You flip a switch and the light comes on. Easy as that, right? We all know it’s not. Ever wonder how is electricity generated? Where does it come from and more important, how does electricity get into my house?
Let the knowledgeable team at L-Train Electric shed some light on where electricity comes from and how it gets to you!
Electricity Generation with Easy Steps
Step 1: Generation
How is electricity generated? The majority of electricity is created in a power plant by a generator. Inside this generator is a turbine that relies on an external energy source in order to rotate. Also this turbine rotates an electric conductor, such as copper, within a magnetic field, which results in mechanical energy being converted into electrical energy.
What Generates Electricity?
As noted above, in order to turn the turbine, an external source of energy has to be expended. This external component can come from a variety of sources and can include non-renewable resources such as coal or natural gas; renewable sources like wind; or could rely on a process such as hydroelectric dams or nuclear power plants.
Step 2: Transmission
Now that the power has been generated, how does electricity get into my home? To deliver this massive amount of energy from the powerplant to your home, a network of transmission lines, substations, sub-transmission lines (more substations), and finally distribution lines are used. This network is more commonly known as the “power grid.”
Here’s how it works:
- Electricity is generated at the power plant.
- Electricity is sent via a transmission line to a large nearby substation.
- Substation ups the voltage to transfer electricity efficiently over long distances.
- A second substation lowers the voltage to prepare for distribution.
- Sub-transmission lines carry lower-voltage electricity to distribution networks.
Step 3: Distribution
After traveling possibly hundreds of miles, winding through transmission lines and changing voltages a few times, the electricity is ready for distribution. Electricity exits the local substation through powerlines before being reduced in voltage once more by pole-top transformers. This lower-voltage electricity is now also suitable for powering your lights, dishwasher, laptop, etc. Power passes through a service line, called a “service drop,” which is wired to your dwelling. Also this line will run either underground or overhead and then run through a meter to monitor use. From there it is wired into the home breaker box. Now let there be light!
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