ = 0, then VCEÂ is maximumÂ and is equal to VCC. For any other value of collector current say OC, the collector-emitter voltage VCEÂ = OD. It follows, therefore, that load line gives a far more convenient and direct solution to theÂ problem.

Note. If we plot the load line on the output characteristic of the transistor, we can investigate the behaviour of the transistor amplifier. It is because we have the transistor output current and voltage specified in the form of load line equation and the transistor behaviour itself specified implicitly by the output characteristics.

Why load line ? The resistance RCÂ connected to the device is called load or load resistance for the circuit and, therefore, the line we have just constructed is called the load line.

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