Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. Tesla

He gave us AC power when Edison wanted DC. Tesla's Biography
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Lika, which was then part of the Austo-Hungarian Empire, region of Croatia. His father, Milutin Tesla was a Serbian Orthodox Priest and his mother Djuka Mandic was an inventor in her own right of household appliances. Tesla studied at the Realschule, Karlstadt in 1873, the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria and the University of Prague. At first, he intended to specialize in physics and mathematics, but soon he became fascinated with electricity.
AC power. The induction motor. These define technology in the early 20th Century.

[That is the Tesla Unit for magnetic flux density equation (T=W/m2) as printed on Serbian money.]
Tesla was a pioneer in many fields. The Tesla coil, which he invented in 1891, is widely used today in radio and television sets and other electronic equipment. That year also marked the date of Tesla's United States citizenship. His alternating current induction motor is considered one of the ten greatest discoveries of all time. Among his discoveries are the fluorescent light , laser beam, wireless communications, wireless transmission of electrical energy, remote control, robotics, Tesla’s turbines and vertical take off aircraft. Tesla is the father of the radio and the modern electrical transmissions systems. He registered over 700 patents worldwide. His vision included exploration of solar energy and the power of the sea. He foresaw interplanetary communications and satellites.
(On wireless... Marconi's patent was ruled invalid in 1943.)


tjbbpgobIII said...

Yet, here we are today, trying like hell to get off Mr. Telsas AC plan and back to Mr. Edisons DC batterys.

Zendo Deb said...

Ah, no, not really.

Utility-grade wind energy and solar is converted to AC for transmission.

Even a lot of residential solar systems now include an inverter with every solar panel (or every string of panels) to cut down on transmission loss, and reduce the size of the wires involved.

Some things make more sense as DC. But even most of the plug-in hybrid and electric cars are using variable sine-wave AC induction motors. More complicated. More efficient. So while they do have batteries, they convert the power to AC (just not 60 hz) before funneling it to the motor.

Zendo Deb said...

As far as that goes, Sunny Boy inverters include a format called Sunny Island, and Wind Island where they convert power to AC - because running a DC line any distance - even high voltage - is expensive.