Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting uses of electricity in everyday life is a traffic light. There are even special systems that allow long phase justification of the amount of light waiting to drive through the intersection cars. This is a very interesting solution, but it also can be subject to failure. Then it is necessary to help electricians to solve problems, and control traffic can be much more difficult than the use of traffic lights. Electricity can make the traffic jams formed especially in large cities are less burdensome for enjoying the busy streets of people. However, you need time to time to monitor these intelligent systems to ensure their trouble-free operation.
An electric power system is a network of electrical components used to supply, transfer and use electric power. An example of an electric power system is the network that supplies a region's homes and industry with power?for sizable regions, this power system is known as the grid and can be broadly divided into the generators that supply the power, the transmission system that carries the power from the generating centres to the load centres and the distribution system that feeds the power to nearby homes and industries. Smaller power systems are also found in industry, hospitals, commercial buildings and homes. The majority of these systems rely upon three-phase AC power?the standard for large-scale power transmission and distribution across the modern world. Specialised power systems that do not always rely upon three-phase AC power are found in aircraft, electric rail systems, ocean liners and automobiles.
Electric power is transformed to other forms of energy when electric charges move through an electric potential (voltage) difference, which occurs in electrical components in electric circuits. From the standpoint of electric power, components in an electric circuit can be divided into two categories:
Passive devices or loads: When electric charges move through a potential difference from a higher to a lower voltage, that is when conventional current (positive charge) moves from the positive (+) terminal to the negative (?) terminal, work is done by the charges on the device. The potential energy of the charges due to the voltage between the terminals is converted to kinetic energy in the device. These devices are called passive components or loads; they 'consume' electric power from the circuit, converting it to other forms of energy such as mechanical work, heat, light, etc. Examples are electrical appliances, such as light bulbs, electric motors, and electric heaters. In alternating current (AC) circuits the direction of the voltage periodically reverses, but the current always flows from the higher potential to the lower potential side.
Active devices or power sources: If the charges are moved by an 'exterior force' through the device in the direction from the lower electric potential to the higher, (so positive charge moves from the negative to the positive terminal), work will be done on the charges, and energy is being converted to electric potential energy from some other type of energy, such as mechanical energy or chemical energy. Devices in which this occurs are called active devices or power sources; such as electric generators and batteries.
Some devices can be either a source or a load, depending on the voltage and current through them. For example, a rechargeable battery acts as a source when it provides power to a circuit, but as a load when it is connected to a battery charger and is being recharged.
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