Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
Mon-Fri: 7AM- 4PM
11 Aug 2017
power

Electricity, Energy, and Power: What’s the Difference?

At Kirby Electric, we aim to educate others on proper electrical techniques and plans. Correct use of language makes a difference when discussing electrical construction and services. Electricity, energy, and power have become interchangeable in common, every day speech. However, these three terms have very distinct definitions and should not be used interchangeably. Read on to explore the differences between electricity, energy, and power and how to properly define them.

Electricity

Most define electricity as a form of energy or the flow of energy. Both of these definitions would be incorrect to assume. Electricity has to do with the charge of atoms. Atoms are the basic building blocks of everything, including you and the device you are reading this blog on. Breaking it down even further, atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Electrons move between atoms based on their electrical charge and magnetic forces. As these electrons move quickly, electricity is created.

Electricity can also be thought as being in two different categories, static and current. You can see static electricity when you pull laundry out of the dryer or when you rub a balloon through your hair. Current electricity is what flows through the lines and cables to your electric devices. Electricity, however, is not to be confused with electrical energy, or stored energy.

Energy

Energy gives things the ability to move and work. The definition of energy is the “capacity to do work.” In other words, energy is the total amount of work that is done. Work is defined as exerting a force over a distance. When you push something around, whether that be a box or a sofa, that is work. Energy makes it possible for you to do this work.

Energy is calculated by the strength of the force needed to move something over a distance. While there are many different types of units to measure energy with, the most common is watt-hour.

Power

While energy is about the total amount of work, power is how fast you are able to accomplish that work. This means power is how fast something can produce or consume energy. Say you are planning a cross country road trip. You have two means of transportation, a sports car or a racehorse. Assuming all other factors are equal, both can accomplish the means to cross the country. However, the sports car will be able to finish this task much quicker than the horse. Therefore, this means that the car can transfer the energy much quicker than the horse. The sports car has the higher power level and, thus, can travel faster.

Putting It All Together

While electricity, energy, and power all seem the same on the surface level, they are, in fact, very different. It is helpful to know their differences as you further your electrical knowledge. At Kirby Electric, we take pride in our electrical knowledge, and we are ready to assist you. We provide excellent electrical services for commercial and industrial contracting. Consider contacting us today to discuss electrical plans for you.

About Kirby Electric

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial contracting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

14 May 2015

5 Summer Energy-Saving Solutions

Simply creating air movement can make an area more comfortable
Simply creating air movement can make an area more comfortable

Just when the heating bills have begun to lower, a new season of potential energy costs starts up. While longer days call for less use of TVs, light switches, and even ovens, the costs of maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature can add up. How do you enjoy the season and avoid steep bills? Try these summer energy-saving solutions in your home or business.

1. Circulate

Whether you’re trying to find ways to keep cool without an AC unit, or you have one and simply want to down usage costs, try this tip from the California Energy Commission: ceiling fans make the temperature feel at least four degrees cooler.

2. Insulate

Insulation is just as important in the summer, when you want to trap cool air indoors. While an air leakage might be easier to spot in the winter, you can still identify gaps or other compromised areas around places like windows and doors that allow for air to transfer. Inspect your house thoroughly. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends using a flashlight at night to identify possible problem areas. They also suggest rattling doors and windows; an unsecure opening can be an opportunity for air flow.

3. Stock Up

This tip works equally well for offices and homes. The California Energy Commission advises that a filled refrigerator actually helps your appliance run more efficiently. When a refrigerator is less full, it takes more effort to maintain the temperature. So instead of throwing out food immediately, consider that keeping shelves stocked can actually help reduce energy needed.

4. Cover Up

An alternative to keeping blinds closed to direct sunlight is installing solar window film. Window film can help keep hot rays from reaching the inside of your office or home, plus it’ll help cut down on the bright glare that makes reading computer screens difficult during peak sunlight hours.

5. Audit

How much energy is your business losing? What kind of savings could you have if you implemented more efficient practices? Installing efficient lighting and electrical systems could reduce your energy bills. An energy audit is the way to determine potential savings. Kirby Electric can assess your business’ current system and needs. Even newer buildings can benefit from energy-saving solutions, and if your office is older, the savings could be even more drastic. Schedule an energy audit by calling 253-859-2000.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric is a premier Seattle electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. As your local commercial electrician, we can help with any electrical needs when it comes to upgrading older buildings, including equipment hook ups, rewiring or relocating panels, and lighting upgrades. We also work with electrical companies like Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities, Lakeview Power and others that will provide a rebate for upgrading to a more efficient lighting upon approval of the project. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to get a quote.

(Image Courtesy of FrameAngel via FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

14 Nov 2013

4 Key Services Kirby Electric Provides

services_lightingKirby Electric provides a variety of services to our valued commercial and industrial customers and even offers electrical maintenance long after the initial project is complete.

But did you know that Kirby Electric offers other services as well? Here are 4 other areas of Kirby Electric expertise.

Controls for Equipment

The Kirby Electric industrial division has experience with complex industrial equipment and can wire systems and controls according to customer specifications. This includes wiring complete motor control centers and even complex conveyer systems. We’re also comfortable partnering with engineers and other experts assigned to a particular industrial project to ensure the customer’s needs are met.

Retail Projects

Kirby Electric has vast experience working with contractors on design/build projects for retail facilities such as Lowe’s and Kohl’s. We have a strong track record of providing a high-quality work for a reasonable price and ensuring all of our commercial projects are completed on time and on budget.

Lighting Retrofits

Kirby Electric specializes in lighting retrofits using the most current technology and energy-saving products available. We’ll even reach out to our customer’s utility company and work to help our customers receive lighting rebates for upgrading their lighting. Anytime we can solve an electrical problem and reduce our customers’ energy costs in the process, we consider it a job well done.

Street Lighting

Kirby Electric design and installation teams have worked closely with cities and municipalities throughout the Puget Sound region to design street lighting and provide high-quality installation services for many communities.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric is a premier Seattle electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. We can help with any electrical needs when it comes to upgrading older buildings, including equipment hook ups, rewiring or relocating panels, and lighting upgrades. We also work with electrical companies like Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities, Lakeview Power and others that will provide a rebate for upgrading to a more efficient lighting upon approval of the project. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to request a quote.

02 Jul 2013

Energy-Efficient Lighting for Your Business

Choosing energy-efficient lighting for your business is an important but often daunting task. According to an article by the US Small Business Administration (SBA), “Depending on the type of business you operate, lighting accounts for 20% to 50% of electricity consumption” and usually offers the “highest return-on-investment of major upgrades”. Make sure you are doing all you can to light your business efficiently with these quick tips.

Tips for Improving Lighting Efficiency

  1. Upgrade Old Systems: You do not need to start from scratch in order to improve your business’ lighting efficiency. If your business has pre-existing lighting systems, there are many affordable upgrades you can make, like replacing incandescent lamps with fluorescent lamps. Consult your electrical contractor to discuss your options.
  2. Choose a Quality Commercial Electrical Contractor: Choosing a qualified commercial  electrician to install energy-efficient lighting is essential. Sloppy installation jobs and seemingly small mistakes could end up costing you valuable time and money later.
  3. New Construction Projects and Large Retrofits: The larger the project, the more time and effort you will often need to invest. It may be helpful to have a professional generate computer models of your lighting system to help ensure that the completed project will meet your business needs.

The formula for efficient lighting success is, “Technology + Effective Design = Performance and Energy Savings”. The latest proven technology coupled with an effective, efficient design will help your business maximize performance and energy savings.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric Inc. is Seattle’s premier commercial and industrial electrical contractor. For over twenty years Kirby Electric has been helping companies go green and save money. Whether you’re looking for Seattle lighting retrofits or electrical services for your industrial or commercial building, Kirby Electric is here to help. Kirby Electric is a Puget Sound Energy Contractor Alliance Network Certified Specialist. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to request a quote .

29 May 2013

5 Facts About Electricians

kirby_cocacolaThe electrical profession is no walk in the park. Check out these 5 facts about electricians from a recent article:

1. Master Electricians Train Nearly as Long as Doctors

There is no room for error when it comes to electrical projects since the slightest mistake could have devastating or even life threatening consequences. This is why master electricians put just as much time and effort into their training and education as any other highly skilled professional.

2. Electricians Tend to Specialize

Like doctors, electricians tend to specialize in a specific area where they have the most knowledge.

  • Residential: electricians who deal with home issues.
  • Commercial: electricians who service commercial buildings.
  • Industrial: electricians who are familiar with and are specially trained to handle industrial electrical equipment.
  • Outside Lineman: Electricians who deal with outdoor electrical structures such as power lines, substations, and transformers.

3. Electricians Must Be in Good Shape

Electrical equipment can be extremely heavy or difficult to access. Sometimes electricians must work in cramped quarters, in areas that must be accessed by ladders or in other hard-to-reach areas.

4. Electricians Need to Have Good Thinking Skills

Electrical projects involve more than just simple wire rearrangement. To be successful, an electrician must have a solid mathematical background that enables them to read and analyze blue prints and other technical schematic material. Electricians must also constantly be aware of local and federal safety codes. Furthermore, as some electrical projects can be dangerous, electricians must have good organizational skills and the ability to recall crucial information under stressful circumstances.

5. Electricians are Going Green

Most people do not associate electricians with environmental conservation. However, master electricians are highly-trained, environmentally conscious professionals who are constantly searching for new ways to conserve energy using new technology and offering eco-friendly services like lighting retrofits.

Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric is a premier Seattle electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to request a quote .