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Concept# Impedance parameters

Summary

Impedance parameters or Z-parameters (the elements of an impedance matrix or Z-matrix) are properties used in electrical engineering, electronic engineering, and communication systems engineering to describe the electrical behavior of linear electrical networks. They are also used to describe the small-signal (linearized) response of non-linear networks. They are members of a family of similar parameters used in electronic engineering, other examples being: S-parameters, Y-parameters, H-parameters, T-parameters or ABCD-parameters.
Z-parameters are also known as open-circuit impedance parameters as they are calculated under open circuit conditions. i.e., Ix=0, where x=1,2 refer to input and output currents flowing through the ports (of a two-port network in this case) respectively.
A Z-parameter matrix describes the behaviour of any linear electrical network that can be regarded as a black box with a number of ports. A port in this context is a pair of electrical terminals carrying equal and opposite currents into and out-of the network, and having a particular voltage between them. The Z-matrix gives no information about the behaviour of the network when the currents at any port are not balanced in this way (should this be possible), nor does it give any information about the voltage between terminals not belonging to the same port. Typically, it is intended that each external connection to the network is between the terminals of just one port, so that these limitations are appropriate.
For a generic multi-port network definition, it is assumed that each of the ports is allocated an integer n ranging from 1 to N, where N is the total number of ports. For port n, the associated Z-parameter definition is in terms of the port current and port voltage, and respectively.
For all ports the voltages may be defined in terms of the Z-parameter matrix and the currents by the following matrix equation:
where Z is an N × N matrix the elements of which can be indexed using conventional matrix notation.

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