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ERIC Number: EJ1152925
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Electrical Power Quality--What's behind the Outlet?
Baird, William H.; Secrest, Jeffrey; Padgett, Clifford
Physics Teacher, v55 n6 p347-349 Sep 2017
Although we may consider the power outlets in our homes to be nearly ideal voltage sources, a variety of influences in and around the home can cause departures from the nominal 60 Hz, 110-120 V root-mean-square (rms) of the North American grid. Even without instrumentation, we can see that a large motor starting from rest can be sufficient to cause lights to dim momentarily (voltage sag). This dimming is due to the inrush current drawn by a stationary motor, which may be several times the current drawn at operating speed. We prepared a voltage monitoring system using a voltage divider, the construction details of which we omit in the interest of safety. A list of notes and references is included.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A