How does the electricity system function? [E-BOOK]

5. Three different types of loads

Not only do power stations differ a great deal in their characteristics, the loads differ as well.

A first type of electrical load is a resistance, producing heat or light out of the electrical energy. Examples are the light bulb or most types of electrical heating systems. It is the equivalent of a blue rider without pedals, but continuously pulling on the brakes. Those brakes transform kinetic energy into heat in the same way an resistance transforms electrical energy into heat.

An electrical motor has a basic principle that is similar to a generator. But instead of transforming rotating energy into electrical energy, the motor transforms electrical energy back into rotating energy. In the analogy, this can be represented by a blue rider with his feet on the turning pedals just like the red figures (= power stations), but instead of pedalling along, applies his full weight against the rotating movement.

A third type of load is the reactive load, already discussed in point 2. This is the blue rider without brakes or pedals, leaning to one side. This creates an inductive load with a certain delay compared to the grid (a fluorescent lamp for example) or the opposite, a capacitive load with a certain lead compared to the grid (for example a battery of capacitors).

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