Parallel Resonance Circuit

Table of Contents

In many ways a parallel resonance circuit is exactly the same as the series resonance circuit we looked at in the previous tutorial. Both are 3-element networks that contain two reactive components making them a second-order circuit, both are influenced by variations in the supply frequency and both have a frequency point where their two reactive components cancel each other out influencing the characteristics of the circuit. Both circuits have a resonant frequency point.

The difference this time however, is that a parallel resonance circuit is influenced by the currents flowing through each parallel branch within the parallel LC tank circuit. A tank circuit is a parallel combination of L and C that is used in filter networks to either select or reject AC frequencies. Consider the parallel RLC circuit below.

Parallel RLC Circuit

parallel resonance circuit

Let us define what we already know about parallel RLC circuits.

parallel rlc circuit

A parallel circuit containing a resistance, R, an inductance, L and a capacitance, C will produce a parallel resonance (also called anti-resonance) circuit when the resultant current through the parallel combination is in phase with the supply voltage. At resonance there will be a large circulating current between the inductor and the capacitor due to the energy of the oscillations, then parallel circuits produce current resonance.

parallel resonant circuit stores the circuit energy in the magnetic field of the inductor and the electric field of the capacitor. This energy is constantly being transferred back and forth between the inductor and the capacitor which results in zero current and energy being drawn from the supply.

This is because the corresponding instantaneous values of IL and IC will always be equal and opposite and therefore the current drawn from the supply is the vector addition of these two currents and the current flowing in IR.

In the solution of AC parallel resonance circuits we know that the supply voltage is common for all branches, so this can be taken as our reference vector. Each parallel branch must be treated separately as with series circuits so that the total supply current taken by the parallel circuit is the vector addition of the individual branch currents.

Then there are two methods available to us in the analysis of parallel resonance circuits. We can calculate the current in each branch and then add together or calculate the admittance of each branch to find the total current.

We know from the previous series resonance tutorial that resonance takes place when VL = -VC and this situation occurs when the two reactances are equal, XL = XC. The admittance of a parallel circuit is given as:

parallel circuit admittance

Resonance occurs when XL = XC and the imaginary parts of Y become zero. Then:

parallel resonance equation

Notice that at resonance the parallel circuit produces the same equation as for the series resonance circuit. Therefore, it makes no difference if the inductor or capacitor are connected in parallel or series.

Also at resonance the parallel LC tank circuit acts like an open circuit with the circuit current being determined by the resistor, R only. So the total impedance of a parallel resonance circuit at resonance becomes just the value of the resistance in the circuit and  Z = R as shown.

parallel resonance

Thus at resonance, the impedance of the parallel circuit is at its maximum value and equal to the resistance of the circuit creating a circuit condition of high resistance and low current. Also at resonance, as the impedance of the circuit is now that of resistance only, the total circuit current, I will be “in-phase” with the supply voltage, VS.

We can change the circuit’s frequency response by changing the value of this resistance. Changing the value of R affects the amount of current that flows through the circuit at resonance, if both L and C remain constant. Then the impedance of the circuit at resonance Z = RMAX is called the “dynamic impedance” of the circuit.

Impedance in a Parallel Resonance Circuit

parallel resonance circuit impedance

Note that if the parallel circuits impedance is at its maximum at resonance then consequently, the circuits admittance must be at its minimum and one of the characteristics of a parallel resonance circuit is that admittance is very low limiting the circuits current. Unlike the series resonance circuit, the resistor in a parallel resonance circuit has a damping effect on the circuits bandwidth making the circuit less selective.

Also, since the circuit current is constant for any value of impedance, Z, the voltage across a parallel resonance circuit will have the same shape as the total impedance and for a parallel circuit the voltage waveform is generally taken from across the capacitor.

We now know that at the resonant frequency, ƒr the admittance of the circuit is at its minimum and is equal to the conductance, G given by 1/R because in a parallel resonance circuit the imaginary part of admittance, i.e. the susceptance, B is zero because BL = BC as shown.

Susceptance at Resonance

susceptance at resonance

From above, the inductive susceptanceBL is inversely proportional to the frequency as represented by the hyperbolic curve. The capacitive susceptanceBC is directly proportional to the frequency and is therefore represented by a straight line. The final curve shows the plot of total susceptance of the parallel resonance circuit versus the frequency and is the difference between the two susceptance’s.

Then we can see that at the resonant frequency point were it crosses the horizontal axis the total circuit susceptance is zero. Below the resonant frequency point, the inductive susceptance dominates the circuit producing a “lagging” power factor, whereas above the resonant frequency point the capacitive susceptance dominates producing a “leading” power factor.

So at the resonant frequency, ƒr the current drawn from the supply must be “in-phase” with the applied voltage as effectively there is only the resistance present in the parallel circuit, so the power factor becomes one or unity, ( θ = 0o ).

Also as the impedance of a parallel circuit changes with frequency, this makes the circuit impedance “dynamic” with the current at resonance being in-phase with the voltage since the impedance of the circuit acts as a resistance. Then we have seen that the impedance of a parallel circuit at resonance is equivalent to the value of the resistance and this value must, therefore represent the maximum dynamic impedance (Zd) of the circuit as shown.

dynamic impedance

Current in a Parallel Resonance Circuit

As the total susceptance is zero at the resonant frequency, the admittance is at its minimum and is equal to the conductance, G. Therefore at resonance the current flowing through the circuit must also be at its minimum as the inductive and capacitive branch currents are equal ( IL = IC ) and are 180o out of phase.

We remember that the total current flowing in a parallel RLC circuit is equal to the vector sum of the individual branch currents and for a given frequency is calculated as:

equation for parallel branch currents

At resonance, currents IL and IC are equal and cancelling giving a net reactive current equal to zero. Then at resonance the above equation becomes.

circuit currents at resonance

Since the current flowing through a parallel resonance circuit is the product of voltage divided by impedance, at resonance the impedance, Z is at its maximum value, ( =R ). Therefore, the circuit current at this frequency will be at its minimum value of V/R and the graph of current against frequency for a parallel resonance circuit is given as.

Parallel Circuit Current at Resonance

parallel rlc currents at resonance

The frequency response curve of a parallel resonance circuit shows that the magnitude of the current is a function of frequency and plotting this onto a graph shows us that the response starts at its maximum value, reaches its minimum value at the resonance frequency when IMIN = IR and then increases again to maximum as ƒ becomes infinite.

The result of this is that the magnitude of the current flowing through the inductor, L and the capacitor, C tank circuit can become many times larger than the supply current, even at resonance but as they are equal and at opposition ( 180o out-of-phase ) they effectively cancel each other out.

As a parallel resonance circuit only functions on resonant frequency, this type of circuit is also known as an Rejecter Circuit because at resonance, the impedance of the circuit is at its maximum thereby suppressing or rejecting the current whose frequency is equal to its resonant frequency. The effect of resonance in a parallel circuit is also called “current resonance”.

The calculations and graphs used above for defining a parallel resonance circuit are similar to those we used for a series circuit. However, the characteristics and graphs drawn for a parallel circuit are exactly opposite to that of series circuits with the parallel circuits maximum and minimum impedance, current and magnification being reversed. Which is why a parallel resonance circuit is also called an Anti-resonance circuit.

Bandwidth & Selectivity of a Parallel Resonance Circuit

The bandwidth of a parallel resonance circuit is defined in exactly the same way as for the series resonance circuit. The upper and lower cut-off frequencies given as: ƒupper and ƒlower respectively denote the half-power frequencies where the power dissipated in the circuit is half of the full power dissipated at the resonant frequency 0.5( I2 R ) which gives us the same -3dB points at a current value that is equal to 70.7% of its maximum resonant value, ( 0.707 x I )2 R

As with the series circuit, if the resonant frequency remains constant, an increase in the quality factor, Q will cause a decrease in the bandwidth and likewise, a decrease in the quality factor will cause an increase in the bandwidth as defined by:

  BW = ƒr /Q  or  BW = ƒupper – ƒlower

Also changing the ratio between the inductor, L and the capacitor, C, or the value of the resistance, R the bandwidth and therefore the frequency response of the circuit will be changed for a fixed resonant frequency. This technique is used extensively in tuning circuits for radio and television transmitters and receivers.

The selectivity or Q-factor for a parallel resonance circuit is generally defined as the ratio of the circulating branch currents to the supply current and is given as:

q-factor for a parallel resonance circuit

Note that the Q-factor of a parallel resonance circuit is the inverse of the expression for the Q-factor of the series circuit. Also in series resonance circuits the Q-factor gives the voltage magnification of the circuit, whereas in a parallel circuit it gives the current magnification.

Bandwidth of a Parallel Resonance Circuit

bandwidth of a parallel resonance circuit

Parallel Resonance Example No1

A parallel resonance network consisting of a resistor of 60Ω, a capacitor of 120uF and an inductor of 200mH is connected across a sinusoidal supply voltage which has a constant output of 100 volts at all frequencies. Calculate, the resonant frequency, the quality factor and the bandwidth of the circuit, the circuit current at resonance and current magnification.

example no1 parallel circuit

1. Resonant Frequency, ƒr

resonant frequency

2. Inductive Reactance at Resonance, XL

inductive reactance

3. Quality factor, Q

quality factor

4. Bandwidth, BW

circuit bandwidth

5. The upper and lower -3dB frequency points, ƒH and ƒL

cut-off frequency

6. Circuit Current at Resonance, IT

At resonance the dynamic impedance of the circuit is equal to R

parallel circuit current

7. Current Magnification, Imag

circuit current

Note that the current drawn from the supply at resonance (the resistive current) is only 1.67 amps, while the current flowing around the LC tank circuit is larger at 2.45 amps. We can check this value by calculating the current flowing through the inductor (or capacitor) at resonance.

inductor current

Parallel Resonance Tutorial Summary

We have seen that Parallel Resonance circuits are similar to series resonance circuits. Resonance occurs in a parallel RLC circuit when the total circuit current is “in-phase” with the supply voltage as the two reactive components cancel each other out.

At resonance the admittance of the circuit is at its minimum and is equal to the conductance of the circuit. Also at resonance the current drawn from the supply is also at its minimum and is determined by the value of the parallel resistance.

The equation used to calculate the resonant frequency point is the same for the previous series circuit. However, while the use of either pure or impure components in the series RLC circuit does not affect the calculation of the resonance frequency, but in a parallel RLC circuit it does.

In this tutorial about parallel resonance, we have assumed that the the two reactive components are purely inductive and purely capacitive with zero impedance. However in reality, the inductor will contain some amount resistance in series, RS with its inductive coil, since inductors (and solenoids) are wound coils of wire, usually made from copper, wrapped around a central core.

Therefore the basic equation above for calculating the parallel resonant frequency, ƒr of a pure parallel resonance circuit will need to be modified slightly to take account of the impure inductor having a series resistance.

Resonant Frequency using Impure Inductor

parallel resonance of a coil

Where: L is the inductance of the coil, C is the parallel capacitance and RS is the DC resistive value of the coil.


Similar Articles & Blogs

Explore similar articles on various electronics and electrical topics – 

Binary Weighted DAC

Digital-to-Analogue Converters, or DAC’s as they are more commonly known, are the opposite of the Analogue-to-Digital Converters we looked at in a previous tutorial. DAC’s convert binary

Learn More >>


We saw in the previous tutorial about the binary weighted digital-to-analogue converter that the analogue output voltage is the weighted sum of the individual inputs, and that

Learn More >>

Analogue to Digital Converter

Analogue-to-Digital Converters, (ADCs) allow micro-processor controlled circuits, Arduinos, Raspberry Pi, and other such digital logic circuits to communicate with the real world. In the real

Learn More >>

Transmission Gate

The analogue switch is a solid-state semiconductor switch that controls the transmission path of analogue signals. The open and closed operations of the switch positions

Learn More >>

Binary Adder

Another common and very useful combinational logic circuit which can be constructed using just a few basic logic gates allowing it to add together two

Learn More >>

Bus Transceiver

A Transceiver can be used to provide bidirectional, input or output control, of either digital or analogue devices to a common shared data bus. Unlike the buffer,

Learn More >>