Electricity powers the world around us. But what exactly is electricity?
Electricity is a flow of energy, that, when harnessed, can be used to power all the appliances we interact with every day.
Most electricity comes from the turning of huge turbines, powered by steam produced by burning coal. This current then gets fed to the populace at a safe volume through huge electrical networks until it reaches the plugs in your house.
Electricity can also exist in nature, usually in the form of static electricity or lightning
Static electricity builds up when friction happens. Similarly to how a balloon sticks to you after you rub it on your hair, clouds interact with the air around them causing friction and building up energy until lightning strikes.
On a much smaller scale we can sometimes cause a little lightning strike all by ourselves when we walk on a carpet wearing socks and we touch a friend during dryer months of the year.
Some more fun facts about electricity:
- Who invented electricity? Well, to be specific… Electricity is a form of energy that naturally occurs, so it was not “invented.” As to who discovered it, there are many misconceptions. However, some credit should be given to Benjamin Franklin for discovering electricity, but his experiments only helped establish the connection between lightning and electricity, nothing more.
- Electricity travels at more than 299337 kilometres per second! That's about as fast as the speed of light.
- The typical lightning bolt measures up at 100 million volts. In comparison, a taser can deliver around 50000 volts.
- In the wild certain creatures harness the power of electricity. The electric eel, which is actually a kind of knife fish, delivers shocks of up to 600 volts. The platypus with over 80 different kinds of venom, uses electrical energy to hunt and find its prey.
- The country of Iceland is the only country in the entire world which produces all of its energy through renewable resources.
- In France, there is a town called Albertville which runs on the power of cheese! All the whey, which is a by-product of producing some cheeses, is transformed into biogas using bacteria. The biogas is then combusted to produce 2800 MWh/yr of electricity.
- Your standard microwave uses more electricity to power its digital clock than it uses to heat up your food.
- Pure water does not conduct electricity! It is only the impurities in the water, mostly salts and minerals, that conduct electricity.
- In England, when the popular TV show Eastenders finishes airing, backup power stations go online to cope with the number of people making tea.
Zero Tolerance Electrical – Your Electrician in Cape Town
I hope you have found this interesting and that it has opened your eyes to just a little bit of how amazing the world of electricity really is.
For assistance with any of your electrical issues, we advise that you contact one of our electricians in Cape Town. Electricity can be dangerous and you should always have a professional assess the electrical problem first.