Air Conditioning Repair & Service, Heating Repair & Service, HVAC Repairs & Service, Electric Repairs & Service, New Systems      

Managing Energy

Back

As a consumer, in able for one to make educated decisions regarding their tactics to energy conservation, one must first understand the difference between electricity and energy and also what makes the two similar. In doing so, we provided the article below to explain exactly that!

By definition the meaning of electricity is the physical phenomena, which arises from the behavior of electrons and protons. This form of energy is caused by the attraction of particles with opposite charges and the repulsion of particles with the same charge. All matter is also made of atoms, in which the atom has a center commonly known as a nucleus.

The nucleus consists of positively charged particles referred to as protons, and uncharged particles called neutrons. An atom's nucleus is surrounded by negatively charged particles called electrons. The negative charge of an electron is equivalent to the positive charge of the proton. Also, the number of electrons is typically equal to the number of protons.

At the time that the balancing force is disrupted by an outside force an atom may gain or lose an electron. When electrons become "lost" from an atom, the free movement of these electrons results in an electric current.

So, how is electricity generated, one might ask? As the very most basic concept of nature, electricity is the foremost form of energy. Many cities are built around waterfalls, which a primary source of mechanical energy. These waterfalls churn wheels to perform the work needed to create energy.

Over 100 years ago, houses were lit with kerosene lamps, food was kept cold in ice boxes, and entire rooms were warmed by wood burning stoves. In the 1700's, Benjamin Franklin brought us electricity with an experiment and slowly we began to comprehend the complexity of electricity.

Over the years, we continued to advance and soon an electric generator was designed, which would convert mechanical energy into electricity. This process stood foundational for the relationship between magnetism and electricity. When a wire or other conductive material moves across a magnetic field an electric current occurs on the wire. The large generators which are utilized within the electric industry have a stationary conductor. At the end of a rotating shaft, a magnet is attached. As the magnet passes, it induces a small electric current. Each section of the wire constitutes a small, separate electric current, in which each current is combined to a larger size to provide power.

What about a transformer? How are they used? To solve the problem of sending electricity over long distances, Mr. George Westinghouse designed the transformer in the late 1800's. As the transformer allowed electricity to be efficiently transmitted over long distance, it was now possible to supply electricity over long distances.

Regardless of its importance to our daily lives, we tend to take electricity for granted. From lighting to cooling and heating our homes or even the source of power for televisions and computers, electricity is a convenient source of power that we fail to truly appreciate it's value.

Let's not forget turbines and their part in generating electricity! Most of the electricity in the United States is produced in steam turbines. A turbine converts kinetic energy of a moving fluid to mechanical energy. Steam turbines have numerous blades that are mounted on a shaft, in which steam is forced, thus rotating the shaft connected to the generator. In a fossil-fueled steam turbine, the fuel is burned in a furnace to heat water in a boiler to produce steam.

DID YOU KNOW....

  • Coal is the single primary source of energy used to generate electricity.
  • In 1998, 15% of the nation's electricity was fueled by gas.
  • In 1998, 3% of all electricity generated came from petroleum.

One final question, how is electricity measured? As named in honor of Mr. James Watt, electricity is measured in extremely small units called watts. For example, if you use a 40 watt light bulb 5 hours a day, you have used 200 watts of power or .2 kilowatt hours of electrical energy.

750 Watts= 1 Horsepower
1 Kilowatt= 1000 Watts

Understanding where energy comes from makes us understand why conservation is critical. When we realize that electricity is something that is not strictly mechanical and it is actually produced somewhat from precious minerals, then we can begin to feel urgency for conservation and efficiency.

After all, we should be thanking gentleman like Benjamin Franklin and James Watt. Their brilliance and determination became a foundation for what we have today and also for the innovation of tomorrow!

If you have any questions or would to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists, please feel free to contact A-Anderson Air Conditioning Heating & Electric at    469-556-9568