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Electricity Distribution Print  

An electrical distribution system transports electrical power from the distribution system to the area provided with electricity at each given time. Nowadays, most people take it for granted that their toaster machines work, they seem to think they work automatically – and they give little thought to how the electricity that powers the machines works and how it is distributed. For example, a short example: the electricity used by the toaster comes from the power plant in Svartsengi, near Grindavík, and reaches its user whom may live in a street in Keflavík. The distance between Keflavík and Svartsengi is not a long one; however the electricity itself must travel quite a “long” and complicated distance to the toaster. The electricity is produced by a generator powered by steam power. The generator itself sends the electricity into a machine operated voltage, which changes the currency of the electrical power into 12000 volts. This voltage must then travel into another voltage switch device which changes the current into 132000 volts for the distribution line up to the conveying station in Fitjar.*

In the conveying station in Fitjar the currency must be lowered down to 33000 volts to be able to distribute it to the conveying station on Aðalgata in Keflavík; and in the conveying station in Keflavík the currency is lowered down to 12000 volts to distribute within the town limits. It also travels by cables laid underground. The next destination for the electricity is a distribution system which finally changes the 12000 volts into 400 volts for home use. This usually happens very close to the home, about 500 meters near households. After that happens the electricity then travels to a “street box”, which is usually a few meters from the home. The currency travels through a connection in the box and then travels to the main fuse box of the home, which then distributes the electricity through the power cords, or in this case the cord of the toaster – and then finally it powers the toaster which had been connected. So plugging in a toaster is pretty interesting after all!

*The reason why the voltage is increased is because when the voltage is higher, the current to produce energy is less as given by this physics formula (P(energy) = V(voltage) * I(current). If the voltage is not increased then the electrical wires on the masts would need to be much thicker, meaning that the masts would need to be much stronger; thus the voltage would decrease because of the great loss of heat which would mean that no energy would be delivered by the electrical line.

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