Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

Concepts and methodologies for studying electrical circuits in both sinusoidal and transient operations. Students will be capable of programming, in the framework of commercial software, the remote control both of single instruments and entire automated measurement set-ups and to operate with the main components and instrumentation in the laboratory.

Course contents

Module 1


Study of transients. RC, RL, RLC circuits. Definition of the initial conditions for the analysis of transients

Sinusoidal regimes

Power in sinusoidal regime. Three phase systems. Wye and delta components. Power in a three phase system.


Magnetic properties of matter, diamagnetic, paramagnetic and ferromagnetic materials, magnetic circuits, self and mutual induction coefficients. Hopkinson’s law.

The transformer

Working principle. Field hypotheses. Internal and external equations. Equivalent circuits.

Power system and Protection Devices

General information on power systems. Main power system components. Electric lines, protection devices, ground plant.


Module 2

Fundamentals of Metrology

The measurement process: definition of measured, interest/influence quantities, resources, activities. The model of a measurement process. Uncertainty of measurement: definition, evaluation, and expression in accordance with international standards. Examples of evaluation of the uncertainty of measurement.

Components for signal conditioning

Resistors, capacitors, and inductors. Equivalent circuits, component parameters and their characterization. The operational amplifier and its static and dynamic parameters. Examples of implementation of circuits for signal amplification. The differential amplifier and the instrumentation amplifier. Examples of implementation of A/D and D/A converters.

Digital multimeter (DMM)

Instrument fundamentals and general architecture. Ranges, integration time, resolution. Dual-slope ADC. Input conditioning networks for DC voltage, current and resistance measurement. Main parameters and specifications in DMM datasheets. Considerations on non-idealities and uncertainty.

Practical assignments on instrumentation

Use and remote programming of instrumentation (signal generator, multimeter, oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer), implementation of the measurement process, data analysis and evaluation of measurement uncertainty.


Module 3

Main Components

Resistor: main characteristics; band color. Capacitors: main characteristics; band color; numeric code. Inductors: main characteristics; band color.

Digital Instrumentation

Breadboard: structure; assembly of simple circuit on the breadboard and with the software Multisim.

Significant figures and approximation.

Digital instrumentation: digits, range, over-range, resolution.

Digital Multimeter (DMM): main characteristics; trigger, auto/hold, range e math; measurement techniques; accuracy with datasheet; temperature coefficients.

Power Supply: main characteristics; V-I setting: ideal, real and fold-back.

Function generator: main characteristics; output setup; setting.

Scope: main characteristics; AC-DC mode; sample, peak and average; trigger: auto, normal, single, internal and external; auto-set, save-recall; automatic measure; cursor.


Measurement of resistance, voltage and current with digital multimeter.

Measurement of the maximum transferred power from a Thevenin network to a variable resistance. Analysis in Multisim with the parameter sweep option.

Measurement with the scope of current and voltage in a circuit powered in sinusoidal regime.

Measurement of the inductance with the scope and with the digital multimeter.

Analysis of a RLC circuit.


Slides and notes edited by the Teachers. Commercial component and instrumentation datasheets. User manuals. Recommended books are:

  • “Electric circuits” Charles K. Alexander, Matthew N. O. Sadiku and
  • “Electrotechnics: Principals and Applications” G. Rizzoni.
  • “Elettrotecnica: elementi di teoria ed esercizi” di M. Repetto e S. Leva
  • “Elettrotecnica 1 e 1” di G. Chitarin, F. Gnesotto, M. Guarnieri, A. Machio, A. Stella

Teaching methods

Three strongly integrated modules:

  • module 1 is carried out through lectures and parts in the laboratory;
  • module 2 consists in laboratory activities;
  • module 3 is also carried out in the laboratory.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] on Health and Safety online.

Assessment methods

Module 1: oral exam.

Module 2: practical exam in the laboratory with the instrumentation and oral exam.

Module 3: practical exam in the laboratory with the instrumentation.

Teaching tools


Office hours

See the website of Lorenzo Cavallucci

See the website of Gian Piero Gibiino

See the website of Massimiliano Paparella