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What You Need to Know About the Basic Electrical Principles

Seeing the benefits of electricity in our day-to-day living, it’s safe to say that its discovery brought about the most change to the world. Electricity helped make our nights brighter, gave us entertainment options such as television and radio, and even allowed us to cook and reheat our food.

What You Need to Know About the Basic Electrical Principles

Electricity, Defined

In layman’s terms, what we call electricity is defined as charge moving from positive to negative. This charge can be created physically or chemically, and regardless of the way it was made, its movement is called electricity.

What You Need to Know About Electrical Current

Electrical current is defined as the flow of electric charge. There are two kinds of current: AC (alternating current), and DC (direct current). The latter flows in a single direction and has constant voltage polarity, while the latter periodically changes direction and voltage polarity. DC was first used, but as human societies grew bigger, DC became a less efficient way of moving electrical energy, and AC began to be used. Today, portable electric devices use DC, and power plants provide AC power.

What is the Ohm, and What is Ohm’s Law?

Ohm’s Law

 

Ohm is the unit of resistance in conductors. Ohm’s Law is said to be the fundamental electrical law, and is expressed in this formula: V=IR. V stands for voltage, which is defined as the work needed to move a charge from one point to another. So in other words, the value of ten volts is an expression of the difference between a reference point and another.

Next part of the formula is I, which represents current, which is measured in Amperes. Current is the measure of flow charge in the circuit.

The last component is R, which means Resistance. Measured in Ohms, resistance refers to the amount of repulsion in the circuit. Simply said, resistance resists the flow of current. When electrons go against opposition that resistance offers in the circuit, there is friction, which results in the production of heat.

Parallel and Series Circuits

The former is defined as a number of circuits that branch off from a single power supply, while the latter type of circuit is one that is connected in line with an energy source. For the former, the current that the power source supplies is divided evenly among all branches, but the voltage stays the same. As for the latter type of circuit, the current remains constant, though the voltage varies.

Ampere

This is defined as the rate of flow of electrical current. For example, when a coulomb (6 x 1018 electrons) goes beyond a specific point on the conductor in a second, this is called a current of an ampere.

Ampacity

This term refers to how much current the conductor can manage before its temperature goes way beyond acceptable limits. Limits are mentioned in different electrical codes and other engineering papers. One should be aware of these limits as well as the many external factors affecting the ampacity of electrical conductors, either by checking out the said documents mentioned or by checking with an electrician .This way, the proper conductor size is selected.

 

Article written by Fernando Walston

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