On Monday, November 25, 2013 4:22:33 PM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:
There isn't an argument, John is right.
The problem is the earth isn't used as a humongous conductor by the
It is zero potential relative to the grounded neutral. That
doesn't mean there is current flowing in the earth. To have something at
zero potential doesn't even require a circuit. Take a metal
cabinet sitting on an insulator and hook a wire from it to another
metal object, or a neutral, a 120V hot wire, a 7KV primary. They are
now at the same potential and no current is flowing.
They are *not* both valid. You have it wrong.
On this point John is correct, and you still have it wrong.
On Mon, 25 Nov 2013 14:15:05 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
Well, this entire discussion is about how the power supply works, so,
it is germane to the discussion how the power company completes the
I don't have any more arguments, and, we *do* have at least one
reference which supports my statement.
That doesn't mean I'm correct. What it means is we need more references
(either way), instead of our statements (since we all sincerely believe
what we're stating).
"how does electricity get back to the power company -solar"
This is on the first page (which was referenced already):
It agrees with what I said (on page 4).
Here it says the same thing (that the earth is the return path):
But those are all repeats. How about this Physics forum?
Now, that does not prove that the earth is the return path
for the electricity back to the power company, but, it is clearly
a half dozen (or so) references which say what I've always thought
was the case.
That means that the idea isn't so far fetched as it may appear.
Admittedly, most of these references were cut out of the same
mold (probably due to my search terms?), so I welcome someone
who can find a reference that says the earth is *not* the return
path for the HVAC typical power generated in the USA.
On Monday, November 25, 2013 6:33:07 PM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:
I didn't see anyone here saying it wasn't germane, only
that you're wrong.
So, now one reference to a light-weight, novice level tutorial on power
distribution is the authoritative source? Why don't you look at
all the other sources that say he's wrong? As I already pointed out,
you can start with looking at what the author of that reference
himself said immediately preceeding:
" "There are four wires coming out of every power plant: the three phases plus a neutral or ground common to all three."
If the power company is using the earth, why would there be a 4th wire?
And clearly the author doesn't understand the difference between a
neutral, which is a current carrying conductor, and a ground. Neither did
you until we explained it to you with regard to split-phase service
to a house. But you don't have a clue to how it works on the primary
side. I've told you at least 6 times now, that with a balanced load,
which is what the world looks like to a power plant, there is no
need for any return circuit path other than the 3 phase wires coming out.
If you spent half the time looking that you do arguing, you'd
have found plenty of references by now that say you're wrong.
I'm starting to understand John's annoyance. You came in here
not knowing a ground from a neutral. Now you're here acting like
your opinion is worth as much as anyone else's. I believe John is
an electrician. I'm an EE, Bud is too. All of us are telling you
that you're wrong.
Good grief, that's a repeat of the same thing too. Right at
the top it references "How stuff works". All those references
use the exact same words, go back to the one same place, the
same "How stuff works" guy.
Are you that stupid that you think 6 places that use the
same incorrect source somehow makes it right?
Maybe you should do that yourself. You might learn something.
On 11/25/13 6:03 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
There is or was something called SWER, single wire earth return.
A bit here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/mccxaq2
The source calls itself Transmission and Distribution World.
I don't remember seeing a single wire anywhere in my travels. It's
admittedly not high on my list of things to observe while traveling.
And I haven't traveled outside of the continental U.S.
SWER evidently isn't efficient according to this bit.
Conductor characteristics. Line length varies according to customer
distribution, with an average SWER feeder length of 60 km (37 miles),
although a 400-km (250-mile) SWER system is in operation in one state.
Therefore, circuit losses because of the high resistance of the SWER
conductors, reactive losses in the isolating transformers and resistive
losses in the earthing systems can be up to 100% greater compared to
those of a single-phase (two-wire) system serving similar loads.
On Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:03:48 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
I'd be perfectly happy to be wrong. It's not a contest.
This is a technical discussion.
We're just looking for a reference that supports the view that
the earth is *not* the return path (since we only found references
that support the view that it is).
Terminology, that is the question. Ground common? Hmmm, seems to be a non-North American
phrase. But, we all know that the system is getting dumbed down and proper terminology
is going out the window. It is hard to get people to excise the term "ground" from
their perception of how a circuit works, much less how other aspects of safely implementation
a power distribution system works, or the separation of enforcement and installation
practices vary for each phase of the distribution. It would appear that Danny cannot
separate utility from customer, or the exception from the rule. Nor does he understand
charge, electric potential, electro motive force, or just electricity, in general.
** The simple answer is it doesn't - so the question is absurd.
Home solar power goes nowhere until the current generated exceeds that being
consumed by the house - the excess then goes to the neighbour's houses via
the local grid.
Ground conductors plus the earth itself carry NO current UNLESS a fault
Ground conductors exist for safety reasons.
Ask Google a crazy question = get a crazy answer.
I don't see the earlier comment, but from the links and the search question,
I presume the conversation was about a circuit term referred to as "return".
A lot f folks are fixated on naming one power lead as "return", when there
is nothng related to any sort of "return" taking place in a circuit.
There are 2 conductors.. and one is a higher potential than the other.
That's all there is to it, but you'll probably never fnd ths statement in
any text book.
The power is disspated at the load, and there is nothing to return to any
I don't know where the fantasy of a return originated, but there is none iin
an electrical circuit.
Hydraulic circuit, yes, thre is generally always a return line.. for obvious
The earth, meaning the planet, is not half of an electrical crcuit.. with
maybe one exception being lightning strikes.
Hills and terrain affect RF energy, and the ground/earth at the base of an
antenna is often imbedded with conductors to form a ground plane.
Electrical circuts deliver power to an appliance, tool, light bulb etc as
the two differing potentials, and the power is disspated as heat, light,
motion etc at the device beng powered.
It is aburd to belive that power is returned thru many miles of distribution
gear and back to the generation source, or that it's returned thru the soil.
Yet, the majorty of folks believe and continue to express/repeat this
After shuffling across the carpet in your slippers, a spark is created when
you touch a doorknob.
Following the flawed concept of "return" as a circuit concept, the spark
goes where? It travels thru a wooden door, it's hinges, the door frame,
building structure etc, to earth ground?
Or, is the spark injected into the human, from a resulting high ground
potential? Ground, (often mistakenly understood as having zero/no potential)
is lurking in doorknobs waiting to zap some unsuspecting doofus.
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