[ELI5] How do power lines work?

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Recently I saw a power line with 2 wires (hold on). Only one AC power line and one ground wire on top. If I understand power correctly you need at least 2 wires to make a circuit and power stuff. Also another question, which wires on the power line do what?

In: Technology

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you think of it like water, ground is like the ocean and the “hot” wire is a straw. The ocean has virtually limitless supply of water, but there is no force pushing it into the straw. When you make the straw “hot”, you can both suck water out of the ocean and push water into the ocean without making any significant change in the amount of water that is available there.

This a very simplistic comparison to how AC works. It keeps alternating if it is sucking or pushing the current and the force of going back and forth is what does the work.

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