Friday, December 31, 2010

Energy from the Wind

This video demonstrates how to construct a model windmill and then calculate its power output. Includes discussion of Energy, Work, Power, Joules and Watts.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Introduction To Electricity

This video explains electricity as the flow of atomic particles called electrons. Animations demonstrate electron flow. Batteries are described as chemical devices designed to create electron flow. Terms covered in video include Volts, current and Amperes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How You Can Save Electricity At Home

Electricity is something that adds to your monthly bills. If you aren't careful this can become very expensive. Some are also concerned about using too much electricity because they want to live in a way that is better for the environment. Find out what you can do that will help you save electricity at home and save some money.

One thing that you can do is turn off your lights. This is common knowledge but many still forget to do this. Get into the habit of turning things off that you don't need not leaving them running.

Not only turn your lights off, but be sure to change the lights that you use at home. There are low wattage bulbs that you can get today that are just as bright as the higher wattage bulbs. Using these saves quite a bit of energy and doesn't really require you to be in the dark.

Get new appliances. If you have a few in your home that are older, they are probably very inefficient. When you get more efficient appliances they will use less energy and save you money in the long run.

Insulate your home better. Heating and cooling are some of the the most expensive home utility expenses. When you insulate your home, it costs less money to cool down your home during the summer taking less energy.

Keep your air conditioning up a few degrees warmer during the summer. While this might not be as comfortable, you can save more electricity.

Unplug your major electrical devices at home. Many aren't aware that things like your large screen television still draw power even while it's plugged in. All day long you are wasting wattage from these types of appliances even when off. Get a wattage meter and test out your electrical devices to see if any are doing this to you. Unplug those that are using way too much power.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wind Power Electricity - The 3 Most Important Basics To Success

Wind is free. So that means all we need is to do is run on down to Home Depot and pick up the parts for a windmill, set it up in our backyard and start pumping power to our High Def 50 inch plasma and stop paying our local power company right? Not so fast my friends. As cool as it would be to say that you don't pay anything for power because you have a wind turbine out back next to your patio it really isn't as simple as you might think for a variety of reasons. Let's dare to look at the truth of this free power source.

There are three important basics that you must realize before you make the trip down windy lane. First, wind power electricity can't always count on the wind because it is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Wind just doesn't always blow. Sure on a windy day when you really want your hair to look good you can count on it gusting heavily and it seems like it is always blowing but every sailor knows that wind is intermittent and varies from moment to moment. This means it makes capturing wind even more challenging than capturing the suns rays and you have to make sure that you are ready to spend significant cash for storage and transmission from the turbines.

Second, have you really thought about how much space you have to put up your windmill or wind farm? Most locations can't really accommodate a wind farm much less the type of unit you need to really generate much wind power electricity. Do you live in the country, city, or suburbs? Some areas and communities have restrictions on what size turbine you might be able to erect to produce electricity not to mention that the neighbor behind you might be a little miffed staring at a giant turbine every day. Your location is critical to determining if you have viable potential for a system based on area, location and the amount of wind you have coming across your property. If you have thousands of tall trees all around your location that blocks most of the wind coming across your land you might want to reconsider wind power electricity all together.

Finally, do you really understand the true cost of wind power electricity? Most people think about the capital costs of the unit and the land costs as well as some other incidentals but you have to look at the repair and replacement costs of your equipment, the useful life of turbines, depreciation costs, capacity, and the expected return on investment. Saying you get energy from the free breeze is pretty cool but how much are you paying for that wind power electricity? Additionally, you should know that while some large commercial wind farms are becoming profitable that the home turbine market is really still in its infancy and is very unregulated leaving you open to poor quality products and low performing units. Do the detailed math before you start on your journey to capturing wind energy.

Make no mistake, while wind power electricity can be good idea for people who are in the right location with the right situation to capture wind resources, it can also be a really dicey proposition. This is a very immature market and truly knowledgeable engineers, manufacturers and installers are very hard to come by for the home market. Your best bet is to do extensive research before you buy so you don't get taken by some blow hard who just wants to sell you something because of your greening desire to generate wind power electricity. Besides, you don't want to end up like that cow that was lifted into the air by the tornado and end up an udder disaster.

Bill Guandolo is an avid researcher of LEED, solar panels and free energy sources that people need and can use every day. He loves to share his online research findings and discoveries with others through his blog He has discovered things that very few people know about alternative energy and more importantly about ways to eliminate your dependence on your local power provider and offers information regarding wind power electricity.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Your Green Electricity Options

If you are looking to switch to green electricity then you have two options. Your first option is to generate the electricity yourself using renewable energy technologies. The second is to switch to a green tariff with one of the energy providers. Let's take a closer look at these two possibilities.

Generating your own renewable energy is a viable option these days. The only set back is the relatively high initial investment that you would need. There are a number of options including solar, wind, combined heat and power or hydro. Probably the most practical and suitable for most people is the solar option.

When we talk about solar we mean solar photovoltaic panels, these turn the light form the sun into electricity. They are almost entirely maintenance free and can be installed in a day. You do however have to have a South facing roof for them to work effectively. The more direct sun that they get the more electricity they will produce.

A typical solar installation should produce more than half of all your electrical power requirements. You can get larger installations and sell any excess energy back to the grid. The down side to solar is that they only work during the day. This means at night you will still have to buy in your power from the grid.

There are ways to store the excess power you generate but for most people the systems are not yet domestically practical. The appliances we use are generally high demand and the batteries would not last very long.

The second option is to switch to a green electricity tariff from either your current energy company or from a competitor. Most companies these days have a green or eco tariff. However they are not all the same. Some providers top up their green with brown electricity. Brown electricity is the same type that you are already using.

To make a difference your best option is to switch to a provider who only produces renewable energy. Many of the independents produce their own renewable power and sell it direct to the consumer.

The cost of switching to a green tariff varies depending on the type of tariff and the company you choose. Some companies offer a rate equal to that you are currently already paying so that it will not cost you any more to switch. Others are slightly more expensive but the costs are coming down as more supply is being produced to meet demand.

Find out more about your green electricity options or find out how you can get free solar panels for your home with a government grant.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

The History Of Electricity

The Beginning of Electricity in America

Benjamin Franklin began experimenting with electricity in America and documented the experiments. He was able to finance his extensive work by selling off his belongings. He is known for flying a kite in a storm that had a wet string and a key tied to the end of it. When he observed sparks leaping from the key to his hand he understood that lightning was a natural form of electricity.

Alessandro Volta of Italy invented the electric cell in 1800, making it easier for scientists to study electricity and its various applications. When the electric cells are connected together a battery is created.

Alexander Graham Bell is known to have invented the telephone. Bell's worked as a teacher for deaf students professionally which explains his fascination with different ways to transmit sounds. During his experiments with sound transmission he began to use electricity, which eventually led to his success with the telephone.

Thomas Doolittle, a mill worker from Connecticut created the method that was used to create the first hand drawn copper wire that strong enough to use as a telegraph wire. A man by the name of Michael Faraday discovered that electricity was created when a magnet was passed through ordinary copper wire. This is the application that is used in America's power plant to generate electricity that is delivered to customers across the country. Both the electric generator and are built on this principle. A generator takes mechanical energy and converts it to electricity. On the other hand, motors convert electrical energy to mechanical energy.

While Thomas Edison experimented with electricity he was able to invent the electrical light bulb in addition to many other gadgets. His biggest challenge when creating the light bulb was to find the right material to use for the filament. He settled on carbon soaked cotton thread. The carbon was used to prevent the cotton thread from burning. The thread glowed as the electricity traveled through it. As soon as the popularity of the light bulb caught on he turned his attention to the development of power plants that would be run the light bulbs. The first power plant that he built began operating in 1882 and served 85 New York city customers.

A major turning point occurred in 1895. The power plant that was built by Edison was only capable of transporting power a short distance since it used direct current of DC. The power was transmitted approximately just one square mile surrounding the power plant. With the development of alternating current or AC in 1895 the plant was able to transport power over 200 miles from the newly built power plant in Niagara Falls.

Electricity was rather slow to catch on in America. Many people were excited by the new inventions, but some were afraid of the electrical current and hesitated to have it installed in their houses. Some people were unable to afford the price of the service. Electricity was blamed for causing the end of simple living. Many people felt that electric lights were less romantic than the gas light they were used to.

Many expos and fairs often featured exhibits that displayed the recent inventions that used electricity as their power source. The 1893 Columbian Exposition that was held in Chicago displayed 5,000 arc lights and 90,000 incandescent lamps. People that visited the expo had the opportunity to view or ride the different electrified exhibits which included three cranes, several water fountains, a moving sidewalk, elevators and a street car system that was created by General Electric.

The Pan-American Exposition that was held in Buffalo, NY in 1901 used electricity as the theme. An electric tower that was 400 feet in height, displaying 40,000 lights was featured in addition to the Electricity Building which was home to a huge exhibit of electrical appliances.

Power became accessible by more people as small electrical companies started to spring up around the country. A number of the smaller companies started to merge together and form large conglomerates, the largest ones being General Electric and Westinghouse. These two companies started building power plants that were equipped with generators that used fossil fuel combustion and steam to produce electricity. Other plants were being built that used kinetic power to generate power like water or wind. Once nuclear power was developed, the power that was released as nuclear reactions occurred was used to create electricity.

The demand for electricity grew by 12% each year for the first thirty years of the twentieth century. In order to keep up with today's demand for electricity, renewable resources are being implemented to supply the much needed power. Many people are using solar power, hydropower and wind power are being put to use in order to meet the demands of consumers and to protect the environment.

Jerry D. - Owner of Choose Energy ( and online resource for Texas electric customers - Your source for lower Texas electricity prices. You may use this article as long as this box remains unchanged.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


An aquarium in Japan has come up with a novel way of generating free electricity to light up a Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Timeline : The History of Electricity [English]

This timeline presents the History of Electricity from Ben Franklin tying a key to a kite string during a storm to the first nuclear power plant in Russia.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How do you make electricity from coal - 3D animated tutorial

See how a coal fueled power plant produces electricity in this 10 minute tutorial video produced by for FirstEnergy. This is a fully 3D animated video.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Electrical Tips to Consider When Buying a New Home

Electricity is one of the most important aspects to a home. Without proper electricity, a number of amenities would be affected. We would not be able to use lights, appliances, computers, air conditioners, some cable and phone systems, and even our heaters or hot water heaters. When you are considering a new home purchase, it is valuable to check the home electrical systems to ensure your needs are met.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when checking the electrical systems of a new home...

1. Know what to expect. An electrical system includes incoming power lines, the electric meter, the service panel, subpanels, household wiring, electrical boxes, the receptacles or outlets, switches, appliances, lights, and extra equipment used for home entertainment or communication. These should all be included in a new home.

2. Ask for the age of the electrical system. There have been a number of upgrades through the years. It is important to know how old the electrical system is so that you can ensure it is up to code for the house you are buying. Older systems might need to be replaced to handle your electrical needs and this could become quite costly.

3. Check with the Electric Company or previous owners for an estimate on their electric bill. Although you might use more or less electric then the current occupants, you can get a general idea of what to expect.

4. Consider how you will use each room. Make sure there are proper outlets and switches to fit your needs. You do not want to set up your home office and realize you have no phone or internet connection to access. And, if you are building a new construction home, it is a lot cheaper to make these adjustments before the house is complete.

5. Check and existing light switches and outlets to make sure they work properly. A common problem is a switch that does nothing or an electrical outlet that is not functional. These are issues that should be cleared up before buying the house.

6. Make sure the electrical system is sized to handle the electricity amount that you plan to use. An average amp size is 100 or 200 but larger homes could require up to 400 amps. Having the correct size electrical unit will prevent future "blown fuses" when a larger amount of electricity is suddenly needed.

7. Insure that the electrical box is properly labeled. In the event that a circuit needs to be reset, you will want to know which breaker to switch. You do not want to be left cold and in the dark without a clue as to how to reinstate your lights and heat.

8. And, finally, BE SAFE! Electrical systems are required to pass building codes. This increases the safety of you and your family. Circuit breakers prevent fires, Ground fault circuit breakers protect from electrical shocks, and smoke alarms alert occupants of an emergency. These should all be incorporated and working correctly in your new home.

Guaranteeing the electrical system is accurate to your needs and working efficiently is an important and valuable process when purchasing a home. You do not want to be stuck paying high costs for electrical fixes or attempting the "Do it yourself" method. Be sure to use these helpful tips to make certain you are not left in the dark!

Article Source:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Using Magnetism For Cheap and Clean Electricity

Latest advancement in the world of Science and Technology has provided us with many gadgets and appliances to make out work easier. Although these inventions have made our lives greatly convenience it has also made us greatly dependent on Electric energy, commonly called Electricity. As time passes, we are becoming more and more reliant on it to get our daily work done.

In today's modern times, Electric power has becomes a commodity. The monthly billing from electric company is sometimes becomes overkill. Nevertheless, we have becomes leisured with this convenience that we can't imagine living without, no matter what the price. Fortunately, we don't have to.

The basic idea of generator is to convert one forms of energy (magnetic energy in this case) into another form (electric energy in this case). Magnetic generators exploit the natural phenomena of attraction and repulsion between poles to create motion and hence energy. The exact quantity of electricity produced in a magnetic generator depends on the construction and specifications of the generator. Let's have a look:

A magnetic generator uses the fact that the opposite poles of a magnet attract each other while similar poles repel. A magnet generator uses a combination of various magnets to create energy from their motion. This energy is then channeled into electricity and thus can be used to power electric appliance. As mentioned before, the efficiency of such a device depends on the specification and design of the magnet. If anyone of the magnet fails or malfunctions, the process stops. Until that time you can continuously produce electricity.

Now, over-enthusiasts need to take a pause to consider budget issues. In order to construct a magnetic generator you have invest in buying magnets. Magnets are the biggest investment in this project as the efficiency of the generator depends greatly on the quality of magnets. Magnets can be bought from a hardware store or they can be custom made directly from a factory. But all this is one time investment, because once your generator is up and running, you can generate free energy.

Magnetic generator is also environmental friendly as it produces 100% clean and green energy like solar energy or wind energy. Secondly, it's sustainable, more efficient and does not depend on external factor like wind in a wind generator or sun light as in a solar panel. It also cuts your energy bill by a substantial amount.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


                                                 School House Rock

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863, when during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.

The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated to give thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony survive their first brutal winter in New England.

The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. The feast consisted of fish (cod, eels, and bass) and shellfish (clams, lobster, and mussels), wild fowl (ducks, geese, swans, and turkey), venison, berries and fruit, vegetables (peas, pumpkin, beetroot and possibly, wild or cultivated onion), harvest grains (barley and wheat), and the Three Sisters: beans, dried Indian maize or corn, and squash. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "Thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Your electrical panel may be in danger after 30 plus years.

Your home has probably had almost everything replaced by now; from water heater, furnace, AC, floors, doors, windows, appliances, etc.

Has anyone looked at your electrical panel?

Most people think if it's not broken, why fix it? Well, the reason is simple...

Most house fires are caused by electrical fires. Don't lose your valuables or your life! Have your panel inspected. Have peace of mind!


Vacaville Electric

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Effects Commercial Lighting Has on Mood, Productivity and Sales

A good commercial lighting system can make a big difference in any business. Studies have found that a properly installed commercial or industrial lighting system can enhance the moods of employees and customers, improve employee productivity, and even increase sales in a retail business or restaurant. Because of this, it's vital that the people responsible for purchasing commercial lighting systems know just what products to buy for their specific business.

The Effect Industrial Lighting Has On Customers' and Employees' Moods

It's been proven that bright lights affect a person's mood. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) commonly occurs in the winter or in grey, rainy climates and leads to depression. SAD is counter-acted using light therapy, using a special, bright light. Although not everyone suffers from SAD, the theory of light therapy is the same. Brighter industrial lighting subconsciously helps to improve the moods of both customers and employees.

How Commercial Lighting Effects Productivity

Dim lighting encourages the body to create melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that helps people sleep. Because of this, it's important for industrial settings like factories and plants to keep employee work stations well-lit, especially if workers are performing repetitive tasks.

A study published in the May/June 1995 issue of Solar Today found that one company, Lockheed, saved $500,000 a year in energy costs by upgrading its industrial lighting system. What the company didn't expect was a 15% increase in employees' productivity and a 15% reduction in absenteeism. Yet another company, West Bend Mutual, increased productivity by 16%, which reducing its energy bill by 40%. In both cases, simply updating the industrial lighting saved the companies thousands of dollars in energy costs and increased productivity.

Individual employees may appreciate different brightness levels at their own work stations. When possible, employers should allow workers to customize the brightness level using individual work station dimmers or lamps.

Properly Placed Commercial Lighting Increases Sales

Savvy store and restaurant managers know that the right lighting can create sales - it's a simple fact of the retail and restaurant business. Properly placed lighting at the correct wattage can make products pop and improve the appearance. From cosmetics to clothing to food, lighting sets the ambiance and can encourage people to spend more.

Products like cosmetics and fine jewelry need to have commercial lighting that's specially tailored. Customers expect to be able to see the unique shade variations in these products in order to make an informed purchase. Clothing displays can be lighted many different ways to enhance the look of the clothing.
Restaurants need to specialize commercial lighting systems based on the type of restaurant. For instance, a family-friendly chain or fast food eatery should be better lit than a fancy restaurant that caters to couples seeking a romantic meal. Many restaurants have the interior lighting on a dimmer switch that allows the manager to dim the lights as the evening goes on. This encourages customers to spend more in cocktails, which greatly increases the restaurant's sales figures.

Commercial or industrial lighting is vitally important to all companies so it's something that should be researched for an entire lighting system is purchased. The right type of lighting system can help improve customers' and employees' moods, increase productivity and increase sales all with a simple industrial lighting upgrade. The cost of installing the commercial lighting will likely quickly pay for itself.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Outdoor Lighting Adds Beauty and Security

Outdoor lighting is a very attractive way to add security to a home, business, rental property, or public area such as parks and waterways. Outdoor lighting can provide a very attractive arrangement that not only allows you to see, but can be an excellent criminal deterrent. Outdoor lighting is effective at deterring criminal activity such as vandalism, theft, and robbery. If a criminal has a choice, he or she will opt for a darkened property over one that may expose him or her via outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting can add significant attractive nighttime enjoyment to a patio, garden, or landscaping for both homes and businesses. A summertime get together can be so much more enjoyable when the area is well identified with outdoor lighting that not only accentuates a property's assets, but also allow for outdoor play.
The key to outdoor lighting is accentuating the property's assets while restricting direct views into the property's faults. Of course while playing up the outdoor lighting with the assets, you want to create a logical pattern of outdoor lighting. If the cars are parked around back and the back door entrance is used but the front of the house is more attractive, there are features that will make outdoor lighting logical and reasonable while portraying the home's better features to the passing public.

Manual outdoor lighting can be combined with automatic and sensor outdoor lighting. Sensor outdoor lighting is a good criminal deterrent while saving on energy costs. If the light can be seen from a common room in the house, such as a living room or a family room, the sensor will alert the occupants that there is movement on the property. Of course sensor outdoor lighting can be sensitive enough to light up every time a neighborhood cay walks by, but there is added security in being able to remotely view out a window when there is an unexpected knock at the door. Sensor outdoor lighting can make a person feel much safer when that unexpected knock comes in the darkness and they are home alone.

Just as beautiful and creative Christmas lighting is very attractive and fun to admire during the holiday season, attractive and creative outdoor lighting can add that same warm and admirable quality all year long. Outdoor lighting can provide many accentuating qualities to a home or business. Small accent outdoor lighting can be used to light pathways and walkways which are not only visually pleasing but resist against trips and falls. Archway outdoor lighting can add a beautiful Victorian quality to a home or business. Of course, outdoor lighting that truly accentuates a home or business can be crafted from any angle to accomplish many things, but typically creative outdoor lighting should be created by a professional.

Hiring a professional to install outdoor lighting allows for a more critical approach to establishing a pleasing visual effect while addressing a few unrecognized issues that are common place and often overlooked without a professional eye. Outdoor lighting that may be very attractive to you while sitting on your back porch may very well be blinding drivers as they pass your home or business. Misappropriated outdoor lighting may be accidentally shining into your neighbor's window. What may be attractive to you as you install your outdoor lighting may only be attractive to you. You just really never know, which is why the installation of outdoor lighting is best left in the hands of the professionals.

With so many outdoor lighting options on the market right now it may be difficult to discern which lighting styles will compliment each other and which lighting styles will prove too aggressive with each other without the help of a profession installation. When considering outdoor lighting, it is best to ask a professional to offer his or her opinion in regards to which outdoor lighting styles will work best around your home or office and why.

Outdoor lighting offers so many advantages and for a reasonable cost, you can transform your home or office to become much more user friendly after dark. Outdoor lighting can provide adequate lighting during those dark winter months to assist in simply walking to and from the car safely while warming up the look of a home or office. Outdoor lighting can add to summertime fun by creating a safe place for family and friends to gather. With the advancements in outdoor lighting which is currently available, it is a wonder why anyone wouldn't contact an outdoor lighting professional to discuss their outdoor lighting options.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sunburns and Dehydration ...But my guys got her done!...Pond/ BBQ / Lighting

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Choosing the Right Light Bulb For Your Home

We all grew up using those 4% efficient yellow filament light bulbs, and then one day we shifted to the glistening tube lights, finally ending up putting energy savers into our homes. Now we look in awe at the new concept cars boasting with cost efficient light emitting diode (LED) lamps, and we have seen new torches fitted with brilliant blinding halogen bulbs. Drowning in a variety of alternatives that new technology offers us, simple decisions in lighting have now become tougher than ever. There are a dozen options for light bulbs out there nowadays, but the main ones used for domestic purposes are filament bulbs, halogen lamps, fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), and LED's. Let's explore a few things to think about so that you can pick the right one for you.

A few primary factors instantly come into the person's mind when choosing the light bulbs to use are the cost, durability, and aesthetics. Before you buy a new set of lights, it's advisable to check its illumination power, its cost, and its color/shade. The cheapest bulbs available in the market are usually the filament lamps, and you can get a lot of them for very little money. The problem is that they are low in durability, produce too much heat, and have high running costs.

Halogen light bulbs radiate a white brilliance, but they are way too hot (over 300 degrees Celsius) and expensive for most people to use. CFL's are economic in the long run, very durable and bright, and they are typically the best choice for modern households. Fluorescent tubes are popular as well, but they may ruin the aesthetics of a domestic house. LED's are uncommon so far, but they promise a great insightful future soon, challenging the CFL's into the market.

Different light bulbs create different effects, have different efficiencies and are better suited to specific situations. In the end though, it's up to you as to what you like. You don't have to stick to just one type of light bulb. In fact, a better plan may be to mix them up and use different types in different areas of your home to respond to different needs. You could use energy saving CFL's for general home lighting, use high beam directed flashlights where visual clarity is needed, and use soft lights or UV tubes outside to create an ambience suitable to your mood. Get a little creative and you will have a beautifully lit home in no time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Electricity Basics

Simplest model of an atom 
To ward the end of the 19th  century, scien ce  was barreling along at an impressive pace. Automobiles andaircraft were on the verge of changing the way the world mov ed, and electric power was st eadily making its way into more and more homes. Yet even scientists of the day still viewed electricity as something vaguely mystical. It wasn't until 1897 that scientists discovered the existence ofelectrons -- and this is where electricity starts.
Matter, as you probably know, is composed of atoms. Break something down to small enough pieces and you wind up with a nucleus orbited by one or more electrons, each with a negative charge. In many materials, the electrons are tightly bound to the atoms. Wood, glass, plastic, ceramic, air, cotton -- these are all examples of materials in which electrons stick with their atoms. Because the electrons don't move, these materials can't conduct electricity very well, if at all. These materials areelectrical insulators.
Holy Electricity
In the late 19th century, electricity truly had a noble or even divine reputation -- to the extent that members of the scientific community protested the idea of the electric chair as a degradation of both electricity and the scientific breakthroughs that made electrocuting a criminal possible. What might these critics have thought of such modern marvels as the battery-powered blackhead remover or the dance-floor horror known as the electric slide?
Most metals, however, have electrons that can detach from their atoms and zip around. These are called free electrons. The loose electrons make it easy for electricity to flow through these materials, so they're known as electrical conductors. They conduct electricity. The moving electrons transmit electrical energy from one point to another.
Think of electrons as pet dogs and a negative charge as a case of fleas. Homes where the dogs lived inside or within a fenced-in area would be the equivalent of an electrical insulator. Homes where the pets roamed free, however, would be electrical conductors. If you had one neighborhood of indoor, pampered pugs and one neighborhood of unfenced, free-roaming basset hounds, which group do you think could spread an outbreak of fleas the fastest?
Dogs aside, electricity needs a conductor in order to move. There also has to be something  to make the electricity flow from one point to another through the conductor. One way to get electricity flowing is to use a generator.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Before You Get Out of Bed...

Vacaville Electric will get it done before you get out of bed so your business will run smooth with no interruption!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lighting is Everything!

If you have fluorescent in your kitchen and hate it...we can fix it!

If you have a certain spot in your house to read...we can fix it!

Lighting consumes 1/3 of your electric bill...are you happy with your light?

Good lighting makes movies, entertainment, eating and romance a world of difference...Call Vacaville Electric today at 707-448-8222 for a quote.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Service Change

If you are in a house or business that is over 30 years old, your service may be at risk! They don't last forever. Most people think if it's not broke why fix it. Electricity is a running current and with running current there is wear and tear.

Have it checked by Vacaville Electric 707-448-8222.

Don't put your family or co-workers at risk!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vacaville Electric

Vacaville Electric is a full service Electrical Contractor based in Vacaville, California. Some of our company specialties include Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Service & Maintenance, Design, Lighting and Solar. When you need an electrician, you can count on us. Whether you are a Business Owner, a Contractor, a Property Owner, or a Homeowner, we facilitate the smooth completion of your project. Working well with other trades, we look out for the owner's interests, delivering affordable quality every time. We always welcome new challenges and look forward to working with you.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Today's Heat...

With today's heat it reminds me of the benefits of having a Whole House Fan. Vacaville Electric will install one for you at a low price of $900.00...and PG&E will give you $100 back!

"When the sun goes down turn the air conditioning OFF and the whole house fan ON."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Location!

We are proud to announce that Vacaville Electric has a new location at 1011 Mason Street, Suite 9 in Vacaville, California.

...just imagine these blank, white walls as a glorious showroom where you can come for ALL your lighting projects and needs!

Follow us as we build our new showroom and be continued.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Solar Energy - A Brief History in the United States

The technology to derive substantial electrical current using light from the sun has been around since the mid 1950's when the first solar cell was created by Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson at Bell Labs - they developed the first solar cell capable of generating enough power from the sun to run everyday electrical equipment. A silicon solar cell was produced that was 6% efficient. They were later able to increase efficiency to eleven percent.

Anyone who is aware of the ability to harness sunlight into electrical energy just has to recall from Jr. High School Science Class that Electricity produced by a solar cell is only good if the sun is shining directly onto the a photovoltaic solar cell.

With basic knowledge that solar cells product Direct (un-fluctuating) current, it stands to reason that there are two, very costly obstacles that stand in the way of practical solar power: 1) how to convert the current from direct current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) so that it can be used in the common household and 2) how to practically store the energy for use when needed after the sun had set or gone behind the clouds.

By the time solar technology had developed and become less expensive to produce, our nation's infrastructure had already established and built around the standard of AC at 110 volts and 15 amperes. A big expense to the use of solar cells is the requirement for use expensive power inverters to convert it from DC to AC.

With help from Exxon Corporation in 1970, a significantly less costly solar cell was designed by Dr. Elliot Berman. His design decreased the price of solar generated power from $100 per watt to $20 per watt. Although, still costly, this was a giant leap into the feasibility of the use of practical solar power

In 1976, the NASA Lewis Research Center began to install the first of many photovoltaic systems on every continent in the world with the exception of Australia. Those systems provided power for vaccine refrigeration, room lighting, medical clinic lighting, telecommunications, water pumping, grain milling, and classroom television. The project took place from 1976 to 1985, and then again from 1992 to its completion in 1995. By time the project was completed, 83 stand-alone systems were in place. These areas where systems were installed were obviously devoid of practical on-grid systems.

In July of the same year, the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration which was the predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy launched the Solar Energy Research Institute. And in 1977, total photovoltaic manufacturing production exceeded 500 kw (kilowatts). This was only enough power to light 5,000, 100-watt light bulbs.

In 1982, the first megawatt-scale PV (photovoltaic) power station went on line in Hisperia, California. The systems capacity was 1-megawatts and was developed by ARCO Solar. The U.S. Department of Energy and an industry consortium began operating Solar One, a 10-megawatt central-receiver demonstration project in California which established the feasibility of power-tower systems. During this same time, an Australian named Hans Tholstrup drove the first solar-powered car - the Quiet Achiever - almost 2,800 miles between Sydney and Perth in 20 days. This was 10 days faster than the first gasoline powered car. Tholstrup is now the founder of a world-class solar car race, Australia's World Solar Challenge.

Two other significant from 1982 which shaped the history of solar energy; Volkswagen of Germany began testing photovoltaic arrays mounted on the roofs of Dasher station wagons which generated 160 watts of electricity for use in the ignition system; and the Florida Solar Energy Center's Southeast Residential Experiment Station began supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's photovoltaics program in the application of systems engineering. Worldwide, photovoltaic production then exceeded 9.3 megawatts.

In 1986 the world's largest solar thermal facility was commissioned in Kramer Junction, California. The solar field contains rows of mirrors that concentrate the sun's energy onto a system of pipes circulating a heat transfer fluid. The heat transfer fluid, used to produce steam, powers a conventional turbine to generate electricity. While

Researchers at the University of South Florida developed a 15.9% efficient thin-film photovoltaic cell made of cadmium telluride, breaking the 15% barrier for this technology, a 7.5-kilowatt prototype dish system that includes an advanced stretched-membrane concentrator began operating in Florida.

The first solar station to distribute electricity produced from solar collectors was Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in 1993, in Kerman, California. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (formerly the Solar Energy Research Institute) completed construction of its Solar Energy Research Facility and became recognized as the most energy-efficient of all U.S. government buildings in the world.

In 1994 the first solar dish generator to use a free-piston Stirling Engine is hooked up to a utility grid and The National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed a solar cell made of gallium indium phosphide and gallium arsenide. This cell development was the first to achieve a conversion efficiency of above thirty percent.

Two years later, although not in the United States but worth mentioning, a solar-powered airplane, the Icare, flew over Germany. The wings and wings and tail surfaces were covered by 3,000 extremely efficient solar cells. Total surface area was 21 square meters.

The U.S. Department of Energy and an industry consortium begin operating Solar Two - an upgrade to Solar One's concentrating solar power tower. Until the project's end in 1999, Solar Two demonstrated how solar energy can be stored efficiently using molten salt economically so that power can be produced even when the sun isn't shining; it also spurs commercial interest in Molten Salt Power Tower Technology []

On August 6, 1998, a solar-powered, remote-controlled aircraft, "Pathfinder," set a record altitude of 80,000 feet after its 38th consecutive flight in Monrovia, California. This is higher than any prop-job to date.

The tallest Skyscraper in the city that was built in the '90's -- 4 Times Square in New York -- has more energy-efficient features than any other commercial skyscraper. The building includes integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels on the 37th through the 43rd floors on the south and west-facing facades to produce a portion of the building's power.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Spectrolab, Inc. developed a 32.3% efficient solar cell. This highly efficient cell resulted from the combination of three layers of photovoltaic material into a single cell. This cell was most efficient and practical when used in devices with lenses or mirrors which concentrate the sunlight. These concentrator systems [] are mounted on trackers which always keep them pointed toward the sun. The NREL also produced a record breaking achievement in the niche of thin-film cells. It increased efficiency more than 1% to 18.8%.

Today, with the price of petroleum topping $126/bbl, more and more people are looking to alternative energy sources to fill their energy needs. From using cooking oil as fuel in diesel cars, to using wind and sun energy at the residential level, people everywhere realize they can no longer depend on the Middle East, or even their own governments to properly regulate energy.

Individuals will need to be proactive in their efforts to supply themselves with energy. Who knows, it may be possible one day we invent automobiles with remove and replace batteries, similar to warehouse forklifts. Spare batteries to be charged via solar panel during the day to replace the spent battery at night. Just in time for the next day's commute to work.

Gene Duckett became interested in Solar Powered gadgets with his first credit card sized, solar-powered calculator purchased from Radio Shack in 1979. Now that he is all grown up and knows what he wants to do with his life, he is combining his interest in Solar Power with the opportunity in the United States to develop energy sources that are independent of foreign sources. That is why he founded His intent is to distribute information about solar power and practical applications to as many homeowners and business owners as possible. He believes that not only should we, as a country, eliminate need for foreign oil but, we should also reduce or eliminate dependency on grid power. When individuals relinquish self sufficiency for daily needs on a wholesale level, then they put themselves in a vulnerable position. Never in recorded history has man been so dependent on his government(s) and to a certain extent big business) for everyday necessities. There is a GOOD reason why the forefathers of the United States intended to LIMIT powers of the government. Those reasons are still valid today. Join in the progressive movement to end dependency on foreign oil and government control of everyday necessities. visit and get on the mailing list for weekly updates on the State of Solar Technology newsletter. There will soon be available valuable resources for converting your home from grid powered, to solar power. There will also be links to suppliers, educational videos, and technological developments. Its free and at the same time will be somewhat entertaining. Please be patient while the website, affiliate links, and company store are being developed. The demand for solar products is going to skyrocket, so these things will be available as quickly as possible. Thank You.

Article by Gene Duckett

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Electrical Power and Energy

Power is an electrical quantity that is measured in watts, and is the rate at which energy is either being absorbed or produced by a circuit. We know that light bulbs and heaters absorb energy and that the higher their value in watts the more energy they will consume. Likewise, batteries and generators produce energy and the greater their electrical rating the more power they can deliver to the load. The unit of electrical power is the watt with its symbol being a large letter "P" indicating constant DC power or a small letter "p" indicating a time-varying AC power.

Electrical power is related to energy which is the capacity to do work. It can also be defined as the rate of by which energy is transferred. If one joule of work is either absorbed or delivered at a constant rate of one second, then the corresponding power will be equivalent to one watt so power, P can be defined as 1Joule/sec = 1Watt. Then we can say that one watt is equal to one joule per second and electrical power can be defined as the rate of doing work or the transferring of energy.

Equally we can define energy as being watts per second or joules. So if the power is measured in kilowatts (thousands of watts) and the time is measure in hours, then the unit of electrical energy is the kilowatt-hour, (kWh) and 1 kWh is the amount of electricity used by a device rated at 1000 watts in one hour.

Kilowatt-hours are the standard units of energy used by the electricity meter in our homes to calculate the amount of electrical energy we use and therefore how much we pay. So if you switch on an electric fire with an element rated at 1000 watts and left it on for 1 hour you will have used 1 kWh of electricity. If you switched on two electric fires each with 1000 watt elements for half an hour the total consumption would be exactly the same amount of electricity - 1kWh. So, consuming 1000 watts for one hour uses the same amount of power as 2000 watts (twice as much) for half an hour (half the time). Then for a 100 watt light bulb to use 1 kWh or one unit of electrical power it would need to be switched on for a total of 10 hours (10 x 100 = 1000 = 1kWh).

So we now know that the unit of power is the watt with the power absorbed by an electrical circuit being given as the product of the voltage, V and the current, I which gives:

P (watts) = V (volts) x I (amperes)

Also, by substituting Ohm's Law into the equation above we can also define a constant DC power as being:

P (watts) = I^2 (amperes squared) x R (resistance)


P (watts) = V^2 (voltage squared) / R (resistance)

Then there are three possible formulas for calculating electrical power in a circuit. If the calculated power is positive, (+P) then the circuit or component absorbs the power. But if the calculated power is negative, (-P) the circuit or component delivers power in other words it is a source of energy.

Power Rating

Electrical components are given a "power rating" in watts that indicates the maximum rate at which the component coverts the electrical energy into another form of energy such as heat, light or motion. For example, a 1/4W resistor, a 100W light bulb etc. So energy is used by electrical devices to convert one form of power to another so for example, an electrical motor will covert electrical energy into a mechanical force.

Electrical motors and other electrical systems have an efficiency rating defined as the ratio of power converted into work to the total power consumed by the device. Efficiency is expressed as a decimal fraction but is generally defined as a percentage value such as 85% efficient. So we can define efficiency as being equal to power output divided by power input x 100%.

The efficiency of an electrical device or motor will always be less than one (100%) due to electrical and mechanical losses. If an electrical device has an efficiency rating of 85% then only 85% of the input power is transformed into mechanical work the other 15% is lost in heat or other losses.

Domestic electrical appliances such as washing machines, driers, fridges and freezers also have energy efficiency ratings that indicate their energy usage and cost. These ratings are given as "A" for efficient and "G" for less efficient.

So remember, the more energy efficient is the device, the less energy it will consume and the more money you will save as well as being helpful to the environment.

Learn more about electrical power and energy and lots of other good basic electronics tutorials at

Article by Wayne Storr

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

In The Industrial Electricity World, Time Is Money. We're On Your Side.

When it comes to the Industrial world, Vacaville Electric knows "Time is Money." We realize it may be a deadline for a new facility, new equipment being implemented into an existing system, or general maintenance. Vacaville Electric will be there at all hours to help you get the production moving.

Call Tom Jackson of Vacaville Electric at 707-448-8222.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Big Changes Are Coming To Our Industry. We're Ready. Are You?

We can help you be ready. "Carbon footprint," "greenhouse emissions" and "global warming" are not just news stories. They are concerns that are driving change in electrical technology, revolutionizing our industry.

"Green" technology often translates into huge savings on electricity. Generating electricity from the sun is a technology we all know well. Whether you’re powering a pocket calculator, satellite, or your home, solar electricity, also known as photovoltaics, can get the job done.

Give us a call today to see how we can help you be "green" and save money at the same time!

Did you know?

Enough sunlight falls on the earth's surface each minute to meet world energy demand for an entire year.

The cost of electricity is going up (both in dollars and in environmental and health impacts) and it doesn’t show any signs of doing otherwise. About half of the energy in the American grid is coal generated. Electric energy is an intermediate form of energy. It is produced in thermal power stations (where fuel oil, gas, coal, biomass, etc. are burnt), in hydroelectric power stations and nuclear power stations. Smaller quantities are produced by wind, photovoltaic solar panels, sea tides, etc.

Call Tom Jackson of Vacaville Electric at 707-448-8222 to answer any of your solar questions.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Did You Know?

Benjamin Franklin was the first to name the two types of charges, calling one positive and the other negative. He also established the convention that the charge that moves is associated with electrons, and that it has a negative sign. He assumed that electricity flows from positively charged to negatively charged regions.

Electric current is composed of moving charges. In metals, it is the free electrons that move, so the current is negative. In semiconductors, currents may be either positive or negative, due to the movement of holes and free electrons. Electric potential is a voltage. Charges flow when there is a potential difference applied between two different points. This potential difference creates a pressure that causes the charges to move, just like a pump does water. Potential differences are created from power sources such as batteries or generators, and are measured in units called volts. Volts are named after Italian physicist Alessandro Volta.

Current is measured in amperes or amps, for short. It is named after the French physicist Andre Marie Ampere. An ampere is equal to one coulomb of charge per second, which is in magnitude a billion billion of electrons. The coulomb is named after another French physicist, Charles Coulomb.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vacaville Electric Blog

Welcome to the New Vacaville Electric Blog
We hope to not only Inform but, to Entertain you!

Vacaville Electric is a full service Electrical Contractor based in Vacaville, California. Some of our company specialties include Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Service & Maintenance, Design, Lighting and Solar. When you need an electrician, you can count on us. Whether you are a Business Owner, a Contractor, a Property Owner, or a Homeowner, we facilitate the smooth completion of your project. Working well with other trades, we look out for the owner's intrests, delivering affordable quality every time. We always welcome new challenges and look forward to working with you.

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