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Inductors in Parallel
Two inductors connected in parallel.

When we connect inductors in parallel, as with other components, we have two separate paths for current to flow. This is clear in the figure to the right. However, just as with inductors in series, we must take into account the mutual inductance between the two coils.

To do this, we first note that, as with inductors in series, the mutual inductance can either add to or subtract from the self-inductance of each coil. With this in mind, the general equation for two inductors in parallel is:

1  =  1  +  1

LT L1 ± M L2 ± M

As you would expect, the sign applied to M depends on whether the magnetic fields aid (+) or oppose (-) each other.

There is one extra caveat when working with inductors in parallel: if both inductors are driven from active power sources, those sources can override the normal effect of mutual inductance. In this case, the true effect cannot be readily calculated, but it can be measured.

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