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Old 10-11-2005, 07:05 AM #1
I.M. Boggled
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Thumbs up BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ELECTRICITY (Simplified concepts of electricity, fyi)

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You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. -Albert Einstein-
"This post is intended to be a very general, all purpose primer, one that even Gramma can understand,"

Many ... questions reveal most ordinary people have not a clue about electricity, and the difference between single phase and three phase power. They think voltage is something done in dark corners and is illegal in Mississippi. This shall attempt to explain it all to you, with some tedious details omitted for clarity and sanity purposes.


A. ELECTRICITY Visualize this now if you will...

Principle 1: Electricity is now tiny peas.
They are hard to see because they are so small and move so fast, however, they are green. ( OK, you guys at Argonne National Labs - prove I'm wrong!)


Principle 2:The number of peas is measured in amps.
There are so many in a kilo, but it is inconvenient to weigh them.

Principle 3: The speed of the peas is measured in volts.
This can be converted to miles per hour, or furlongs per fortnight if so desired, but volts are nice and tidy.

So the power the peas have is the number of peas multiplied by their speed.

Principle 4:
This is just how hard the peas hit.

Same principle as getting hit with a water hose.

Secondary Idea 1 for Principal 4: Two peas going one speed does the same work as one pea going twice as fast. ( 2 x 1 = 1 x 2)

Secondary Idea 2 for Principal 4: Electrical power is measured in watts.


What is Watts?
Watts = Amps x Volts



Principle 5: The more peas you cram in a pipe, (amps in a wire), the more they rub against the walls.
This is resistance and it is measured in ohms.


Secondary Idea1 for Principal 5: You can get more electrical work from the same size pipe (wire) if fewer peas going faster are used so there is less rubbing (resistance).

Secondary Idea 2 for Principal 5: Rubbing on the pipe (resistance) results in heat. Heat deteriorates insulation.

Principal 6:
Volts, Amps and Ohms are related.
A pack of peas will cram itself into a pipe until the resistance to movement they create by rubbing uses up all their available speed.


Number of Peas= Speed / Resistance, or Amps = Volts divided by Ohms. (I=E/R)
This is known as Ohms Law and is the basis of all electronics.


Use this information to amaze your friends.


You now understand electricity. That's all there is to it.
Get yourself a tool belt, a bad attitude and a wiggy, and you can be an electrician.
Be sure to mumble things about potential differentials or power factor and you can pass as an electrical engineer.
( Please don't ask what a wiggy is. There are some things one could get hurt for divulging.) Okay, okay, I'll tell, the venerable Wiggy® Voltage Tester has been on the market since 1918.



B. MOTORS

An electric motor is a machine to get useful work from electricity. It is also two magnets chasing each other, with one magnet tied to a rotating shaft, while the power company changes their polarity just when the north and south poles start to line up.

Some people think motors run on smoke because when the smoke gets out, they stop working. This is not true.

There is a practical problem with the magnets in that if they happen to line up north to south on startup, they will stay that way. The reasons for this are too boring to go into and involve things like induced rotor currents and slip. Read on for the exciting conclusion.
Motors can run on AC (alternating current) or DC ( direct current).
Some can run on both.
AC motors are the most generally used and that is all this is going to deal with. [ My web post - my rules ]


C. PHASE AND MOTORS AND ENERGY

The changing of polarity in the magnets is caused by a change from positive to negative in the power supply.
It alternates.
( AC = Alternating current).

In the USA, thanks to the clock lobby, this happens 60 times per second.
One cycle from zero through positive and negative and back to zero on one set of wires is called a phase.
(Not technically correct but it helps to make some sense out of this).

Motors frequently are wound to run on one or more than one phase.

In the USA, single phase and three phase are the rule.

Single phase motors require some mechanics to get around the starting problem.
They use a small start winding attached to a capacitor ( a tank for electrons) which changes the phase of the start winding slightly due to the time it takes the capacitor to fill up.
They also need a relay to cut the start winding out after startup so it doesn't burn up.

Three phase power has each phase reach zero 120 degrees out from each other. There is no way for the poles to line up exactly so it will always start.
The work (not scientifically accurate) that a motor can do is measured in horsepower.
By definition, this is 550 foot pounds per second. (It is also 745 watts).
One horsepower is one horsepower regardless of phase, voltage, RPMs, manufacturer, or political affiliation. So why care about such things? Money.

All the extra gear a single phase motor needs to ensure starting costs money and it eventually fails so the motors are more expensive and less reliable. There is also a practical size limit of 7.5 H.P. which is where most manufacturers stop making them.

The amps needed to generate a horsepower are spread over three wires in a three phase motor and two wires in a single phase motor so the wires are bigger with the single phase motor.
...If it is a submersible motor you still have to run a third wire for the start winding.

D. VOLTAGE
In the USA,
the common combinations of approximate voltage and phase are:

115 Volts Single Phase.
This is house wiring.
It is safer because the voltage is lower and so can push less amps through the resistance of some hapless idiot who takes the hair dryer into the shower.( A True story with a "Short" messy ending).

Appliance motors. Single phase is supplied with a single transformer and thus cheap for the power company to supply and thus popular with them. Usually limited to motors of 1 H.P. or less.

230 Volts Single Phase. Your air conditioner, clothes dryer or electric stove. The main entry power for most new houses.


208 Volts Three Phase.
Power companies like it for subdivisions where street lighting is involved. Motors hate it. Power companies don't care. ( It is a personal problem.)


230 Volts Three Phase,
Common where loads are small, usually less than 40 H.P.
If a transformer neutral ( 4 wire service) is run in, 115 volt single phase can be pulled off from any leg and neutral. Very useful in small industrial and commercial and farm applications.

460 Volts Three Phase, The common heavy industrial and large pump supply. Carries the most energy with the smallest wires and starters. Comes and gets you if you are careless.
..

Why does it matter?
1. The voltage and phase available must match the motor you buy or it won't work.

2. The supply wire size and the starter size depend on amps.
For a given size motor, amps depends on voltage. Twice the voltage, half the amps.

A motor rated for two voltages uses the same energy on either. The internal coils are either connected in series or parallel depending on the voltage so it is all the same to the motor.


Adaptation Source:PumpsOnlinedotcom website
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:03 PM #2
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Whirled Peas
Whoops, didn't mean to confuse anyone

.............................. .............................. .............................. ................
OHM'S LAW >
How voltage, current, and resistance relate

An electric circuit is formed when a conductive path is created to allow free electrons to continuously move. This continuous movement of free electrons through the conductors of a circuit is called a current, and it is often referred to in terms of "flow," just like the flow of a liquid through a hollow pipe.

The force motivating electrons to "flow" in a circuit is called voltage. Voltage is a specific measure of potential energy that is always relative between two points. When we speak of a certain amount of voltage being present in a circuit, we are referring to the measurement of how much potential energy exists to move electrons from one particular point in that circuit to another particular point. Without reference to two particular points, the term "voltage" has no meaning.

Free electrons tend to move through conductors with some degree of friction, or opposition to motion. This opposition to motion is more properly called resistance. The amount of current in a circuit depends on the amount of voltage available to motivate the electrons, and also the amount of resistance in the circuit to oppose electron flow. Just like voltage, resistance is a quantity relative between two points. For this reason, the quantities of voltage and resistance are often stated as being "between" or "across" two points in a circuit.

To be able to make meaningful statements about these quantities in circuits, we need to be able to describe their quantities in the same way that we might quantify mass, temperature, volume, length, or any other kind of physical quantity. For mass we might use the units of "pound" or "gram." For temperature we might use degrees Fahrenheit or degrees Celsius....
https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_1/chpt_2/1.html


All About Circuits > Volume II - AC >
Chapter 1: BASIC AC THEORY > What is alternating current (AC)?

What is alternating current (AC)?

Most students of electricity begin their study with what is known as direct current (DC), which is electricity flowing in a constant direction, and/or possessing a voltage with constant polarity. DC is the kind of electricity made by a battery (with definite positive and negative terminals), or the kind of charge generated by rubbing certain types of materials against each other.

As useful and as easy to understand as DC is, it is not the only "kind" of electricity in use. Certain sources of electricity (most notably, rotary electro-mechanical generators) naturally produce voltages alternating in polarity, reversing positive and negative over time. Either as a voltage switching polarity or as a current switching direction back and forth, this "kind" of electricity is known as Alternating Current (AC): ...

https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_2/chpt_1/1.html
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Last edited by I.M. Boggled; 11-28-2005 at 10:19 PM.. Reason: links and electrical related text added
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:29 PM #3
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Great explination. You just summed up my entire first semester at ITT with peas. Don't I feel silly for paying tuition when a trip to the grocery store could have taught me it all
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:56 PM #4
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Thanks alot m8 lotsa great info
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:49 AM #5
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One more,

Doltage: A person you can explain electricity to forever and will still manage to shock themselves.
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:06 AM #6
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Hello mate,
nice to see your still around the traps we where just saying in the chat forums the other day,that we hoped all was well with you, as, your sound advice had been noticably missing.

hope all is well in the I.M.B House, and the new year is being good to you.
Kindest Regards,Father Time.


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Old 01-31-2006, 11:14 AM #7
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First time running across this thread. Makes me hungry.
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Old 02-01-2006, 06:46 PM #8
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Why do transformers hum?Because they dont know the words.
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:27 AM #9
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Hey thats my joke, I came up with it when I had a little spare time on a cross one day.

I said it right after I commented how I could see my apartment from there and complained I was never going to be able to eat M&M's right from my hands again.
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:37 PM #10
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Thanks for the post very good info it explains a lot for me peace and stay safe dequilo

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