Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, October 05, 2007

Turn off the lights?

Looks like Andy did not research on Italy's power usage or appliances they use.

Looks like Andy Jones' pro-green article in the Daily Watermelon: (http://www.dailyevergreen.com/story/23471) missed the toilet and got on the floor. Looks like Andy did not research on Italy's power usage or appliances they use. Even in socialist Italy, power costs are huge even compared to the east coast of the U.S.A. Italy's power prices are 45% higher than that of the EU (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf101.html) If your electricity prices are high, you do not use much. One thing Andy did miss and missed big time was that Europeans use tankless water heaters, they use less electricity or gas, but it is not exactly hot water on demand, some delay and they do not have the room for a big water heater like we do.
Now we come to my favorite part of this article- AMPS DO NOT EQUAL POWER! Current, which is measured in Amperes or Amps for short, is the rate in which electrons flow. Voltage, Volts for short is the electromotive force, which "pushes" the electrons. Power is measured in Watts and how we manage to measure watts is current multiplied by voltage equals power (P = I * E). We run a TV off 110v and draws 2 amps of current, that means we use 220 watts of power. The same TV, only a European model runs off 220v and draws 1 amp of current, that means we use 220 watts of power. It does not matter what voltage we run with because the device will use the same amount of power. If you look at the back of your computer on the power supply or other appliances, you might see a switch that indicates 110v or 220v. Some companies make power supplies that can switch off between the two voltages while others make a fixed voltage supply because it is cheaper. If you use an Amp meter to measure the current of the same TV in the U.S.A. against the one in Europe, you will notice a higher current draw by a factor of two. But the TV in Europe has a higher voltage so the amount of power used is the same as the U.S. TV.
In Europe, they use a different voltage, a different frequency ( 50Hz vs. our 60Hz) and they use the metric system too! Guess what? There are other electrical systems across the world that are different voltages going to people’s households. In closing, Mr. Jones should do a little more research and less playing the X-Box.


Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Gotta love the last line of his article:

Andy Jones: "America, we have a long way to go."

Yes! It's going to be along, hard slog to achieve the lower standard of living enjoyed around the rest of the world, 'cause darn it, it's the only conceivable alternative!

April E. Coggins said...

Volts are the road and watts are the miles per gallon. A nine volt battery is not more powerful than a six volt battery. They can pack more amps in a six volt battery, why I don't pretend to know.

The volts are the predetermined "road" and the watts are the requirement to make the thing work. It's just a tad bit like saying that FM radio uses less power than AM radio, never mind the size of the stereo.