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What is Electricity?

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Radhika Rao

on 15 October 2013

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Transcript of What is Electricity?

Electrical Systems
What is Electricity?
"Electricity is a form of energy that occurs naturally only in uncontrolled forms such as lighting and other static electrical discharges or in natural galvanic reactions that cause corrosion."
Power Sources
Renewable Sources
Wind power
Hydroelectric energy
Photovoltaic (PV)
Direct and Alternating Current
Two types of electrical current
Direct current (DC)
Alternating current (AC)
Principles of Electricity
Amps, Volts, Watts, and Ohms
Direct and Alternating Current
Amps, Volts, Watts and Ohms
Amps (A) is a measuring unit for the electric Current (I) which are called Amperes.
Current is the flow of electricity/electrons
Volts (V) is a measuring unit for Voltage (V)
Voltage is an electromotive force that allows current to flow
Ohms(Ω) is a measuring unit for Resistance (R)
Resistance is a material's opposition to the flow of current.
Resistors, insulators
Watts (W/kW) is a measuring unit for Power (P)
W=V x I
One watt is defined as energy consumption rate of one joule per second.
A path that an electric current travels along. It takes a complete circuit for the current to flow.
The emission of light generated by a discharge of atmospheric electricity. Lightning targets the tallest object around.

Non-Renewable Sources
Fossil Fuels
Photovoltaic (PV)
Three Different types of PV systems
Stand-alone PV arrays
PV system arrays
PV panels
Hydroelectric Energy
Hydro electricity is electricity generated by water.
Wind Power
How Solar PV works
Composition of Solar Panels
Direct Current (DC)
An electric current flowing in one direction around the circuit from a battery to a light bulb
Alternating Current (AC)
Alternating Current means that the flow of electrons is not in the one direction, but is constantly reversed.
Electricity generated by wind
Types of wind turbines
Horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs)
Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs)

Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines
Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
Series Circuits
Parallel Circuits
Short Circuits
Series Circuits
A series circuit is a circuit where there is only one path from the source through all of the components and back to the source which means that all of the current in the circuit must move through all of the components
Parallel Circuit
Short Circuit
Short circuit is a accidental connection between two points of different potential in an electric circuit, therefore the current takes the shortcut through a path of low resistance through which an excessive current can flow.
Extremely dangerous
Can cause fire as heat is generated by excessive current.
Needs to be stopped by a fuse or a circuit breaker.
One of the bulbs from a Christmas string light burns out , therefore the whole string of lights fail to turn on. What type of circuit is this?

A. Series Circuit
B. Parallel Circuit
C. Short Circuit
D. Open Circuit

It is the most widely used form of renewable energy.
Hydroelectric provides about 96 percent of the renewable energy in the United States.
Hydroelectric energy works by converting kinetic energy, obtained by the flowing water, into electricity.
A parallel circuit is a circuit that moves along multiple path, therefore a parallel group acts as a separate circuit.
It is the typical arrangement in the building wiring.
This circuit allows more light emission.
If one of the lights is broken, it would not affect the other circuits, they will still continue to circulate the electricity.
Electrical Systems
Engineers estimate the total building electrical power load, and then plan the spaces for electrical systems.
The amount of energy that a building is allowed to consume is regulated by government code compliance which is NEC ( National Electrical Code).
Engineers determine the location and estimate the size of most electrical equipment system.
Electricity is distributed by two types services.
1. Overhead Service.
2. Underground Service.

Overhead Electrical Service
The incoming electrical service is above ground
Costs 50-90% less than underground service.
Able to carry high voltages.
Easily accessible for maintenance

can be problematic in bad weather, therefore results in outages .
signal interferences
Underground Electrical Service
barely noticeable
High cost
Time consuming maintenance
complex repair requirements
susceptible to water intrusion or flood damage
Electrical System Equipments
Main service Panel
Main disconnect switch
Watt-hour electric meter
Main Service Panel
Is the origin of wires carrying electrical current
Typical located in basements or garages in residential areas.
Located where power line enters the building
Main Disconnect Switch
is located on the main service panel to protect firefighters
must allow access
must be in an accessible spot where service enters building
Watt- Hour Electric Meter
measures and records quantity of electric power consumed over time
located either inside or outside of buildings, typically next to the main panel
supplied by utility and placed ahead of main disconnect switch
must be available for inspection and service.
Electrical Fire Risks
The NEC of the NFPA ( National Fire Protection Association) defines fundamental safety measures that must be followed in order to have a safe and efficient electrical systems.

Safety elements to be included in electrical systems:
Circuit Protection
Fuses and Circuit Breakers
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
Circuit Protection
120 V is the typical household voltage, this can easily melt all the wiring in a house.
Overloaded and short circuited currents can result in over heating and fires.
Circuit protection devices protect insulation, wiring, switches, and other equipment from dangers by providing an automatic way to open the circuit and break the flow of electricity.

Fuses and Circuits
Cuts off electricity power to any circuit that might have excessive current flow.
Provide an automatic opening of a circuit and stopping the flow of electricity
Protect the wired in a house from overheating, melting the insulation and causing a fire.
Does not protect a person from a shock.
Does not protect occupants against faults in the electrical ground.
Ground Fault Circuit
Protects against shocks when a building's wiring is not grounded.
NEC requires GFCI protection for accessible outlets in "wet areas" such as in bathrooms, kitchens wet bars, laundry room etc, where there is increased accidental electrical shocks.
Protects against electrical leakage that can not be detected by fuses or circuit breakers.
GFCI senses misdirect electrical current and reacts in one- fortieth of a second
LEED Buildings
LEED Certified Santa Monica Civic Center, CA
Is a six story solar powered parking garage
The electricity produce from the Photovoltaic panels can be used to charge electric vehicles as well as the lights sources in the parking garage
It also uses the electricity at night to illuminate the colored glass panels
LEED Platinum Armstrong Headquarters in Lancaster, PA
Uses clean renewable energy
75% of the building's power is supplied by wind energy
The company purchases two million kilowatts-hours each year for electric energy
Role of Interior Designer
Sustainable Design Issues
An interior designer is responsible for making sure that there's sufficient power available where it's needed and also that the lighting and appliances are energy efficient.
They should be familiar with the basic principles of power supply and distribution in order to be able to coordinate interior design issues with the rest of the design team.
They are also responsible to specify the location of electrical outlets and fixtures in the power plan drawings, according to the basic code requirements stated by NEC.
The interior designers also approve the cover plates and other visible electrical devices in the space.
They will specify switches and outlets according to ADA requirements.
Types of Circuits
Which of the following is a source of alternating current?
A cell
A battery
An outlet
Lightning rods are placed on tall buildings to provide electricity a low-resistance path to ground. If lightning strikes, the lightning rod system attempts to carry the harmful electrical current away from the structure and safely to ground. This system has the ability to handle the enormous electrical current associated with the strike.
Protecting a building against lighting strikes should be done precisely with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved/labeled equipment.
Ungrounded Duplex Receptacle

Grounded Duplex Receptacle
These outlets can be found in buildings that are before 1960's.
These outlets are outdated, dangerous and can cause electrocution
Any building build after 1960's have a grounded outlet.
These outlets are safer and protect equipment from damage.
In the United States, the outlets have a small, round ground slot centered below two vertical hot and neutral slots that can carry 120V; therefore providing an alternate path for electricity to travel to ground in case of a short circuit.
If you are walking in an open field, while it is lightning outside, will the lightning strike you? Why?
A. Yes
B. No
In the United States, 70% of the electric power source is generated from burning fossil fuels, 20% from nuclear energy, and only 10% from renewable sources.
Electricity is the major energy use around the world.
Residential buildings account for 56% of all the US energy use
Commercial buildings account for 44% of all US energy use.
Weatherproof Outlet
Weatherproof outlets are covered with a plate, which protects them from water in bad weather. They provide access for outdoor chores or other functions such as Christmas lights.
Work Cited
Wonder Why?

The birds or squirrels do not get electrocuted when running or standing on the electrical wire?
Wonder Why?
The lightning always strikes the trees?
Binggeli, Corky. Building Systems for Interior Designers. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons, 2003. p239-272.

"Cells, Modules, and Arrays." Cells, Modules, and Arrays. Florida Solar Energy Center, 2007. Retrieved on 07,Oct,2013. http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/solar_electricity/basics/cells_modules_arrays.htm.

Gromicko, Nick. "Ungrounded Electrical Receptacles." InterNACHI, 2006. Retrieved on 07,Oct,2013. http://www.nachi.org/ungrounded-electrical-receptacles.htm.

"Pico Hydro Power". Retrieved on 07 Oct, 2013. T4cd.org.

"Overhead and Underground Electrical Service FAQs." FPL. Florida Power & Light Company, 1996. Retrieved on 07,Oct,2013. http://www.fpl.com/faqs/underground.shtml.
Experiment Time
Series vs Parallel Circuit
Scavenger Hunt!!
Group into 5 teams of 4 people
1. Find the weatherproof outlet, specify the location
2. Find the GFCI outlet, specify the location
3. Find the grounded outlet specify the location
4. Find the Romex cable, describe the cable
5. Find the BX cable, describe the cable

Radhika Rao and Kiara Martino

This cable is have two types NM and NMC .
They are sheathed cables with a plastic outer jacket.
They are vulnerable to physical damages than BX cables.
Romex Cable:
BX Cable:
mostly known as NEC type AC cable, as well as flex or armored cable
It consists insulated wires which are bound together and enclosed in a protective,spiral-wound interlocking strip of steel tape.
Most commonly used in commercial areas.
Metal-clad (MC) Cable:
It has a protective moisture-proof sheathing, therefore can be used in wet and outdoor locations.

They are also called flat wire cable.
It is a flat wire that can be used under flat surfaces such as carpets to avoid bumps on the surface, therefore making it essentially undetectable under carpet.
Flat Conductor Cable (FCC):
It is made of copper or aluminum bars that are assembled in a rigid metallic housing.
It is used to carry large amounts of current
A plug in bus way allows easy connection.
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