ELECTRICAL TRAINING MANUAL
ELECTRICAL TRAINING MANUAL
The most basic question asked by many people is: Whatis electricity? Without getting too complex, we’ll have toimagine that we can look inside materials common in oureveryday lives, so that we can see the atoms that makeup every material known to man. See Figure 1-1.Electricity is a movement of electrons, the negativelycharged particles that are a part of every atom.Electrons are moved from atom to atom as a result of many different conditions, such as friction, which canresult in static electricity, or from light, using aphotoelectric cell, or electric eye. See Figure 1-2.In our use of electricity in Scag equipment, a chemicalreaction in a battery, or the effects of magnetism from analternator are the ways of causing electrons to move,creating electron flow, or electricity.
Figure 1-1 AtomsFigure 1-2 Atoms Moving Through Conductor
Voltage is the electrical pressure that causes electronflow. Current is the measure of electron flow, the amountof electricity that is moving through a material. Current ismeasured in amperes, or amps. For current to flow, weneed a continuous path, or circuit. In a battery poweredsystem, this is a path between the battery positiveterminal and the battery negative terminal, connectedthrough the electrical system. See Figure 1-3.The materials used in an electrical circuit are importantfor proper system performance and operation. Theatoms in some materials have loosely held electrons thatcan move easily from atom to atom through the materialwith little to oppose electron flow. These types of materials are called conductors. Examples are copper,aluminum, and iron, the most common materials used forcomponents such as wires, connectors, and switches.Other materials have tightly held electrons, and allow littleelectron movement. These materials are calledinsulators. Rubber, plastic, and ceramic materials are themost common insulators, and are used to keep electricityflow isolated to only the intended conductors.Even in conductors with little opposition to electron flow,there is still some friction as the electrons bounce off each other, and other atoms. Like the friction we feelwhen we rub our hands together, the movement createsheat. This electrical friction is called resistance. As youmight expect, a material of high resistance would allowless current to pass through compared to a material of low resistance, with the same voltage applied. Thischaracteristic of electricity can be compared directly tothe flow of water through a hose, where a high resistanceresults in an obvious reduction in flow, even though thesupply pressure stays the same.
Figure 1-3 Basic Electrical Circuit