Georgia Journal of Science


A problem that occurs in the use of electrical appliances is overheating. Electrical device components require reasonable working temperatures to prevent damage and increase efficiency. To gain an understanding of overheating we worked with an RLC circuit (a circuit consisting of a resistor, an inductor, and a capacitor) to represent a simplified model of an electrical component. The behavior of this circuit is similar to that of many electrical appliance components because as current flows through the resistor there is a rise in temperature due to the resistance to the electric current. Therefore, by using the RLC circuit, we can possibly get a better understanding of an electrical component’s temperature behavior. We first investigated the circuit’s differential equation to find the solution for the current. The derived current can be used in the power loss of the resistor, which is equal to the heat dissipated from the circuit resistance. To model the cooling of the system we added radiation, conduction, and convection terms to the differential equation. With each added cooling term the temperature in our system was seen to decrease significantly.


We thank the University of West Georgia for their support. This research was funded by NSF LSAMP (The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation) Award no. 1305041.