Science and technology have progressed in leaps and bounds over the past few decades. Electricity is one such thing that has eased our lives and now it is more than a blessing than any other thing. Our day-to-day activities revolve around the availability of electricity and the world comes to a standstill if we are deprived of the facility just for a few minutes.
What is Electricity
Electricity is the flow of electric charge in one direction known as electrons. When the electric charge is halted or not moving then that is known as static electricity and the moving type of electricity is the electric current or the current electricity. This is a kind of energy that we use for the sake of powering different types of electrical devices and power machines.
Electricity is just all around us. Apart from this running through the electrical wires at our homes, it is also something in the clouds and also something going through our hearts and brains for the body to function.
Why is Electricity Essential for Life
A day without electricity today would be enough to conclude how much we take this facility for granted. People from the time of its inception might be unfazed. However, in recent times, we are all dependent on it and would wait for hours for electricity to resume our pending work. A lot of old sources of energy have revolutionized with the introduction of electricity. It has impacted transportation, communication and various other industries.
People worldwide interact with various devices at home that are dependent on electricity. The fields of medicine, science, and technology cannot claim success without thanking electricity. On top of that, electricity has also made a huge impact in the entertainment industry as well to amuse us in a range of different ways.
Different Methods of Electricity Generation
The electricity generation is essentially a 2-step process. The process starts first with the boiling of water through heat and the steam produced through heat turns a turbine. This eventually spins an electric generator, thus creating electricity. The following are the most popular different methods used for producing electricity:
In hydroelectric power generation, electricity is generated through the water. Water coming with a pressure rotates the hydroelectric turbine’s blades. Those blades then drive the copper wire inside the generator, which then produces electricity.
Electricity Production through Steam
A steam generator or a power plant produces electric energy with the help of burning fuels. The fuels here include coal, biomass or petroleum, etc. The steam that is produced through this process is then fed into a turbine. The copper wire present in the generator moves with the rotational movement of the turbine for producing an electric current.
Windmill Electric Energy
This is an old but still relevant method for producing electricity. In this windmill setup, a typical wind power plant is installed that rotates the blades of the turbine. Just like the other methods discussed above, the movement of blades leads to the movement of copper wire for producing electricity. In the past with the traditional windmills, they were made to rotate the wheels of the associated mills. The modern windmills of today turn mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Solar Power Energy
In this method, photovoltaic cells are utilized for getting energy through sunlight to subsequently produce electricity. DC is produced from the placed solar panels, which are composed of photovoltaic cells. These solar panels for generating electric energy are getting popular for both domestic and commercial electrical needs.
Atomic energy is also an option that could be a massive source for electricity generation but it comes with side effects as well. It is a low carbon power generation method currently used to produce electricity in some areas.
Different Types of Electricity Storage Devices
The most common and widely used electricity storage devices and methods are as follows:
Hydroelectric or pumped hydroelectric type of electric energy storage facilitates the need in the form of water while employing two reservoirs. The reservoirs used are at distinct elevations. When the supply exceeds demand here then water is pumped right up to the topside reservoir. However, when demand exceeds supply then water is made to go to the lower reservoir to provide electricity.
Battery Energy Storage
The battery storage is quite common in a number of different applications. Such storage systems demonstrates very high level of energy power and density and also offers long-lasting charge/ discharge cycles. They are known for offering high level of efficiency and safety. It is cost-effective as compared to many other types of battery storage systems.
As much as 51% of all the novice developed energy storage systems are lithium-ion battery-based. They are mostly used in cell phones, laptops, digital cameras, and several other portable devices.
Applications of Electricity in Daily Life
Application of electricity is everywhere in our lives either we are at home, office, gym, restaurant, shopping mall or at any other commercial place. It is used for lighting, making fans work and to power domestic appliances. The range of domestic appliances using electricity is electric stoves, clothing iron, air-conditioner, television, animals radar and much more.
The portable devices such as cell phones, laptops, and many other such products are charged using electricity. We are so much dependent on electricity that the offices and commercial businesses do have backup generators to ensure continuous availability of electricity.
Why should we depend on sustainable resources for electricity production
Since we can observe that our environment needs a lot of help for getting cured of damages done by pollution. We need to keep up with the increasing energy demands and have to prefer sustainable resources that will not perish or harm the natural balance in the environment.
We must take care of the resources we use every day and we cannot deny the importance of electricity generation. A major part of our daily appliances and gadgets rely on the sustainable and consistent supply of electricity.
We need electricity or run our home appliances, we need it as the main energy resources for keeping up with the industrial demands and to run industrial machines in a way or another.
We need it for keeping our gadgets alive and running small and large machines for personal use and domestic use as well.
That is why it is important to understand that we must depend on renewable, and sustainable ways to produce electricity that will not harm nature and will help us keep up with the increasing demands of electricity production.
The most reliable resources that are used for electricity generation these days include hydel power plants and windmill electricity generators. Atomic power plants can be a massive resource but there is a drawback of using such methods.
Sustainable and environmentally friendly resources always help in keeping up with the increasing energy demands while having little or no side effects on natural balance within the ecosystems. That is why using sustainable electricity generation sources is a must thing.
Precautions and Warnings of Using Electricity
Application and usage of electricity demand a lot of safety precautions to be taken. Safety must not be compromised here under any circumstances as mishandling could lead to life-threatening electric shock.
Some important signs and symbols to look for when working around electrical supplies and generators.
The following are a few tips to help users while dealing with electricity:
- Make sure to avoid water when dealing with electricity or any electrical device. Your hands should always be dry when fixing any electrical equipment or even while using it.
- Frayed cord, broken plugs or damaged insulation usage should be avoided under all circumstances.
- Insulated tools must always be used while working with electricity.
- In case you are working with a receptacle, then make sure to switch off the mains. A sign could also be displayed on the service panel to avoid any accidental switching on the unit.
- When you are dealing with electricity for any maintenance work then make sure to use insulated rubber gloves and even safety goggles.
- For maintenance work of electricity, steel or aluminum ladder usage must always be avoided.
- You must be well aware of the wire country in your country. Please note that wire country could be different from country to country.
- It is imperative to check all your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) once every month.
Electricity is a blessing or a facility today than to consider it as a luxury. If we move from the city life to somewhere in complete wilderness, which is all quiet and dark, then only we can realize the significance of electricity. Our daily life is completely dependent on electricity. We need this source of energy to power our electric devices, machineries and a number of things in and around our homes, offices and commercial centers.
Electrical energy can be produced in a number of different methods. Similarly, the electrical energy can also be stored in different forms to be consumed later. People even at homes, offices or commercial places have backup units for electricity. This all shows the importance of electrical energy in our daily lives and why we have to monitor its production and usage in our daily life.