The Different Types of Electricity

Electricity is now an essential life aspect we need without having a second thought. Of course, as more time passes, technology is advancing further in this aspect. Thus, we need to understand the types of electricity.

Types of Electricity

There are few types of electricity, such as:

  • Static electricity
  • Current electricity
  • Solar electricity
  • Hydro electricity

What is Static Electricity?

Static electricity is an electricity accumulated on the surface of a specific material.

We can produce this type of electricity easily by rubbing two materials together. For a simple example, we can rub our hair with a plastic ruler.

This static electricity is built on the surface and our rubbed materials (objects) will attract each other or even a little spark between them.

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At first both materials had neutral charge (both had equal positive and negative charges). When we rub them the electron will move from the hair to the plastic ruler due to variations in the two materials’ electron attraction.

One of them will be positively charged since the electrons are transferred and the other will be negatively charged since the electrons are attracted.

What is Current Electricity?

Current electricity is what we use everyday to operate our electrical devices.

Remember what we have learned about what is current?

Current is the flow rate of electrons in a closed path. This rate of moving electrons is measured in Ampere.

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Keep in mind that a conductor is essential to make this happen, for example, a copper wire. The electrons are moving from a point to another point with a specific speed, and this speed is the current, a rate of flow of electrons.

Observe the equation for current below:

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i = current, measured in Ampere (A)
q : electric charge, measured in Coulombs (C)
t : time period, measured in seconds (s)

Translated into easy explanation:

Current electricity (i) is the amount of charge flowing (q) from point A to point B in a circuit in a given time (t).

When talking about supplying energy, current can be used to measure the amount of energy supplied for a given time.

Unlike static electricity where we can produce it simply by applying movement to the materials, the current electricity comes from chemical or physics reaction.

For a chemical reaction, we know a battery or battery cell.

For a physics reaction, we know a generator where we create a magnetic field to produce electricity.

Furthermore, current electricity is divided into alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). More about this topic is explained in other posts, but the main difference is: AC current has electrons that are moving back and forth in a circuit (bidirectional) while the DC current only has one flowing direction.

What is Solar Electricity?

Solar electricity is electricity that is generated by solar energy with the help of Photovoltaic (PV) panels. This panel is used to convert the solar energy generated by the heat of the sunlight into solar electricity.

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How do Photovoltaic panels convert the heat into usable electricity?

The PV panel is constructed from thin semiconductor layers, mainly silicon.

What is Hydro Electricity?

Generating electricity by using moving water is what we know as hydro electricity. It means the electricity is generated mainly by water (hydro) but only when it moves as intended.

It uses the basic concept of a mill but much larger, vastly implemented, and able to scale for better efficiency.

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Nowadays, a huge turbine is installed where the vast volume of water moves at high velocity such as a waterfall or even a dam. Electrical generators are installed with a specific mechanism to make sure it can produce electricity only by the movement of the turbine caused by the water.

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