Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ten Electrifying Facts About Electricity

Electricity is an incredible force we use everyday across the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina. It powers our lights, computers, phones, and even in some cases, cars. Even though we use electrical service in our daily lives, how much do you really know about it? Here are eight facts that may ‘shock’ you about electricity!

1. The Ben Franklin Myth – Contrary to popular belief, Benjamin Franklin did not discover electricity; however he did discover that lightning is a form of electricity. It was actually the Greeks around 600 BCE who made the first discovery of this force of nature by rubbing animal fur and amber (fossilized tree sap) together. While this wasn’t enough to power anything, it was the first discovery of static electricity.

2. Solar Power – In just 15 minutes, the sun radiates as much energy as we use in an entire year. Solar Power is one of the most ideal ways for efficiently using electricity. Beco Electrical is the only Solar installer located in High Point, North Carolina, and hosting a working solar farm that serves both to produce power and educate Triad area schools about solar power.

3. First in Flick (of a switch) – The first lighthouse to use electricity was the Statue of Liberty (Yes, the Statue of Liberty used to function as a lighthouse!). The first bridge to utilize electricity was the Brooklyn Bridge and in 1882, the first power plant opened in New York City. The plant, located in the lower part of Manhattan, was named Pearl Street Station and was owned by none other than Thomas Edison. When the plant first opened, it had one generator that could power 800 light bulbs.

4. Inventor Edison – Thomas Edison is easily one of the first people you think of in the history of electricity. He invented the first light bulb, but did you know that he invented 2,000 products needed for the use of electricity in our homes? These inventions include fuses, switches, and sockets.

5. Nuts and Volts – A bolt of lightning measures about 3 million volts, while a small spark of static electricity measures up to about 3,000 volts. Meaning 1/1000th of a lightning bolt is equal to one shock of static electricity! An electric eel’s shock can produce up to 600 volts.

6. Holiday History – Driving through any Piedmont Triad neighborhood in December, it’s hard to find many houses that aren’t decorated in bright lights. However, in the early 1900’s, it was quite the opposite. Christmas lights were so expensive they were usually rented instead of bought. At that time, a tree covered in electric lights was actually a status symbol of wealthier households.

7. Bird on a Wire – Ever wonder why birds never get electrocuted while standing on telephone wires? There is actually one safe wire birds can stand on. However, if they stand on any of the other ones, this would cause the bird to complete the circuit and become electrocuted.

8. Google Power – Google makes up 0.013% of the world’s energy consumption. While this may seem like a small number, it is enough energy to continuously power 200,000 homes. The amount of energy it takes to run 100 searches on is the same amount as running a 60-watt light bulb for 28 minutes.
While these facts about electricity are quite interesting, Beco Electrical has been providing High Point, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Burlington residences and businesses with knowledgeable electrical service and repairs for over 50 years.


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