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Transcript of Electricity
Solar Flare Effect
Solar storms, flurries of charged particles that erupt from the sun are dangers to electric transmissions
Solar storms can create extra electrical currents in Earth's magnetosphere (the area around the planet controlled by our magnetic field)
Extra electricity can effect high-voltage transmission lines by causing transformers to overheat and burn out.
What is electricity?
Electricity is movement of electrons between atoms.
An atom looks like this:
The outer electrons have less of an attraction to the nucleus, so they can be bumped from atom to atom.
This creates electricity.
Production and Distribution
Power stations produce electricity for factories, cities, and houses
Generators powered by coal, gas, oil, and energy from nuclear reactions produce steam which then produces electricity
Turbine: a series of wheels and fans spun by the force of steam, which then powers a generator
Transformer: developed by William Stanley, transformers allow electricity to be easily transmitted over long distances
Transformers change electricity from low to high voltage
Transmission lines carry electricity to a substation, where transformers change electricity back to low voltage
From the power plant to the customer
Electric current is carried in thick wires or cables
Grid network: a system of cables connects all power stations in the country and allows power to be switched from one area to another
Some cables in the system are above ground while other cables are below ground
Electric meters are typically found outside a house.
The flow of electricity turns a disk in the meter.
the disk powers a motor that powers smaller dials which read the amount
Electricity is measured in watts.
named after James Watt, inventor of the steam engine
Electricity over time is measured in kilowatthours- 1000 watts over one hour
Cost of Electricity
The cost of electricity is measured in cents per kilowatthour (kWh)
A kilowatthour is the use of 1000 watts of electricity per hour
The cost of electricity varies by state
The overall cost depends on how much it costs to generate, distribute, and transmit the electricity
As of 2011, the residential cost of electricity in Massachusetts was $0.146 kWh
Series vs Parallel Circuits
uses a series of connections.
each device is connected so the power only has one path to take
when all devices are connected using parallel connections.
each has its own branch
multiple pathways for the electricity to go.
Alternating current vs Direct current
Electric Current: the controlled movement of an electric charge
Direct Current (DC): developed by Thomas Edison, it is a current that runs continually in a single direction, like in a battery. When electricity was first invented, DC was often used in the U.S. The problem was that it is not easily converted from high to low voltages.
Alternating current (AC): developed by Nikola Tesla, it is a current that reverses direction a number of times per second and can be converted to different voltages easily using a transformer. This is now used more often than DC. AC also reduced the cost of transmitting electricity over long distances
History of Electricity
Thomas Edison invented the first long-lasting incandescent light bulb
Benjamin Franklin demonstrated that lightning is a form of electricity
Nikola Tesla researched the generation, transmission, and use of alternating current
A circuit breaker is one of the most important safety devices in the modern home.
They cut the power when the electricity going through a wire gets too high.
If you plug in too many things to the same outlet, a circuit breaker will make the power shut off before something bad happens.
Fuses are to protect the wire.
Similar to circuit breakers, if enough power surges through an electrical system, the fuse will collapse causing the power to shut off
fuses are typically made of metal.
Surge protectors allow you to plug in multiple electronics to one outlet.
they also protect the devices from high surges of energy, which may result in damage.
Uses 2 kinds of metal in a chemical solution.
creates a chemical reaction to release electrons.
more are released in one metal than the other.
The end with more electrons has a positive charge, the other is negative.
they balance each other.
by Maddy Wendell and Audrey Robinson
Batteries." BrainPOP. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Harris, Tom. "How Circuit Breakers Work." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Introducing Physics: Electricity and Electronics. Print. 04 Mar. 2014.
National Geographic. “As Sun Storms Ramp Up, Electric Grid Braces for Impact” n.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
O'Callaghan, Jonny. "How Do Fuses Work?" How It Works Magazine. N.p., 13 Nov. 2011. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Science Today: Electricity and Magnetism. Print. 04 Mar. 2014.
The Energy Stick
The energy stick is a toy/experiment to see how a circuit works.
The silver bands are electrodes that can detect an incredibly small amount of electricity traveling across moisture on your skin.
this powers the lights and sounds in the tube.
the person using the toy acts as a circuit, and circuits only work when they are closed. Test it out!