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If I have a generator that rotates in open circuit, do I call it "the generator has no load" or " the generator has infinite load"?

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    \$\begingroup\$ No load. Infinite load would be a short circuit. \$\endgroup\$
    – tcrosley
    Jul 3 '16 at 10:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ why? Air has infinite resistance. \$\endgroup\$
    – sotirios
    Jul 3 '16 at 10:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean, load is the resistance on the circuit, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – sotirios
    Jul 3 '16 at 10:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Load is a current (power) drawn out of source \$\endgroup\$ Jul 3 '16 at 10:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ did you mean no load and infinite resistance? \$\endgroup\$
    – old_timer
    Jul 3 '16 at 11:19
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From an electrical perspective loading refers to what is impeding powerflow.

"weak pullup", refers to a high ohmage resistor. Likewise with generation and other such powersources a low load is one that requires low power flow & this implies higher impedance.

Loading and impedance are inverse terms.

Low load --> High resistance

High load --> Low resistance

Infinite load --> short circuit

No load --> infinite resistance

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Load represent how much current (power) is drawn from source. For example, if there's no load, no current (power) is drawn, voltage is still there, it's just an open circuit which has infinite resistance. If you short it out, you effectively have zero resistance (well, something near that because wires still have some). If you turn your supply on, your drawn current (power) will be set according to Ohm's law and it's going to be very high. So, no load is the right term

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You would usually use the term no load. Infinite load is not a common term, but might be understood to mean short circuit.

It makes sense when you think about the current or power being taken from the source:

  • Big resistor = small current flowing = small power = small load
  • Small resistor = big current flowing = big power = big load
  • No resistor = no power flowing = no power = no load

Also, in the last case there is literally no load attached to the generator. There is nothing plugged in.

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No load. You could also call it open circuit.

Infinite load is not a phrase that is used by professionals, and as you've noticed, it causes confusion, so there's every reason not to use it.

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If a truck is loaded up then it struggles compared to its unloaded situation. Infinite load on a truck would cripple it just as infinite load on a battery would effectively short circuit it.

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