Knowledge is Power: The Mechanics of Electricity

Imagine a life without refrigerators, electric fans, televisions, computers, electric lights, and iron. Just picturing out such a life is difficult, isn’t it? Well, without electricity, all these things wouldn’t be able to make our lives more convenient. But what exactly is electricity, and how does it get to our homes?

We here at Meiji Electronic, the best electrical supplier in the Philippines, will give you a lowdown on how this force of nature powers our modern-day devices.

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Definition of Electricity

Electricity is a type of energy formed by the existence and movement of an electrical charge such as protons or electrons. Protons are positively charged, while protons are negatively charged. Like particles repel from one another while those with opposite charges attract one another.

Forms of Electricity

There are two forms of Electricity: Static and Current electricity.

static electricity meiji

Static

Sometimes, when you comb your hair really fast, there is some sort of energy that makes your hair strands stand by themselves. Or sometimes you experience a shot of electricity when your skin makes contact with another person. Some call it magic, but it’s actually static electricity. This is caused by the imbalance of opposite charges, which results to the electrons bouncing around atoms to relieve energy. Another example is one of nature’s most beautiful phenomenon, lightning.

current electricity meiji

Current

You may have seen the letters AC and DC when it comes to electronics. AC stands for alternating current, while DC stands for direct current. It is easy to know the difference between the two currents. Direct Current flows in only one direction, while Alternating current goes back and forth. Direct Current is applicable to toys and small gadgets while Alternating is applicable to large household appliances such as washing machines.

How does Electricity Travel to Your Home?

Before electricity can reach your home, it has to be produced first, and there are different ways to generate electricity for mass consumption. There are different possible ways to generate power: moving water (hydroelectric), nuclear fission (nuclear), wind, and the sun (solar). Here in the Philippines, however, the most common one, which is also the most common one around the world, is burning fossil fuel – coal or petroleum – to produce steam, which powers the large turbines. When these turbines move, electricity is produced.

Next, the electricity moves through the power plant to the transformers, where the voltage is raised to allow the electricity to travel through long distances. The electricity is sent through power lines that can last for miles to a substation transformer, where the voltage is lowered down. Finally, it is sent to a pole transformer to reduce once and for all the voltage down to 120 to 250 volts.

This electricity flows to a service box that measures how much electricity you use. Breakers and fusers are also located here to insulate the wires from any possible electrical overload. The electricity then flows through your home to power whatever electronic device you have, such as your computer or microwave.

We have been living with electricity for so long that it’s already taken for granted. But now that you know more about this all-too-important resource, you probably appreciate it even more.

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