Electrical Measurements Explained

What does 24 Volts, @ 15 amps mean? What is a watt? What’s a watt-hour? What about an amp-hour? These are all crucial ways of measuring how much electricity is present, at what rates, and just how much that electricity wants to move. We are going to be greatly simplifying these concepts, so as always, consult an electrician before working on or making any electrically involved decisions. Volts and Amps We’re going to start with the basics: What’s in the wire. The wires around you contain electrons. The movement of these electrons is electricity. When there is electricity, such as a light switch being turned on, electrons are moving through  the wire, creating magnetic fields and heat, among other things. Volts are the amount of force pushing those electrons. A low voltage source such as a double A battery has just enough force inside it to make electrons move through a wire. It doesn’t quite have enough force to shoot electrons into the air and make lightning like an industrial transformer could. The flow of these electrons is called Current, which we measure in Amps (amperes). It’s easiest to picture the current as a flow-rate, “one gallon per hour.” We can measure the total amount of amps with an Amp-Hour. For example, if we have a pump that needs 10 Amps to run, and it runs for One Hour, that it runs at 10 Amp-Hours. In 24 hours, it will […]

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How Do Transformers Work?

So, transformers are these really cool robots that turn into cars, trucks, jets and the like. They usually end up breaking a major city, there’s some explosions, and a lot of screaming going on. It’s all because of this big war of the robots going on..   JUST KIDDING! You really thought I was gonna talk about robots when we have Electrical Transformers to talk about? No, no, no. These things are just too cool to pass up. We use them EVERYWHERE. Seriously, if you live in 21st Century USA and use electronics, you have at least one transformer, but more likely, probably dozens to hundreds of them. You need them in your washer, drier, computers, cell phone chargers, TVs, and so much more. It’s amazing.   The Problem Everything in the world runs on electricity, but the details about that electricity are different for nearly every device. Your home most likely receives AC Power from your local provider. In the US, that’s 120 VAC at 60 Hertz. What’s a little weird is that we transmit AC power everywhere, near every device in your home is run with DC Power. That’s alternating current versus direct current. So, we’re sending the wrong kind of power to your home or business, which can’t directly power your devices. It gets worse. The voltages are all different too. The processor in your computer needs multiple voltages. Generally at most, 1.35 Volts, plus some others. […]

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