Electricity is fundamental to modern life. It’s hard to imagine living without the ability to flip a switch and have something as simple as light for your home. It is often taken for granted, but a lot of work goes into providing electrical services for your home and your city. The United States is the biggest consumer of energy in the world, and new, more efficient methods are constantly being researched and developed in order to meet the demands of modern civilization. If you never knew how your house stays lit up, then you’re about to learn. Here are some ways that power is brought into your home.
Humans are intimately connected to electricity, whether it’s through consumption as a utility or through the bioelectrical processes that make our bodies tick. Electricity is a catchall used to describe a set of physical phenomenon that deals with charge. It occurs naturally, but, for the purposes of human consumption, it has to be generated in a consistent stream of energy. This energy is cultivated through the spinning of a magnet around a coil of wire. This process charges the wire, and that charge is harnessed in a generator then spread through power lines from a transformer. Providers of electrical services manage this system. This is how we can manage to keep lights illuminated and cell phones charged.
Spin Me Right Round
In order to create a charge, a magnet needs to be constantly spinning. Turbines are used to create this spin. A magnet is placed on an axle, much like a car tire, and that axle is connected to a spinning turbine. Maintaining that spin is achieved by several different methods. The most common method is through steam power. Water is heated to a high temperature, and the power of the released steam is used to keep those blades spinning.
Burn, Baby, Burn!
To generate steam, fuels are burned to create heat. The most common of these are coal and other fossil fuels like gasoline. They burn efficiently and generate large amounts of heat. Biomass fuels, such as wood and animal waste, are also burned to generate heat, but they are a less efficient means of doing so. Nuclear fission generates lots of energy and heat through the splitting of uranium atoms in a controlled environment. All methods have advantages and disadvantages, but the end result is always the same: power for your home.
Hydropower turbines use water flow to generate spin. Wind turbines use the power of the wind. Solar panels capture the energy of the sun and release it into our homes. No matter the source of the energy, electrical services are an important industry for modern society.