Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time: An Interesting Concept

We have so many different sayings when it comes to Time.

What time is it?
Where did the time go!
How much time will it take?
Time for bed.
Can the day be any slower?
What time do you have?

Well I guess you get the idea. It is interesting that they say "everybody has the same 24 hours in a day." Which is true but to some it is measured differently, some how. When you look at a clock and say, "Wow, where did the day go?" or "You mean to tell me that it is only 3 o'clock?, you have two different concepts of time.  One, of course, is fast and the other slow. Time is constant until you look at your clocks and realize that they are running too fast or too slow.

How can this be when plugged into an outlet, (unless it is battery operated)? Normally at your house you usually don't have a problem with your clocks. Plug them in, set the time  and there you go. In an RV when plugged into the generator you may find this to be interesting to know that your clocks may run faster or slower.

In my previous post I was plagued with a problem and I figured out why this happens. I will try to explain this as best I can.

If you were to take any one of your appliances and look on the bottom you will see 120 volts ac (120VAC) and 60 hertz (60hz). So what is a "hertz"? Go and get a piece of paper and a writing utensil, I'll wait..........................Oh you're back.

On the paper make a straight horizontal line........... Great looking line. Now on the line towards the left, start upwards and then make a curve downwards, pass the line and then start to make a curve upwards and stop at the line. What you have just drawn is a "sine wave". Now if we were to measure from start to finish in seconds then we would have one cycle per second or one hertz per second. Electricity is measured in hertz per second which happens to be 60 cycles per second or 60 hertz.

OK enough of the theory so let's apply this to a generator. Generators are a great tool to have in areas that frequent power losses. We went through Hurricane Ike when the power to the house was out for 2 weeks. We lived in our trailer, in the driveway, on a generator, even ran our washing machine as well. Generators run on engines which maintain a constant speed controlled by a govenor. Now that's a whole different story.

From what I have learned is that generators are measured and set at half load. This will produce about 120VAC at about 60hz. Notice that I said "about" in the last statement. So let's take a typical day in the trailer running on a generator. During mid-day we have the TVs on, the a/c is running and you are cooking something in the microwave. The clocks seem to be just fine. Now it's time for bed. The generator is running with a much lower load which means that it is running faster and so are the clocks. When you wake up you may notice that they are a bit fast and have to reset them. In general, when the generator speed is running faster so are the clocks and visa-ver-sa.

I hope that this makes sense to you all and helps explain why the clocks do what they do on a generator. If by chance that my information is not correct, please do not hesitate to let me know so I can correct myself. If I am wrong let me know, we are all learning and I can take criticism.

Until Next Time.................................Be Safe.

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