Electricity

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Electrical power supply is a popular modern technology providing power for all digital computer and most other machine operations requiring processing features. Power is a rate at which work is done or energy transferred and the Watt is a measure of electrical power usage. A Watt is defined as a rate of doing work of one joule per second. The units of power are the Kilowatt (kW), Megawatt, Gigawatt (GW) and Terawatt (TW).

Electricity can be physically dangerous to users, though low-current forms of electricity, such as that produced by batteries and DC power supplies is not dangerous to humans. Much of the world is dependent on various forms of electricity, and without it almost all of the technological developments of the 20th and 21st centuries would never have occurred.

Broadband Powerline Technology

Broadband powerline technology or broadband over power-line(BPL) refers to internet data distributed across the electrical grid. In some countries, nearly every home and office is wired for electricity, so there are many buildings that have potential to access the Internet and other data services through medium-voltage power lines.

In most cases the speed of service generally equals or exceeds cable and DSL connections, although the standard of bandwidth is widely variable and the availability of services is geograhically limited. This technology still suffers from interferece problems. Because of the poor status of many electrical grids, such technology may never be widespread. Many experts agree that more research is also needed. Testing continues to be deployed in small trials.

Energy and Electricity Production

The sun is the biggest energy producer in the solar system. Energy is the power or potential ability to do work. Good energy supply is need for all living processes and is vital for a growing economy. The economic importance of the concept of net energy cannot be stressed enough. Energy can be found in many forms and from a variety of sources. Some forms are usable and easy to create goods and services from.

Plants by the process of photosynthesis catch solar energy. At the outer edge of the Earth's atmosphere incoming radiation is approximately equal to 1370 W per square metre at 90 degrees to Earth's surface. There is however, diffuse solar radiation coming in at other angles. As the incoming radiation enters the marvelous heat engine we call the atmosphere, it is heavily transformed, particularly by the water vapour, a major greenhouse gas.

Many places around the world have limited supplies of electricity. Some places rely on the importation of fuels and large electrical grids which distribute high voltage current. It shoud not be forgotten that many places can expect problems in the near future regarding reliability. California is expected to have widespread shortages by 2006, according to the Bay Area Economic Forum. California Energy Commission spokeswoman Claudia Chandler says "We kind of hit a cliff after 2006. As we look farther out, there are much fewer megawatts coming online." Unless this situation is remedied a new energy crisis is looming in 2006-07 because few new plants are being built.

Electricity grids need constant upgrades. There are unregulated electrical markets that need government initiated mandatory, performance standards to make sure sytems do go down and so a monopoly does not form.

Clean/Alternative Resources

Something that requires electricity or other forms of energy may have a design that is not efficient. This problem can be particularly acute if generation and transmission occur with a legacy system.

Solar-derived energy, whether it is consumed as electricity from biomass, or wind, represents a clean, alternative energy form.

Electricity and much of the worlds energy is mostly produced in an ecologically unsustainable manner, which is a very bad thing. This means that modern civilisation is living on the energy inheritance from resources which are being depleted more rapidly that sinks are replinished. There is ongoing scientific research into clean forms of power generation, power conservation, etc.

Blackout Activities

When blackouts hit, like other technology lovers, computer users can get antsy. Here are some suggestions of what to do at these times.

  • Go to an oval or similar flat open space and gaze at the stars
  • Read in the day when there is good light

Other Notes

  • In all types of economies since 1900, growth, domestic product, and measures of social well being are strongly related to use of energy. Economic price does not adequately address the importance of energy to the economy." ....from "Advances in Energy Studies: Energy flows in Ecology and Economy" Final Document of the International Workshop, 1998 (Summary PDF)
  • The term "renewable energy" is misleading because according to the 2nd law of thermodynamic energy that is once used is not ever regenerable.

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