The story of electricity supply in the Wolverhampton area
In our technological society, mains electricity is
something that we take for granted. Everyone uses it every day
and we all rely on it. Life would be very different without it
and many older people can still remember a time when they didn't
have it at home.
A hundred years ago it was still a novelty. The
first improvements that most people saw in their lives because
of it, were good street lighting and better public transport.
Initially power was supplied by small companies using different
voltages and different forms of transmission. Most of the
pioneers used direct current, which is inefficient when compared
with the modern alternating current supply from the high voltage
grid. A.C. is generated by alternators and its distribution only
became a realistic proposition when remote alternators could be
run synchronously. This technique together high voltage
distribution greatly reduced the losses that would otherwise
occur in the long lengths of cable that are necessary. The
national grid provides us with a reliable supply in most areas.
Even if one of the generating stations fails, the system copes
and is virtually unaffected. This is a tribute to the clever
design which has provided us with one of the best electricity
supply networks in the world.
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