What is a Power Source for Electricians

What is a Power Source

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What is a Power Source for Electricians in a Circuit.

When talking about basic circuitry for electricians, we have a power source and a electrical load.

A power source is what provides power to the circuit, whether it’s an AC or DC circuit. In an AC circuit, it’d be your typical 120V, or higher voltage if for special equipment. If it’s DC, for our basic circuits, typically schooling will use a battery to signify a power source.

There’s not really much more to it! In a circuit, you NEED a power source which is actually providing power. Then in order for the circuit to work, you need to have an electrical load in place which CONSUMES power from this power source.


Different Power Source Icons:

Typically you’ll see two types of icons in your schooling as an electrician.

AC Power Source Symbol:

AC Power Source Symbol
AC Power Source Symbol (Showing Alternating Current)

As electricians, we typically work with AC, 120V, 60Hz, and parallel circuits.

However, when you do your school for apprentice electricians, you will often be taught about DC circuits first, where the power source is often a battery (below).

DC Power Source Symbol (Battery):

DC Power Source - Battery Example
This is a typical battery symbol you will see for DC Circuits.

Now usually we see a battery for our DC power in these DC circuits, however, power can also be generated in other ways like using solar!

DC Power Source Symbol (Photovoltaic – Solar Power!):

Photovoltaic-Cell-Solar-Power-Symbol
Photovoltaic Cell Symbol to produce solar power (DC Current!)

Recap: What is a Power Source?

A power source just provides POWER to the circuit so that electrical devices (called loads) can CONSUME power and be able to run.

An electrical load, once connected, will use Voltage, Amps, Resistance, and Power to run, and we can use various measurement tools to diagnose what is going on, like using a multimeter.

Now, regardless of AC or DC, typically the same rules apply for Series Circuits and Parallel Circuits in regards to Ohm’s Law, so once you get the basics down that in Series current stays the same and in Parallel voltage stays the same, things keep getting easier for you!

Also, when talking about a power source, we aren’t really talking about HOW the power was generated. For example, power can be GENERATED from water (hydropower), which uses the natural flow of moving water to generate electricity! (Watch this video I found which will help you understand about turbines, generators, and ways to generate electricity!):

U.S. Department of Energy – Energy 101: Hydropower.
Read more on their website!

Check out other Electrical Theory posts to learn more!

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