Blog 3

Set 3 of my blogs                                 Consistently Under Construction.
Electricity Meter

Article 3.1      April 6, 2021

How To Reduce Electricity Bills by Turning off and Unplugging Devices

A few snippets from my published article on the above topic.

How You Buy Power..... Electricity, similar to all things wholesale, retailed or auctioned, is priced 'per unit'. The unit for electricity charging is the kilowatt-hour, abbreviated kWh.

A kilowatt is a thousand watts.

If you plug in a 1000-watt kettle and run it for an hour, you will be charged for 1 kWh, one unit of electricity. Read more about kilowatt-hours at the end of this article.

How You Consume Power..... Power is consumed when a voltage is applied to a closed circuit and current flows. A closed circuit means that the current has a safe return path back to the supply.

We can say that Power (Watts) = Voltage Applied (Volts) x Current Flow (Amps).

Power cannot be consumed without current flow such as in an open circuit with an open or off switch. When there's no flow, Watts = Volts x 0 = 0.

A kettle or an electric fan, for example, does not consume any power when it is switched off, even though it remains plugged in to the mains supply outlet, because current cannot flow through the open switch. This is despite a qualified technician being able to dismantle the item and measure a voltage level at the input side of the on/off switch.

Other electric appliances, however, consume power even though they are seemingly powered off, due to them being in a ‘standby’ mode and not actually ‘off’.

How To Reduce Electricity Bills..... Clearly we cannot control the cost of a kWh, which is set by the electricity company, and we cannot control the Watt rating of the items we already possess, which is set by the designer.

The only remaining factor that we do have control over is the time that we have the items switched on.

To reduce electricity bills, simply switch off items that are not in use—for example room lights in empty rooms—and try to reduce the time energy-consuming items are in use by disconnecting them from the electricity supply when they are no longer required.

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Ppm Descriptions

Article 3.2      April 6, 2021

1ppm – Have You Ever Wondered What 1ppm Means?

A few snippets from my published article on the above topic.

1ppm literally means “one Part-Per-Million(-parts)” and could be described as either “one part-in-a-million(-parts)” or “1 part-in-one-million(-parts)”.

ppm as a standalone symbol without any numerals means parts-per-million (plural).

Many people can grasp what that means – that the liquid or solid in question, be it element, compound, substance, mixture, mineral, or other, contains one ‘foreign’ part for each 999,999 major or base parts of the material. So it is the one part in a million parts or particles.

It could also be used for gases, such as air, but the ‘foreign bodies’ in air usually are specified as ‘per volume of air’ (usually 1m3), not ppm, and are also described by their physical size. The specifications for integrated circuit cleanrooms are good examples of this description.

If the 1ppm is unwanted then the base material is said to be contaminated with an unwanted foreign body or contaminant such as dust or other particle, for example, in a chocolate factory.

If the 1ppm is purposefully added then the base material has been infused or doped, such as the materials used in the manufacture of transistors and integrated circuits.

Why use ppm and not Per Cent (%)? Cent is a Latin root word meaning 100.

Some examples of its usage are the coinage cent, so-called because there are 100 in a dollar, and similarly centavos with pesos, centimes with francs. Other examples are century which means 100 years and, of course, the Roman Centurion, a commander of one hundred legionaries and support staff.

Earlier variations of per cent include percent (as a single word), per cent. (with a period or full stop, ‘.’), per-cent (hyphenated) and per centum (a legal term), but the modern term is per cent.

Per cent (%) literally means per-one-hundred and could easily have been designated as pph which could stand for parts-per-hundred.

And therein lies the simple relationship between percent (pph) and ppm – that ppm is actually a very much smaller amount and is in fact only 1/10,000th of one percent or 0.0001% and would be too small to envisage and hence required its own designation.

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dB Meter

Article 3.3      April 6, 2021

What Does "dB" Mean? (History and Use of Decibels)

A few snippets from my published article on the above topic.

Did you ever wonder what the dB symbol means in your gadgets' user manuals?

The dB (deciBel) and the Bel are formally recognized measurement parameters, with the lowly status of 'Accepted non-S.I. units', within the International System of Units. This system is the body responsible for establishing worldwide S.I. units, the units by which all things are ultimately measured. The 'Accepted' status is due to their historically wide usage and usefulness, otherwise they would probably be deprecated by the S.I. System.

The Bel was originally developed for use in the telephone industry and was named in honor of the telephone inventor, Alexander Graham Bell. It was initially found to be very convenient for comparing two power levels, for reasons discussed later, but then proved to be too large for practical use and was replaced by the dB, which has been in general use since about 1925, and which, at 1/10th of a Bel, is more convenient and useful.

Both terms (dB and Bel) were units of transmission measurement and were originally used to measure a signal level change, gain or loss, when the signal was ‘transmitted’ from its source to a receiver where it can be measured. The transmission can be of any format, either through the air, through a transmission line or cable, through an amplifier or other circuit, or through an item (attenuator) to lower the signal.

A relatively easy way to describe a signal level change is to compare the output or received value with the input or source value and then to produce a ratio (A:B or A/B) of output to input. The input B, equivalent to a math denominator and, in ratios, mathematically termed the consequent, should ideally be referenced to 1 and then it is easy to state, for example, ‘a gain of 2x (2 times)’ or ‘a loss/reduction of half (0.5)’.

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Have You Ever Wondered?

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