Electricity Basics


 

 

 Comprehending the theory of HVAC includes a deep and thorough knowledge of Electricity.  As a introduction we will start with the basics that begins with every HVAC System.

Electricity starts by understanding that everything in our world is made up of a combination of atoms.  An atom consists of three major types of particles:

Electrons

Protons

Neutrons

 

 

The electron is the smallest part of the atom and the only particle in the atom that can be easily (keyword easily)moved from atom to atom.  In order to gather and accumulate 1 ounce of electrons, it would in fact take billions upon billions of electrons to do so.  All electrons are alike and therefore can be moved to and from in a consitent manner.  However, like and unlike atoms (although simular) creates a resistance when moving therefore noting that not all electrons are easily moved.  the movement of an electron from one atom to another is called electric current or electricity.

The fact that not all electrons are easily moved from atom to atom makes other identified atoms poor conductors of electricity.  Those atoms that contain three or more electrons are not considered good electrical conductors because they require the use of too much energy in order to move the electrons out of the outer atom shell.  Atoms that contain eight or more electrons are considered excellent conductors. 

 As mentioned above electricity is defined as the movement of electrons from atom to atom.  Atoms that have good conduction have one or two electrons surrounding them or in the outer shell.  The atoms within Gold , Silver and Copper contain one electron and the metal aluminum contains two.  Copper and aluminum are the most used because of their cost and availability.  Although using gold would be the preferred methods with a much better conductivity it is simply not economical.  Even now copper theft is on the rise with all metal prices climbing to all time records.  Never attempt to collect wire when its not yours.     

Electrons move in many ways within copper and aluminum conductors.  Some of these ways are by chemical, heat, and magnetism.  This reactions cause a force that allow the electrons to move from shell to the other shell of another atom.  Out of these reactions magnetism is the most widely used way from achieving such. 

Things to remember when you begin to work on your systems as it relates to electricity.  First is to keep in mind operating budgets like system operations.  Systems that are not maintained well will eventually cause a system failure either due to long run periods with final shut or periods of efficiency to lack creating outrageous electric bills.  Always be mindful of the dangers electricity poses when working on any unit.  As good and mandatory measure insure that the electrical fuse or breaker is tagged out and always check with a multimeter prior to work.  If the components of a unit are maintained well the repair and efficiency costs related to the unit will be dramatically lower than if not.  Simple things like keeping your HVAC System clean and air filters changed will give you that long performance you desire.