Interesting Facts about Electricity

Electricity is a fascinating thing, and a vital component of our everyday modern lives. Do you want to learn something about electricity that you might not have known before? Do you have a couple of minutes to spare? Then step right up and behold this thrilling compilation of interesting facts about electricity!

1. Google searches account for about 0.013% of the worlds’ energy usage. This equals enough electricity to power 200,000 homes continuously. The energy it takes to conduct 100 searches on Google is the equivalent of a light bulb burning for 28 minutes.
2. A refrigerator uses less energy than a PlayStation 3.
3. The reason birds don’t get electrocuted when they stand on a power line is because both feet are on the same line. If part of its wing or one foot touches another power line while its other foot is still on the first line, a circuit would be created and electricity would flow through the body of the bird, causing electrocution.



Birds on the Wire by Tomas Castelazo, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

4. Enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface each minute to satisfy the world’s energy demands for an entire year.
5. Only 10% of the energy used by a traditional light bulb generates actual light. The other 90% of the energy creates heat.


A traditional incandescent light bulb works by heating up a wire filament to produce light, but also a lot of heat. (Image via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

6. Currently, hydropower facilities in the United States can generate as much hydropower to supply electricity to 28 million households, which is equivalent to about 500 million barrels of oil.

River Hydroelectric

The Skagit River Hydroelectric Project’s Gorge Powerhouse, by Wood Harbinger’s John Taylor.

7. One ceiling fixture can use $2,000 to $5,000 of electricity over its useful life.
8. On a hot summer afternoon, California consumes the entire output of two large nuclear reactors pumping water.
9. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. The average desktop computer idles at 80 watts, while the average laptop idles at 20 watts. A PlayStation 3 uses about 200 watts, both when it’s active and when it’s idle.
10. In 2012, wind energy became the top source of new energy generating capacity in the United States, providing nearly 42% of all new generating capacity.

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