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Electric Power Distribution 1 Electric Power Distribution 2

Introductory Question
„ Electric power reaches our city via high
Electric Power voltage transmission lines. What fraction of
the electric charges traveling on those
Distribution transmission lines pass through this room?

A. About 1%
B. About 0.01%
C. Exactly 0%

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Observations about 4 Questions about


Electric Power Distribution Electric Power Distribution
„ Household electricity is alternating current (AC) „ Why isn’t power transmitted at low voltages?
„ Household voltages are typically 120V or 240V „ Why isn’t power delivered at high voltages?
„ Power is distributed at much higher voltages „ What is “alternating current” and why use it?
„ Power transformers are common around us „ How does a transformer transfer power?
„ Power substations are there, but harder to find

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Question 1 Electric Power and a Wire


„ Why isn’t power transmitted at low voltages? „ An electric current passing through a wire
converts electrical power in thermal power
power wasted = current · voltage drop in wire.
„ Si
Since th
the wire
i obeys
b OhOhms llaw,
voltage drop in wire = resistance · current
current,,
„ the power that wire wastes is
power wasted = resistance · current2.
„ Doubling current quadruples wasted power!

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Clicker Question Large Currents are Wasteful


„ Two long wires will carry electrical power most „ The goal of a power distribution system is to
efficiently from a generator to a community if transmit lots of electric power to a city,
the voltage difference between the wires is power transmitted = current · voltage drop at city,
city,
„ while
hil wasting
ti littl
little electric
l t i power in
i the
th wires,
i
A. large and the current they carry is large. power wasted = resistance · current2.
B. large and the current they carry is small. „ That energy efficiency can be achieved by using
C. small and the current they carry is large. „ a small current,
„ a huge voltage drop,
D. small and the current they carry is small.
„ and low
low--resistance wires.

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Question 2 High Voltages are Dangerous


„ Why isn’t power delivered at high voltages? „ When large voltage drops are available,
„ strong electric fields are present,
„ charges experience enormous forces,
„ and
nd currents
rr nt ttend
nd tto fl
flow through
thr h unexpected
n p t dp paths.
th
„ High--voltage electrical power in a home is
High
„ a spark hazard,
„ a fire hazard,
„ and a shock hazard.

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The Voltage Hierarchy Question 3


„ Large currents are too wasteful for transmission „ What is “alternating current” and why use it?
„ High voltages are too dangerous for delivery
„ So electric power distribution uses a hierarchy:
„ high-voltage circuits in the countryside
high-
„ medium--voltage circuits in cities
medium
„ low
low--voltage circuits in neighborhoods and homes
„ Transformers transfer power between circuits!

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Alternating Current (AC) AC and Transformers


„ In alternating current, „ AC has little effect on simple electric devices
„ the voltages of the power delivery wires alternate (e.g., lightbulbs,
lightbulbs, space heaters, toasters)
„ and the resulting currents normally alternate, too. „ AC is a nuisance for electronic devices
„ Alternating
Al i voltage
l iin the
h US (e.g.,
(e g computers,
comp ters televisions,
televisions sound
so nd systems)
„ completes 60 cycles per second, „ AC permits the easy use of transformers,
„ reversing every 1/120 second. „ which can move power between circuits:
„ from a low
low--voltage circuit to a high-
high-voltage circuit
„ from a high-
high-voltage circuit to a low-
low-voltage circuit

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Question 4 Electromagnetism (Version 2)


„ How does a transformer transfer power? „ Magnetic fields are produced by
„ magnetic poles (but free poles don’t seem to exist),
„ moving electric charges,
„ and
nd changing
h n in electric
l tri fi
fields
ld [more
[m r llater…].
later…]
t r ].
„ Electric fields are produced by
„ electric charges,
„ moving magnetic poles
poles,,
„ and changing magnetic fields
fields..

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Electromagnetic Induction Lenz’s Law


„ Moving poles or changing magnetic fields „ Lenz’s law predicts the nature of the induced
„ produce electric fields, magnetic fields:
„ which propel currents through conductors,
„ which p
produce magnetic
g fields. “When a changing
g g magnetic
g field induces a current in a
„ Changing magnetic effects induce currents conductor, the magnetic field from that current
opposes the change that induced it.”
„ Induced currents produce magnetic fields

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Transformer Current and Voltage


„ Alternating current in one circuit can induce an „ A transformer must obey energy conservation
alternating current in a second circuit „ Power arriving in its primary circuit must equal
„ A transformer power leaving in its secondary circuit
„ uses induction
i d i „ Si
Since power is
i the
h product
d off voltage
l · current,
current,
„ to transfer power „ a transformer can exchanging voltage for current
between its circuits „ or current for voltage!
„ but doesn’t
transfer any charges
between its circuits

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Clicker Question Step--Down Transformer


Step
„ If you increase the number of turns of wire in „ A step
step--down transformer
the secondary coil of a transformer, each charge „ has relatively few turns in its secondary coil
traveling through that wire will experience „ so charge is pushed a shorter distance
„ and
nd experiences
p ri n a smaller
m ll r voltage
lt ri
rise
A. the same forward force for a longer distance. „ A larger current
B. a larger forward force for a longer distance. at smaller voltage
flows in the
C. a larger forward force for the same distance.
secondary circuit
D. the same forward force for the same distance.

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Step--Up Transformer
Step Power Distribution System
„ A step
step--up transformer „ A step
step--up transformer increases the voltage
„ has relatively many turns in its secondary coil for efficient long-
long-distance transmission
„ so charge is pushed a longer distance „ A step
step--down transformer decreases the voltage
„ and
nd experiences
p ri n a llarger
r r voltage
lt ri
rise for safe delivery to communities
comm nities and homes
„ A smaller current
at larger voltage
flows in the
secondary circuit

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Summary about
Introductory Question (revisited)
Electric Power Distribution
„ Electric power reaches our city via high „ Electric power is transmitted at high voltages
voltage transmission lines. What fraction of „ Electric power is delivered at low voltages
the electric charges traveling on those „ Transformers transfer power between circuits
transmission lines pass through this room?
„ Transformers require AC power to operate
„ The power distribution system is AC
A. About 1%
B. About 0.01%
C. Exactly 0%