Electricity surrounds us: we are used to living with electrical phenomena both natural (lightning, static electricity …) and artificial (lighting our homes, running appliances and electrical machines …).

In today’s society, it is an important part of each and every aspect of life. When we lack we realize how our life revolves around it. Without electricity most of the technical advances that they could have enjoyed not develop and the kind of life that we would take would be completely different.

Electric both domestic and industrial energy, electricity, and a large number of objects that are powered by electricity and have led to that today, electricity is absolutely essential.

How important is a challenge facing all societies today is to produce electricity in a sustainable manner, as energy consumption, particularly electricity, which maintain the most developed countries it is impossible to keep much longer.

We know its importance but what is electricity?

The electricity is a set of phenomena produced by the movement and interaction between positive and negative electrical charges physical bodies.

The word “electricity” comes from the Latin electrum, and in turn the Greek  Elektron , or amber. The reference to amber comes from a recorded discovery by French scientist Charles François de Cisternay du Fay, who identified the existence of two types of (positive and negative) electrical charges. Positive charges manifested by rubbing the glass and negative rubbing resinous substances such as amber.

Diagram of an electric field with positive and negative charges

The energy produced by the electrical charges can occur within four areas: physical, light, mechanical and thermal .

While electricity is abstract or “invisible” in most of its manifestations, such as the nervous system of humans, it is possible to “see” at times like rays when a strong storm develops.

Rays over a city in the middle of a thunderstorm

Electricity is a secondary energy source

They are called primary energies which are obtained directly from nature: solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass, oil, natural gas or coal.

The secondary energies come from the transformation of primary energy intended for direct consumption or other uses gasoline, electricity, diesel, fuel oil …

How electricity is produced for consumption?

Electricity is produced by electrical systems s to ensure their availability.

An electrical system is the set of elements that operate in a coordinated way in a given territory to meet the demand for electricity consumers.

Electrical systems can be classified basically as follows:

  • Centers or plants where electricity generation (nuclear power plants, hydroelectric plants, combined cycle plants, wind farms, etc.) occurs.
  • Transmission lines electricity high voltage (HV).
  • substations (substations) to reduce the voltage or line voltage (high voltage / medium voltage, medium voltage / low voltage).
  • Distribution lines of medium and low voltage which carry electricity to the consumption points.
  • Electricity control center from which manages and operates the system of generation and transmission of energy.

Uses and applications of electricity

Electricity is an essential source of energy . In every home there are all kinds of appliances and appliances powered electricity, in addition to the lighting system.

In industry, nearly half of the energy consumed is electricity. Electricity is used both as a driving source of the electric motors of the machinery for each sector and for heating the contents of tanks, reservoirs and boilers. As in the domestic sector, electricity is also the main source of illumination , and allows heat and cold air conditioning equipment.

In the area of transport , tram, metro or train are the means of electrical transport par excellence. Currently they are being designed electric vehicle aimed primarily at urban uses, as well as “hybrid” vehicles called in which the electric motor is combined with an internal combustion engine, so that it enjoys the advantages of both energy sources. With a simple electrical outlet to recharge the battery can.

Types of electricity

There are basically two types of electricity ; statics and dynamics. Electricity is a physical phenomenon which is generated in nature due to the existence and exchange of electric charges existing in subatomic particles.

These electrically charged particles flow through a material capable of leading them, generating electrical power.

Electricity exists naturally in the atmosphere and is visible thanks to lightning and lightning: the separation of positive and negative charges in the clouds, generates electric fields that are downloaded from clouds or from the clouds to the ground.

From the seventeenth century to begin serious scientific studies on electricity in the nineteenth century and the use and generation of electricity for domestic and industrial use was achieved.

As can be seen, the massive generation and use of electricity is relatively recent and novel, but it would be impossible to imagine modern life without the presence of electric current.

This reality is a sufficient demonstration that has been one of the great scientific discoveries of history and an essential element in the world as we know it today.

Different types of electricity

Static electricity

Static electricity is that we appreciate when we get new clothes dryer when clothes get stuck some others for no apparent reason or when we brush our hair and some rise making it nearly impossible task of brushing.

Static electricity can also be seen when sheets of paper emerging from the printer and stick other daily activities. The reason for these phenomena is explained by the presence of static electricity.

Any atom has one or more positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons as many around the core.

Generally the number of protons and electrons in the atom is the same, so that the atom is electrically balanced, that is, uncharged. However, actions such as friction, can generate loads that affect nearby objects.

When two different substances or energetic suffer this contact friction, the electrons of atoms of the substances could contact with each other, an imbalance in the loads of these atoms, which then generate static.

It is called static because it occurs atoms at rest, or rather, because the load usually stays at a particular location of the material and not displaced.

Static electricity does not behave the same way in all materials. In the cases mentioned above, as some textiles or paper, the behavior is closer.

But some materials will behave in the opposite way, ie repel each other when loaded with static electricity.

This behavior depends on whether the load of each material is positive or negative, ie, if the existing imbalance in the atoms that compose it has more electrons (negative charge) or more protons (positive charge).

If the two materials in question have the same charge, the behavior of both will restraining, they repel. If, however, the materials have different load (one positive and the other negative) then their behavior will approach.

One of the most common ways to produce static electricity is by friction of objects.

It may also be by contact or by induction, when charging a substance produces or induces a charge in another simply because of approaching one another or temperature difference / heating certain minerals (pyroelectricity).

Dynamic electricity

Dynamic electricity is one that thanks to the existence of a permanent source of electricity that causes the constant flow of electrons through a conductor occurs. Electricity is the kind of truly useful for its ability to perennial renewal.

It is called dynamic because occurs when electrons flow and move from one atom to other atoms. This constant movement is what produces the electrical current.

Permanent power sources necessary for the existence of electric current, can be chemical or electromechanical origin.

Among the most common chemical sources we can find batteries, chemicals which allow storage of electrons inside; within electromechanical sources we found to dynamos coils.

Electricity generation is concerned almost exclusively with the generation of electrons, which also require drivers carrying negative charges.

Due to the presence of these drivers sometimes you can talk about other electricity rather a different way to call dynamic electricity, as “behavioral electricity.”

Different types of electrically conductive materials such as carbon, aluminum, nickel, chromium, cadmium, lithium and other minerals.

Other known types of electricity:

Basic electricity
This type of electricity is generated from the premise known in physics that says two polar opposites tend to attract , so as when two loads tend to attract whenever they have different load (one positive and one negative). Examples of this are varied but mostly we find this kind of electricity in each household objects.

Electromagnetic electricity

This electricity is generated from a magnetic field generating storable energy achieved , it propagates in the medium as a form of radiation.
It is their way of propagation is recommended to avoid exposure to electromagnetic fields constantly. Some applications of this discovery have been very helpful for medicine, it is how we find x – rays or resonances, which see the issue of small charges inside our bodies.

Industrial electricity

This model of electricity arises from the industrial revolution is required where the generation of large amount of energy, used in the production industry at large scales . Usually industrial machines require a large consumption of electric power to mobilize large motors.


This is an essential term in the study of electricity. Electricity and magnetism are closely related phenomena. Actually, two different aspects are derived from the same property of matter, which is the electric charge.

The intensity of the electric current is determined by the magnetic field is capable of creating.

In 1820 Hans Oersted discovered almost by mistake the existence of the electromagnetic field, determining that magnetism produced not only by the existence of magnets, but could also be produced by him existence of electric current. It was thus the term “electromagnetism” emerged.

Later, Andre Ampere suggested that the natural magnetism was produced by small electric currents acting at the molecular level.

Faraday Maxwell also made their contributions to find that magnetic fields can be generated by varying electric fields.

So what did I learn?

  • Electricity is the product of relationships generated by a positive and negative charge.
  • there are several types of electricity