The Energy Grid
Energy can be a confusing term for people. For our conversation today, we’ll assume that energy is power created to produce light and heat. We absolutely need energy in our everyday lives. Our workstations, our mobile smartphones, even our bodies produce and use lots of energy. So where is it all coming from? Well when we eat food, our bodies use the nutrients from those greasy burgers, and of course the fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods to create the energy we need to fuel ourselves, but where and how do our houses, lights, and of course…our computers get it from?
It all has to do with the Electrical Grid, and AC. No,not air conditioning, although right now we need that too! AC stands for alternating current, and thanks to Nikola Tesla, we have a way to transport energy at high voltages and reduce it down to lower voltages through coils of wires called transformers. Transformers allow houses to operate at lower voltages. The average wall socket inside a house holds 120 volts, while big power lines usually operate at 500 volts. Transformers allow these different voltage step ups, and help to make sure our houses and commercial business buildings don’t fry us. In order to understand how the Grid works more in depth, you’ll have to watch this video:
Did you know that Texas has its own grid? Well there are a few other energy productions categories that we also do well in. Here are a few Texas energy quick facts thanks to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
- Currently Texas leads the nation in wind powered generation.
- Texas was the leading crude oil producing state in the nation in 2013
- There are 27 refineries in Texas that can produce up to 5.1 million barrels of crude oil, which count for almost 29% of total refining capacity in the U.S.
- We accounted for just less than 30% of natural gas production in 2013 as well.
Lastly, we want to give thanks our enjoyably hot summers, as Texas also ranks one of highest electricity costs per household.