Power Generation and Distribution Blog

The Power Generation and Distribution Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about electrical power generation, designing and installing power systems, high voltage power lines, power distribution, design & installation services, and anything else related to the power generation industry. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

War of the Currents

Posted April 07, 2019 12:01 AM by ahorner_22
Pathfinder Tags: AC current DC edison electricity tesla

In the late 1800s, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla were involved in a competition known as the War of the Currents. This competition was about the introduction of competing electric power transmission systems to the world.

Both Edison and Tesla were able to develop inventions that are utilized in modern life even today. When we consider Industry 4.0, we can easily say that both Edison and Tesla contributed to what is the connected manufacturing environment of the modern age.

Edison is considered one of the greatest inventors to ever live. Among his many inventions, Edison developed DC electricity which became the standard for power in the U.S. in those days. The problem with direct current is that it is not easily converted to higher or lower voltages.

Tesla contributed to the development of hundreds of technologies that play big parts in our lives today. When it came to electricity that could be converted to higher and lower voltages, Tesla believed he had the solution. Tesla’s AC electricity can be converted to different voltages using a transformer.

Because Edison did not want to lose royalties, he tried to discredit alternating current. And then the Chicago Worlds Fair happened. General Electric bid to electrify the fair using Edison’s DC power. But they lost the bid to Westinghouse, who licensed Tesla’s AC induction motor to electrify the fair. That same year, Niagara Falls Power Company awarded Westinghouse the contract to generate power from Niagara Falls. Westinghouse then light up all of Buffalo from Niagara Falls using Tesla’s alternating current. Alternating current basically took over for direct current from that point on.

Although Edison is viewed as the greatest American inventor, Tesla was a genius whose ideas and inventions are utilized even today. Both inventors changed lives with their genius.

47 comments; last comment on 04/15/2019
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As Temperatures Increase, So Does Air Pollution — Thanks to Air Conditioning

Posted May 16, 2017 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Although it seems logical that increased air conditioning usage would mean higher levels of air pollution, that has not been the focus of most air pollution studies. Thanks to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, researchers have now actually detailed the connection.


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6 comments; last comment on 04/15/2019
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Novel Bifacial Solar PV Project Slated for the Netherlands

Posted April 04, 2017 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The cells can generate power not only from the front side, but also from the rear side by making use of the reflected photons that hit the module on the back side. The project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.


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Test for Reactor Vessel Damage Assessment

Posted January 20, 2017 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

An analytical method pioneered by MIT researchers could change the way operators measure damage to nuclear reactor vessels. This method could potentially provide continuous monitoring and prevent unnecessary replacement of materials. The testing method uses acoustic vibrations to gauge material damage levels.


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2 comments; last comment on 01/24/2017
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Safer Way to Install Offshore Wind Turbines

Posted November 26, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Installing offshore wind turbines in open water presents plenty of risks to workers. To improve safety and save costs, researchers from the EU-funded ELISA Project have developed a new system where turbines can be completely pre-assembled and pre-commissioned in controlled harbor conditions. The assembled and tested units are then installed offshore without the need for heavy-lift vessels. Engineering360 shares fascinating details about how the installation procedure works, noting that one fully operational 5 MW prototype already exists in the Canary Islands. Engineers believe the ELISA process could reduce installation costs by 30-40% over traditional systems while improving worker safety substantially.


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1 comments; last comment on 11/26/2016
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