You flip a switch and the light comes on. Easy as that, right? We all know it’s not. So how is electricity generated? Where does it come from and more important, how does electricity get into my house?
Let the knowledgeable team at Mr. Electric® shed some light on where electricity comes from and how it gets to you!
Electricity Generation in Three 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. 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 suitable for powering your lights, dishwasher, laptop, etc. Power passes through a service line, called a “service drop,” which is wired to your dwelling. The 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 you just need to turn on the switch, and let there be light!
Electricity Issues? Your Local Mr. Electric Can Help
From generation to transfer to distribution, the process to bring reliable electric power to your home may be more complex than you originally envisioned. If you have electrical concerns or just want peace of mind, schedule an electrical safety inspection. Call your local Mr. Electric at (844) 866-1367 or request service online today to have your home evaluated and your electricity professionally serviced!
Now that you understand your power supply, what about your water? Mr. Rooter® Plumbing has straightforward tips to help you improve your water quality. As a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service providers, Mr. Appliance offers great service and advice.