There’s no doubt that electricity is the most basic necessity of the modern world. Without electricity, there is hardly anything which will work in today’s world. Right from the day electricity was first discovered by Benjamin Franklin, its use and development have always seen a northern trend as the demand is ever increasing and distribution through the power line, thanks to the ever growing technology.
Electricity can be considered as the heart of any technology that we come across on his planet.
Have you ever wondered what electricity basically is?
In simple terms, it can be regarded as a flow of ions from a positive to negative charge. For this charge to flow you generally require a medium which is known as a ‘conductor’. A conductor in simple terms is anything which allows electricity to flow through it freely, i.e, without any resistance.
The more the resistance, fewer will be the amount of electricity flowing through any material. An insulator, on other hands, doesn’t allow electricity to flow through it. Wood, for example, is known to be a good insulator. There’s hardly any material which can be regarded as a perfect insulator. This is because even if a material is a good insulator if you flow a very high current through it, it will give you a shock.
That is because each and every insulator in power line has a capacity to provide resistance to the current flowing through it and when that barrier breaks the current is able to flow through the material and in turn through anyone touching that material.
So how come these high tension towers and power lines are able to offer resistance to the thousands of volts of electricity flowing through them? Even during rain?. The answer lies in basically two main factors. First is the type of water coming in contact with these lines and second is the material used to provide protection in these lines so that they don’t short when water touches it.
Water is known to be an extremely good conductor of electricity but only when some amount of impurities are present in it. As the impurities provide ions to the free flow of electricity, rainwater is not that good conductor of electricity as it lacks any kind of impurity. Secondly, the joints of wires carrying electric currents in the power line are made up of ceramic which is a really good insulator and doesn’t allow electricity to flow through it.
To ensure even more protection the joints in the power line where these ceramic protectors are placed are of twisted coil-like shape, which further ensures that the water coming in contact with these joints does not pass through it and drops on the ground instead of sticking to the surface. Ceramic is known to offer one of the best protection against water as the water molecules don’t stick to its surface and the fact that it is a good insulator ensures even more protection from getting short circuits on the power line.
The water is not able to pass through the ceramic protector and come in contact with the wire joint. Even if slightest amount of water is able to pass through the ceramic protector joint, the positive and negative charges would cross each other resulting in what is known as a ‘Short Circuit’ in technical language. In order to ensure that such instances don’t happen, power distribution companies often clean these ceramic connection joints on a regular basis leaving very little chance for any kind of electric fault due to short circuit.
Such work is often handled by professional agencies who are well trained to carry out the maintenance work at regular intervals as per the situation and requirement.