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The electrical system might seem like an area with a strict “no-touchy” policy, but it’s worth knowing more about electricity and electrical system.
And the difference between voltage, current, and resistance is a great place to start – but also how you can protect yourself from a lethal shock.
Tune in to discover:
- The differences between electrical voltage, current, and resistance
- 4 essential safety tips to keep yourself from getting zapped
Hello, and welcome to another episode of 30-minute motorcycling – a podcast where you’ll learn about how your motorcycle, moped, or scooter works – in less than 30 minutes.
Let’s talk about the electric system – an area which might seem like a no-go area for many people, but one worth learning more about.
Considering how many sensors and electrical components are in most modern motorcycles, it’s worth knowing a thing or two about electricity.
And what better place to start than the differences between electrical voltage, current, and resistance?
That’s what we’re going to cover in this episode, but also 4 essential electrical safety tips to protect yourself from a potentially lethal shock.
First, though, let’s begin with what electrical voltage is.
Electrical voltage refers to an electrical charge that pushes the electrons between two points. For example, on a normal 12-volt battery, this charge between the positive and negative terminals is equal to 12 volts.
Essentially, that’s because one of these terminals has more electrons than the other one.
If both terminals had the same amount of electrons, there would be no difference – and the voltage would therefore be equal to 0.
As for electrical current, it is the flow of electricity measured in Ampere or “Amps” for short. The easiest way to explain Ampere is to think of it as a speedometer for the flow of electricity.
The faster the flow, the higher the Ampere rating will be.
Each circuit has a specified ampere or current rating – if there’s no or too little current going through the circuit, the components that use power from that circuit will either perform poorly or won’t work at all.
And finally, let’s talk about Resistance.
Resistance is something that restricts or slows down the electrical current. If the resistance increases, the current decreases. Similarly, if the resistance decreases, the current increases.
This is part of a concept known as “Ohm’s Law,” which deals with the relationship between voltage, current, and resistance.
Resistance also increases with temperature – a hot lightbulb for a headlight will have more resistance than a cold one.
So now that we’ve covered the differences between voltage, current, and resistance, let’s talk about basic electrical safety.
It’s might be obvious to many people, but it bears repeating – electricity can be dangerous. Therefore, knowing how to protect yourself is vital. So, without further ado, here are 4 essential electrical safety tips.
The first tip is to always wear protective gloves whenever you’re working with electricity.
By wearing gloves, you increase your resistance to electrical current. Because remember – if the resistance increases, the electrical current decreases.
The second tip is to never touch any metal parts of an electrical component with your bare hands or with a metal tool like a spanner. Remember – metal is a good conductor of electricity.
Similarly, the third tip is to always remove any jewelry, such as rings or watches whenever you’re working with electricity. Most jewelry is made from metal, which again, conducts electricity well.
Therefore, if for example your watch comes into contact with the terminals on your battery, the electricity will travel through it, which will give you an electric shock.
Speaking of the battery, the fourth and final tip is to always disconnect the battery whenever you’re working with electric circuits.
Remember that the job of the battery is to store electricity – therefore, by disconnecting the battery, you remove the power, which in turn means that you’ll save yourself from any electrical shock.
And those are the 4 essential electrical safety tips, as well as the differences between electrical voltage, current, and resistance.
If you’d like to know more about the difference between electrical voltage, current, and resistance, and some common scenarios where you need to measure them, I’ve included a link in the show notes to a blog post on The Dual Wheel Journey about this.
And if you have a topic that you’d like to me cover on this podcast, send me an email to email@example.com
Until next time, keep your helmet on, and your eyes on the road. Bye!