Electrical engineering - Basics Page 4

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1.1.3 Chemical effect of electric energy

For many chemical reactions one needs electric energy to start/trigger and to keep the chemical reaction process going. Electric energy is e.g. used in galvanic installations/devices to recharge batteries or it is used in drinking water storage systems for the so called "sacrificial anode".
If a current flows through a conducting non-metallic liquid (electrolyte), this liquid is being decomposed. During the decomposition process the different substances the liquid is containing are being separated at the electrodes and can be extracted in this way. The separation is taking place at the surface of the electrodes. Normally it comes to an adhesion and thus to a surface refinement.

Diagram 3: Sacrificial anode

1.1.4 Light effect of electric energy

If the amperage that is applied to a metal wire is high enough a light effect is resulting in addition to the heat effect. This effect is e.g. used in light bulbs. The light effect can also be obtained with gases that are electrically conducting. An example for this is the fluorescent lamp.

Diagram 4: Different light bulbs and lamps

1.1.5 Physiological effect of electric energy

One speaks of the physiological effect of electric energy if a current is applied to an organic body (e.g. human beings or animal) and triggers a muscular reaction there (e.g. muscle cramping). The physiological effect can be very harmful to the body if the currents are too strong. However, it can also have a healing effect if the current dosage is right. For this reason the physiological effect is very often used in medical treatments.


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