Electrical Power

Electricity is the most versatile energy form available for use inside an industry. It can be used for heating, lighting and power, disregarding the generation source or means of transmission. Compared with other utilities, its generation can be considered as simple as steam generation, but its distribution is more complex.

It is usually generated as alternate current electricity, typically at high voltage. The generated power is transmitted to final users through a distribution network, which is composed of transformers, distribution lines and control equipment. Depending on demand purpose and requirements, the necessary voltage levels are adjusted at substations near to the consumption site. There is no significant conceptual difference between a transmission line and a distribution line except for voltage level and power handling capability. Transmission lines operate at very high voltages and have the capacity of carrying large quantities of electricity over great distances. Distribution lines have limited power capacity, handling lower voltages over shorter distances. Inside an industry, quite often, the distribution approach is the one that applies.

Depending on the production process, electricity should be the main energy source, being generally used for all energy needs. Although lighting systems are used everywhere and nowadays, almost all daytime, independently of daylight availability, the majority of electrical demand is for power, to run electric motors.

Concerning installation, it is the utility with highest complexity level, demanding a lot of control and safety equipment. It is the sole utility whose faults are immediately sensed, and also the one that is usually more dependent on the availability of other utility systems. Disregarding fuels like natural gas, it is the easiest utility to be purchased from third party suppliers. Being the simplest, more commonly available and flexible energy, it is applied in general manner, and its demand is always growing.

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