current and voltage sources

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by sharanbr123, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. sharanbr123

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    Hi All,

    I would like to know the difference between a current and a voltage source.
    Is it only representation or interpretation that is different?

    Thanks in advance ...
  2. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
    put simply a voltage source will give you a voltage level from which a variable current is available. like a battery.
    a current source would provide a specified current and allow voltage to change in ways that will keep that current flowing. like a current limited power supply.
  3. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
    With a current source the current remains constant and the voltage will change to keep it that way. With a voltage source the voltage remains constant with various currents.
  4. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    An ideal voltage source provide a voltage with a zero (apparent) source impedance, i.e. the voltage is independent of the current drawn by the load impedance. Variation of the load impedance causes the current to vary but not the voltage.

    An ideal current source provides a current with an infinite (apparent) source impedance, i.e. the current is independent of the voltage across the load impedance. Variation of the load impedance causes the voltage to vary but not the current.

    Real sources have limitations, of course, to the amount of voltage and current they can deliver. But with feedback, these ideals can be closely realized within the device's current and voltage limitations.
  5. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    Your question is very very good question. Many devices are much more "understandable" when you view them in the current realm verses the voltage realm. Being able to "think" current as well as voltage is very important.

    Here are my descriptions:

    A voltage source will vary the current output to keep the voltage constant.
    A current source will vary the voltage output to keep the current constant.
    sharanbr123 and MrCarlos like this.