Gee, that’s shocking!
Let’s look a electricity in a new way. In this TOPIC, we’ll talk about electricity as if it was water flowing through pipes instead of electrons flowing through wires. Watch the video above, and then check out these quick cheat-sheet facts for you here:
- Airplanes are either 14 volt or 28 volt systems (with a 12 volt battery charged up to 14v, or a 24 volt battery charged up to 28v)
- Alternators (or generators, really the same thing for our purposes) act as a “pump” to pump electricity back into the battery as it is used by the electrical components on the airplane (lights, radios, etc.)
- Amperage is like “flow” of water, the higher the amperage the more electricity is flowing through the wires
- Voltage is like “pressure” or PSI of water, the higher the Voltage the higher the “PSI”. We all know what happens when you over pressure your pipes, they burst, and so do wires and electronics. Too much voltage and lights and radios start to fail as the small connections inside them “burst”
- The flow of amperage generates heat. More flow, more friction, more heat. Having too much amperage through a wire can build up so much heat it can cause an electrical fire. Bad news is wires in airplanes tend to be bundled together, and when one gets too hot and burns up, it likes to take out a lot of other wires with it. (when it rains it pours)