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What Does The Term “High Voltage” Mean?

Posted By: Geoffrey Peckham..

Just the thought of electricity is enough to intimidate some people; they are of the opinion that it’s complicated and far better off being left to others to deal with. Although there is no reason for anyone to have to work with electricity if they don’t want to, the actual theory behind it is quite simple.

Instead of thinking about something you can’t see, think about something you can, water. When you turn the water on and it’s connected to a hose, the high pressure coming into the hose pushes the water out the other end; the pressure is lower when it comes out due to friction. Think of electricity as water, voltage is the measure of electrical pressure and the difference between the voltage put into the line and voltage that comes out is caused by voltage drop, which is akin to friction.

The term “high voltage” is something that is applied to power distribution. Most people have seen or driven by a distribution facility, they are always marked with high voltage signs and warnings that this facility poses a danger. High voltage is not an electrical measurement in that sense; it is a term that simply indicates that an electrical shock resulting in serious injury or even death can result if the high voltage signs are not obeyed. The power lines carrying power from the generating facility to the city, where it is dropped for delivery, are high voltage. Consider that your home electricity is 120 volts; this voltage is 230 kilo volts and is extremely dangerous.

When considering the human, even as little as 40 volts can be considered high voltage, at 50 volts the human heart will fibrillate which means the heart begins to beat rapidly and irregularly. If the skin is wet, even 40 volts can prove fatal.

If there is no energy stored or a given appliance cannot generate any current, then there is no potential of a severe shock, even if there is high voltage present. An example is static electricity, static sparks easily reach 700 volts but as they have little current, they produce nothing more than a slight tingling sensation. It takes a combination of factors for electricity to kill, pay attention to any and all high voltage signs as they are posted for your benefit. To know more, make sure to visit Clarion Safety Systems.

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