AN INTRODUCTION TO ELECTRICAL - Leading Construction and Building Group

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Electricity is accepted as a normal part of everyday life and every year we put more and more appliances to use in our homes, some of them simple, like the kitchen toaster and some complex, such as a TV or a computer. Being a cheap source of energy, the demand for electricity has more than tripled over the past three decades. South Africa has one of the most sophisticated energy transmission systems in the world. Various types of processes may take place to provide us with this energy. The more obvious method is by burning material such as coal in a furnace, heating up water in a boiler into super heated steam, forcing the blades of a turbine into rotation and coupling this mechanically to a generator providing electricity. We see coal fired power stations all around the country with their tall cooling towers pouring out steam. Other methods include hydro-electric schemes which make use of gravity to force water through turbines. Solar and wind power, as well as nuclear power stations, all strive to provide one thing – electricity. Very often the electrical distribution in a home is neglected and left up to the electrician to decide where a light fitting should be placed or a plug point be positioned. Although his advice is invaluable and his knowledge of the regulations surrounding such installations necessary, input from the owner is very important.

Good planning and forethought on the number and nature of appliances to be used in the home becomes important information to the electrician when he sits down to design an efficient layout of the various circuits that will conduct electricity to appliances. The electrician on the other hand should not neglect the fact that the needs of the user should be taken into account wherever possible. A good working relationship with the owner is vital in order to minimise assumptions which always lead to disappointments later. All electrical appliances convert electrical energy into useful work. Proper distribution planning will ensure that every appliance is placed and operated correctly in the home.


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