Part One: Pondering while Eating Toast: Bread Crumbs to Utility Pole.
This journey traces our electrical power to its source – in three parts.
How does the ubiquitous energy that we take for granted come to our homes? Where does it start? How does it happen? What’s all that stuff up there on the “utility” poles? In my case a 35 mile (56 km) drive up to Tomkins Cove, NY, reveals these two enormous 475 foot (148 m) towers supporting 12 fist size cables across the Hudson River – freshly energized with something like 500,000 volts.
No Time? Just view the images, which will appear in higher resolution when clicked. The captions tell the story.
Walking Sandy Paws, the dog, most mornings, I find myself looking up at the utility poles with their strings of wires overhead, – everywhere – seemingly not much different than 120 years ago in the big cities. What’s up? So I grabbed my camera and did some investigating, starting with my morning toast.
…So, right outside our home, a pole supports a 7,200 volt feed wire (it may be as high as 13,200 volts,) and transformer which steps voltage down to 120 volts and connects directly to our house.
Disclaimer: Not being an electrical engineer or public utility employee, some values and circumstances may be slightly different than stated, but should give a general idea of the actual grid. Any system or statistical corrections will be most appreciated.
As usual, thanks for visiting, and comments are always welcome. M 🙂
4 thoughts on “Step Up, Step Down, and Round They Go – The Dance of the Electrons”
Electrifying account of our current power supply path.
Can birds sit on all parts of the poles, boxes and wires….and still live?
Hi, Gill. Generally Yes. Sitting on a wire, even bare, does not close a circuit. The current needs to flow thru an object, be it a complete circuit, a bird, a person, what-ever. If the bird comes in contact with another wire at the saem time, or the ground, Puff! Large birds or small animals often do just that, touching two wires at the same time in which they become a conductor,. Not good. M 🙂
OMG !!!!. Thanks for the info. Sounds dangerous! ( I will have to stop sitting on them then!) xxxx