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This is a document for everyday use of electricity in a household. Many circuits are a mixture of electrical, mechanical, and electronic components, which interact in different ways to produce strange and useful effects. Electricity has become an integral part of life and difficult to imagine to be without it. Alternating Current is used for electric power distribution because it can easily be transformed to a higher or lower voltage. Electrical energy losses are dependent on current flow. By using transformers, the voltage can be stepped up so that the same amount of power may be distributed over long distances at lower currents and hence lower losses due to the resistance of the conductors. The voltage can also be stepped down again so it is safe for domestic supply.
Three-phase electrical generation and transmission is common and is an efficient use of conductors as the current-rating of each conductor can be fully utilized in transporting power from generation through transmission and distribution to final use. Three-phase electricity is supplied only in industrial premises and many industrial electric motors are designed for it. Three voltage waveforms are generated that are 120 degrees out of phase with each other. At the load end of the circuit the return legs of the three phase circuits can be coupled together at a ‘neutral point’, where the three currents sum to zero if supplied to a balanced load.
This means that all the current can be carried using only three cables, rather than the six that would otherwise be needed. In most situations only a single phase is needed to supply street lights or residential consumers. When distributing three-phase electric power, a fourth or neutral cable is run in the street distribution to provide one complete circuit to each house. Thus the supply cable to each house can consist of a live and neutral conductor with possibly an earthed armoured sheath.
120-volt power lines out of phase with each other, and a grounded ‘neutral’ wire, which also acts as the physical support wire. Although this method has certain advantages, there are obvious potential dangers associated with it. The use of “split phase” power, two 120-volt power lines out of phase with each other, as described above, allows high-powered appliances to be run on 240V, thus decreasing the amount of current required per phase, while allowing the rest of the residence to be wired for the safer 120V. For example, a clothes dryer may need 3600W of power, which translates to a circuit rating of 30A at 120V. If the dryer can instead be run on 240V, the service required is only 15A. Granted, you would then need two 15A circuit breakers, one for each side of the circuit, and you would need to provide two ‘hot’ lines, one neutral, and a ground in the distribution wiring, but that is offset by the lower cost of the wires for the lower current. For safety, a third wire is often connected between the individual electrical appliances in the house and the main electric switchboard or fusebox.
In the event of a fault, the earth wire can carry enough current to blow a fuse and isolate the faulty circuit. The earth connection also means that the surrounding building is at the same voltage as the neutral point. The most common form of electrical shock occurs when a person accidentally forms a circuit between a live conductor and ground. In distribution systems automatic protection is used for the same purpose. A time-delayed backup operation if the overcurrent originates outside the local area. Unfortunately in some cases this ‘protection’ can have a cascading effect, because the switching-off of one circuit can lead to an overload of adjacent circuits that may switch off later. Blackouts” can be the result if further failures occur.
There is also the problem of a power source thereby becoming disconnected from its load, causing disruption to generation and altering the balance between the amount of power needed and the amount of power available in many parts of, or the entire system. The design of the power generators has three sets of coils placed 120 degrees apart rotating in a magnetic field. Europe or 60 Hertz in North America. 240 volt system that is delivered to the customer. 120 volts whereas the voltage between the two conductors on either end of the coil develops the full voltage of 240 volts.
This is then fed through a transformer to smooth the square wave into a sine wave and to produce the required output voltage. More efficient inverters use various methods to produce an approximate sine wave at the transformer input rather than relying on the transformer to smooth it. Capacitors can be used to smooth the flow of current into and out of the transformer. By connecting the transformer input terminals in a timed sequence between the positive rail and ground, the positive rail and the negative rail, the ground rail and the negative rail, then both to the ground rail, a ‘stepped sinusoid’ is generated at the transformer input and the current drain on the direct current supply is less variable. A disadvantage of the modified sine wave inverters is that the output voltage depends on the battery voltage. It is quite difficult to obtain a good sine wave from an inverter.
Most home systems use conventional lead acid batteries for storage. You cannot use automobile batteries in inverters, as they are only used to provide a large starting current, and are not meant to be discharged completely. The lead acid batteries have the disadvantage that they have to be replenished with distilled water every few months, and if it dries out, it cannot be repaired. SMPS or switching regulator, is an electronic power supply circuit that attempts to produce a smoothed, constant-voltage, output from a varying input voltage.