DJ Faraday and the electron concert: Understanding electrical energy and how it is generated
Esteban Fernández
Esteban Fernández
11/7/2023

DJ Faraday and the electron concert: Understanding electrical energy and how it is generated

DJ Faraday and the electron concert: Understanding electrical energy and how it is generated

Did you know that the electrical energy we use every day is the product of a wonderful journey? And, did you know that electrical energy is defining the pulse of our modern society? I invite you to immerse yourself in the fascinating adventure of electrical energy.


Electrical energy, at its core, is about electrons in motion. Think of electrical energy as a river of electrons. Just as water flows from a place of high altitude to a place of lower altitude, electrons flow from a place of high energy (called electric potential) to a lower one when we join them together by means of a conductor. This flow of electrons is called electric current and is what powers your devices and makes them work.

There are two main types of electric current: direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC). In direct current, electrons flow constantly in one direction, like a river flowing smoothly from a mountain to some lake. In alternating current, on the other hand, electrons constantly change direction, oscillating back and forth like ocean waves. Most of our electrical grids and devices run on alternating current.

Why do we mainly use alternating current? The answer is simple: alternating current is more efficient for transmitting over long distances. Thanks to its oscillating nature, alternating current can be easily transformed to high voltages, which reduces energy losses during transmission.

So how do we generate that electrical power? There are various techniques for generating electrical power, and they are all based on the same principle: converting some form of energy (such as mechanical energy, heat, light) into electrical energy. One of the most common ways of doing this is through the use of turbine-driven generators.

Did you know that about 90% of the electrical energy generated in the world comes from the spinning of turbines? In this case, the energy to turn them can come from various sources such as water (hydroelectric), steam called Rankine Cycle (thermoelectric, geothermal or nuclear) or gasses called Brayton Cycle (natural gas combustion).

Have you ever wondered how a rotating turbine generates electrical energy?


Have you ever heard of Michael Faraday? Well, he was a very smart guy who realized that a changing magnetic field can generate an electric current in a conductor and we call this Faraday's Law of Electromagnetic Induction. But surely you are wondering what this has to do with turbines, because if you use the shaft of the turbine to rotate a magnet that is inside a circle made of a conductive material, this rotation modifies the magnetic field and this variation generates an electric current. When you pass one of the poles the electrons rotate to one side and when you pass the opposite pole they rotate to the other, forming a wave of semicircles up and down, that is, alternating current.

Visualize it this way: Imagine a concert in a circular arena, where in the center is DJ Faraday, and around him his faithful followers, the electrons. At first, the electrons are quiet, but when DJ Faraday starts spinning his turntable, the rhythm of his music is so enveloping that it sets the electrons dancing back and forth cyclically to the beat of the music. This is how DJ Faraday manages to "induce" his rhythm into the electrons.

And what is the technology that generates direct current? Well, this is where solar energy comes in. Solar panels, filled with photovoltaic cells, absorb sunlight and release electrons, creating a direct current of electrons, i.e. direct current. However, our homes and most of our devices are configured for alternating current. This is where inverters come into play.

Inverters are devices that convert direct current into alternating current. Both solar and wind power require equipment with power electronics to interconnect to the grid. In the case of wind power, although it is produced by turning a turbine, because the wind speed varies, the frequency of current generated cannot always be directly synchronized with the frequency of the grid, requiring this equipment to inject the system with alternating current at 60Hz, regardless of the wind speed.

Electric power is, without a doubt, an essential ally in our daily lives. Its omnipresence, from our homes to our industries, makes understanding its operation and generation crucial. Increasingly, we find ourselves in a world powered by electricity. From digitization and IoT to the growing adoption of electric vehicles to the rise of artificial intelligence, all of these developments demand more and more electrical power.

However, as Uncle Ben in Spiderman would say, with great power comes great responsibility. Now that we understand electrical power better, it is our responsibility to use it responsibly.

After all, every little action counts. Every time we choose to use energy efficiently, we are taking one step closer to a brighter, more sustainable future. Understanding electric power is not just about knowing the force that drives our daily lives, it's about understanding a little more about how our world works and how we can make it work better for all of us.

In this fascinating journey of electric power, each of us plays a crucial role. By educating ourselves and others, by making informed decisions and acting responsibly, we can contribute to the evolution of a modern society that is increasingly attuned to its resources and the world in which it lives. So the next time you see an electrical appliance, remember the dancing electrons and DJ Faraday, and consider how you can contribute to this great electrical party.

If you need more information about our products, we have a team ready to assist you. Send us a message and one of our experts will contact you.

Subscribe to our blog!

Sign up with your email address to receive monthly news and updates.

Recents articles

What are the differences between a STATCOM, an Active Harmonic Filter (APF) and an SVG?

What are the differences between a STATCOM, an Active Harmonic Filter (APF) and an SVG?

STATCOMs, APFs and SVGs are devices used in power quality management in electric power systems.

View more
What equipment can be considered part of the FACTS family?

What equipment can be considered part of the FACTS family?

These devices generally fall into two categories: voltage source-based controllers and current source-based controllers.

View more

Algunos de nuestros clientes