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Uses Of Electricity

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It is difficult to imagine a life without electricity! Look around and you are sure to find a couple of things that work on electricity. Once generated in power stations, electricity is carried by transmission lines via transformers to long distances and distributed to our homes via distribution lines. It is then distributed inside the house with the help of wires to the sockets. All our electrical appliances and electronic devices get power through these wires. It is the most versatile form of energy that enables us to transfer it in ways that allows us to do simple chores by giving power to electrical things. We can use it for lighting, heating, cooling, and refrigeration and for operating various household appliances, electronic devices, small to big machineries, and public transportation systems.

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Uses of Electricity based on its Effects

When electricity flows through a circuit, it exhibits a number of effects in and around the conductor. Depending on their effects, they are harnessed for various purposes.

They can be classified into three types-

  1. HEATING EFFECT – It generates heat and light in the conductor and this effect is used in devices like electric bulbs, irons and heaters.

2. MAGNETIC EFFECT – When an electric current passes through a conductor, it generates a magnetic field around it, which is used in making electric bells, toys, telephones, loudspeakers, etc.

3. CHEMICAL EFFECT – When electricity is passed through some conducting liquids, it also causes chemical reactions. This effect is used in gold plating in jewelry, zinc coating on steel and chromium plating on bikes, cars to protect them to corrosion etc.

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Uses of Electricity in our Daily Life

  1. HOUSEHOLD – The lighting and heating devices, the dishwashers, washing machines, toasters, microwave ovens, refrigerators, coffee machines, televisions, computers etc. need electricity to work.

2. OUTDOORS – The water pumps, sprinklers, the street lights, the lawnmowers and temperature-controlled swimming pools work on electricity.

3. COMMERCIAL PLACES – Factories and industrial units use electricity to run their machineries. Essential items like food, cloth, paper, and many other things are products of electricity.

4. OFFICES – The lifts, biometric scanners, escalators, the coffee and snacks vending machines, Photostat machines etc. need electricity to work.

5. HEALTHCARE – A dentist, surgeon or a doctor in any line of medicine use modern technologies for testing, treating and operating on patients.  Most of these technologies like X-ray, ECG, surgical tools, scanning machines, ventilators, etc. run on electricity.

6. TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION – Modern means of transportation and communication have been revolutionized by electricity. It is widely used in electric metro trains, locomotives in railways and battery operated cars.

  1.  Space – The satellites which are sent to space expeditions run on electricity. The electricity is generated with the help of rechargeable batteries.

Drawbacks of Excessive Usage

Excessive use of electricity calls for more of its production. Electricity generation requires the burning of coal and natural gas that releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This is leading to air pollution and global warming, and in turn, is affecting the climate and local ecosystems including plants and animals. Burning of coal produces solid waste known as ash which poses a danger to the soil composition leading to land pollution.

Renewable Sources Of Energy

The need of the hour is to change over to sources of energy that are easily replenished and do not add to environmental pollution.  They include solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, biomass energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy and others about which you will learn in details as you grow a little more.

Be Smart & Save When You Can

  1. Turn off unnecessary lights and use natural light instead.
  2. Unplug unused electronics and electrical appliances.
  3. Manage your thermostat as per the temperature required.
  4. Turn the water off while taking showers, brushing teeth and washing hands when not in use. Pumping water needs electricity, so saving water, in turn, saves electricity.

Check Point

  1. An electric bulb works on the principle of ________ effect of electric current.
  2. Two uses of electric current based on its magnetic effect are _______ and _______.
  3. Putting a coat of zinc on steel to prevent it from corrosion is an example of using ______ effect of electric current.
  4. Name any two devices that you see in your school that works on electricity.
  5. Renewable sources of energy include ________ and ________.
  6. A means of transportation that works on electricity is__________.

Answer Key

  1.  heating
  2. electric bell, some toys, telephone, loudspeakers (any two)
  3. chemical
  4. electric bell, lights, smart boards, air conditioners, computers (any two)
  5. Solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, hydropower (any two)
  6. Electric cars, Electric trains, and railways. (anyone)

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