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Given that we all depend upon electricity so much, it's surprising how little is actually known about it


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Voltage Explained

Electricity (a flow of minute particles of electrons) is generated at power stations and transmitted to regional substations located throughout the land, from where it is distributed to our homes. For electricity to be able to travel these long distances, it requires pressure to give it enough 'push'. This pressure in electrical terms is electromotive force, (EMF), and measured in volts.

Voltage could be likened to the pressure of water. As an example; if a tank of water had an outlet at the top, just below the water level, the water would only trickle out and run down the side of the tank because of not having much pressure at that point. When located at the bottom, the same outlet would produce a strong jet of water that would travel some distance away from the tank due to the weight of water producing pressure. 

Voltage is increased to a very high level by means of transformers, called; 'Step-up' transformers which enables electricity to travel the long distances from the power stations. 

Before electricity can be used for domestic purposes, the high voltage needs to be reduced, but it still needs pressure so that it can be carried around all the appliances within the home. For the purpose of home electrics, the voltage measurement for UK is 230 volts.

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