Electricity is a fascinating thing—trust us, we know. At Smart Power, we are dedicated to knowing everything we can about electricity, how it works and using that knowledge to develop the products that safeguard our customers and assist them when things go awry.
There’s no doubt electricity is tricky—it’s the power you rely on and a secret agent that can fry your equipment without warning.
In our team’s quest to develop the most effective power safety solutions, we’ve uncovered some cool facts about the electricity that runs your office equipment.
Did you know…
A single bolt of lightning contains more than five billion joules of energy. Lightning flashes happen around the world 40-50 times per second, or more than 1.4 billion times each year. Just how much energy is five billion joules? It’s enough power to run your house for an entire month!
Lightning travels quickly, although at different speeds. Some say it travels at the speed of light—about 670 million miles per hour—but this is actually only half true. On average, lightning travels at a speed of about 224,000 miles per hour. But the flash of light you see from the electrostatic discharge is obviously traveling at the speed of light.
Lightning is not the only place in nature where you can find electricity. Electric eels can generate bursts of more than 600 volts, more than five times the power in a standard electric outlet. These eels can grow to be six to eight feet long and weigh up to 44 pounds. At the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, Utah, researchers found a way to put Sparky, their electric eel, to work! Sparky powers the aquarium’s Christmas tree with the electric currents he produces naturally. The lights blink faster or more slowly, depending on the voltage he emits.
Static electricity is caused when an imbalance of positive and negative charges collect in your body—which is made up of atoms, all of which have positive and negative charges. When these charges become imbalanced, you experience the shock of static electricity. It hurts because the energy is so hot, it actually leaves a microscopic burn.
There are many factors that can contribute to static electricity—dry weather, shoe choice, clothing materials or shuffling your feet when you walk, just to name a few. Some people are so prone to static electricity that they accumulate thousands of volts in their bodies by doing nothing at all. Some researchers have nicknamed these people “electric humans.” Although the phenomenon is rare, these people are constantly getting shocked, regardless of where they are, what they are wearing or their activity level. Talk about a real pain!
In all seriousness, lightning can cause devastating damage to your equipment. But here’s another weird fact — lightning only accounts for a miniscule 2% of all power problems for businesses. Many surge suppressors only protect against lightning, but they don’t address the other 98% of smaller voltage surges which can cause the same types of issues, such as memory resets, disrupted data, or circuit board replacements. Smart Power Systems’ Electronic Power Conditioners address both catastrophic and small voltage surges, eliminating 90% of all power problems. – saving you thousands of service calls each year.