Power Basics, Part 2 – What’s a Volt?
Everyone’s heard of Volts, Amps and Watts, but most of us don’t know the first thing about them – here’s a basic understanding of electricity’s key players, one piece at a time.
Part 1 was all about amps/current, so now we’ll discuss what moves those thing: Voltage, in a nutshell, is electrical pressure. You cannot move charge (generate a current) unless you apply a force to it.
Going back to the hose analogy – moving water represented a current, and you can think of voltage as water pressure. A garden hose has a relatively mild water pressure, gentle enough to water your flowers. A power washer, on the other hand, takes the low-pressure stream from your water hose and turns it into an ultra-high pressure stream, powerful enough to blast away grime and your first layer of skin!
Your USB devices (phones, tablets, GoPros, e-readers, etc.) operate at 5 Volts (5V). Your car and your Weego Jump Starter work on 12V systems. Household appliances are built for your 120V wall outlet – that’s packing a BIG electrical punch, which is why it’s such a danger to keep a radio near the tub or stick a fork in your toaster.
Now that you know the basics behind volts and amps, Part 3 of our Power Basics series will talk about what you get when you combine the two…