Written by Duncan Nicol
For thousands of years we have relied on carbon fuels to power our world and for a long time, it made a lot of sense. Carbon fuels such as coal and oil were easy to get to and therefore a cheap source of fuel and energy dense. As demand increased they became harder to find and then, of course, the environmental impact became widely known, but by then we were so very dependent on them.
I remember in the 1980’s being taught at school that we had 30 years of oil left and this has remained the case for, well, the last 30 years. Of course, our energy sources have become more diversified in the 30 years since my school days (my calculator was solar powered back then) but we are still heavily reliant on the black stuff. As I sit writing this blog at the bottom of my garden on a very hot and sunny day, 51% of our UK grid energy is coming from gas and only 10% from solar. Yes, really! Of course, the mix changes daily, but fundamentally we have not moved on that far in 30 years and we are still taking the black stuff out of the ground as quickly as we find it.
Well, things are changing and about time too. Electricity was first put to good use in the 19th century, but we forgot about the importance of storing it. Early versions of the automobile were battery powered, but of course, it was cheaper and easier to dig up the black stuff, so batteries took a back seat. But now we have realised that actually if we store the energy we generate, we can use it when we really need it and not just when the sun is shining. Genius.
So in a world where our transport and energy generation is becoming electrified the need to store electricity has never been more important and this means the need for more power electronics to stop our reliance on burning stuff. The good news is that at Phoenix Contact we have plenty of solutions to help electrify our world.
For more information or to discuss a specific requirement please contact Duncan Nicol – Division Manager – Device Connections