Friday, October 12, 2012

Volts, Amps, and Power

So....Mom asked me to tell her what a 100kv line was, so I asked Tanner, and he began a ten minute monologue. Figured I'd just post it so you can read it if you want to. Feel free to skip over it if it's a bit too technical.

So. Starting off with the question about the 100kv line. 100kv is 100,000 volts. A normal house runs on 120/240 (depending on the appliance...lights/stove, for example). So. Explaining what the heck a volt actually is...I always thought that volts and amps were synonymous with power or electricity. But there's apparently a difference. (He's laughing at me right now,because apparently they ARE synonymous, but there's different uses, and oy vey, I'm glad that it's not my job to know all of this.)

Volts: He describes them as the force that moves electrons in the wire. So, comparing it to a water pipe, it's the force behind the motion of the water, but NOT the actual water.

Amps: The movement of the water. Again, NOT the actual water, but the motion of it. The pipe, here, is the wire, the water is the electrons in the wire.

Power: The work that is done with electricity. It's measured by multiplying the volts by the amperage. Whenever you plug in an appliance, the result is power. If it's not plugged in, there is no power. An empty socket has potential power in that it has voltage, but on that line there would be no amperage because there's no movement until you plug something in a turn it on.

So the line he was working on last night, while it was 100kv, it was de-energized. So all of this that I just explained wasn't even happenning at the time, apparently. I guess you can't rubber glove anything over a 34.5kv. Rubber can only protect you from so much.

And Tanner's chuckling at me again. Sigh.

Life is tough.

He actually talked for about another twenty minutes about other things connected to all of this, such as resistors, potential, rubber gloving, milliamps...all of which he told me not to put in the post because "it'd open a whole 'nother can of worms". And it probably would. But maybe I'll get him to explain more for another post sometime.


  1. Thank you for translating as much as you did. I think I need the 20-minute version to really understand, but that was a good start.

    "Milliamps"??? . . .

  2. Yeah.....he didn't really explain that one, so I'm not even gonna try lol.