All posts tagged educational

A Quick and Simple Guide to Electricity

Electricity in its simplest definition is electrons flowing from one area to another, but more precisely flowing along a circuit. When an electron is freed from an atom and required to move, it carries with it a charge that is then able to produce electricity. Valence electrons are the outermost electrons of an atom and need the lowest amount of force in order to be freed. The free electrons then search for new atoms to attach to, and must evict one of the existing electrons in order to make enough room for it. The process then starts all over again, and an electric current is created. Certain elements are excellent conductors of electricity due to the fact that they have electrons that are extremely mobile. This applies to elements such as gold, silver, and copper. Elements that are made up of atoms that do not allow current to flow easily are known as insulators.

Electricity can take two different forms, either static or current. Static, meaning at rest, electricity occurs when an object amasses opposite charges that are divided by an insulator. This type of electricity only exists until the clusters of conflicting charges are able to find a pathway to connect and thus balance out the system. When the charges equalize, a static discharge happens. An intense example of static discharge is lightening. Current electricity is what is utilized to power all devices and electronics. This form of electricity relies on charges that flow continuously. This is possible with the use of a closed loop of conductive material otherwise known as a circuit.  A circuit typically involves a combination of wire and other mechanisms to control the flow of electricity. The only restriction is that any insulating gaps cannot be included.

Electric fields in the space between charges act as the pushing or pulling force. This concept is similar to Earth’s gravitational field. The route of electric fields is always described as the direction a positive test charge would travel. If the positive test charge was dropped near a negative charge, there would be an attraction to it from the test charge. The electric field would then be drawn with arrows pointing inward to the negative charge. On the opposite side, if the positive test charge was placed nearby another positive charge the result would be outward repulsion. The electric field would be drawn with arrows going away from the positive charge. Electric fields preform a critical task in that it induces the current flow.

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AC and DC Power: What You Need to Know

DC power, which stands for direct current, involves the flowing of an electrical current in a singular direction. This was developed by Thomas Edison and became the standard for America’s earliest foray into electricity. Unfortunately, the inability of DC power to be simply converted into higher or lower voltages sparked the need for alternative solutions. Nikola Tesla as a result created AC power, which means alternating current. AC can be changed to different voltages more effortlessly with the use of a transformer. This is because the current alternates and reverses direction sixty times each second.

A battle of currents erupted from the creators of these rivaling electrical sources. The conflict was due to the fact that both inventors wanted to be credited for assisting in the future electrical infrastructure in America and receive any royalties that may involve. The war reached a turning point when a renowned industrialist from Pittsburgh, George Westinghouse, purchased Tesla’s patents for AC transmissions and motors. Westinghouse went on to perfect the distribution system for AC power, which lead to the prominence it has in American homes. However, AC and DC currents both have uses in the modern world. In recent years, DC power has incurred a rebirth and gained more prominence.

Offices and households almost always rely on alternating current sources because of how easy it is to generate and transport AC through long distances. Less energy is lost in electrical power transmission when AC is operating at high voltages. The higher voltage produces a lower current. The lower current has the effect of creating less heat in the power line due to resistance.  AC has the capability of fueling electric motors, as well. Generators and motors are almost identical devices; however, motors convert the energy from electrical to mechanical. This is useful for refrigerators, dishwashers, and other large appliances, which is why they run on AC.

The number of applications that DC is used for has risen in the 21st century. Every product that receives power from a battery, or uses an AC adapter to plug in the wall, is dependent on DC. This is also true for devices that need a USB cable for power. DC electronics include cell phones and flashlights. Flat-screen televisions have AC going into the TV but it is ultimately converted to DC. Electric and hybrid vehicles also run on DC. Laptops, as well as some vehicles, run on a combination of AC and DC currents

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are committed to the needs of our customers, which is why we are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency situations. We offer an expansive variety of services from small residential repairs all the way to large electrical construction projects. The foundation of our business is the dedication we have to remaining honest and ethical. We prioritize solving the true source of the problem, rather than performing a temporary fix. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Contact us today!

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