What is Voltage in electricity?

What is voltage in electricity

Understanding the Voltage

Voltage is the force. We know that a good conductor of electricity has more free electrons. When voltage passes through this conductor, it makes free electrons to move. This causes a flow of electric current.

The unit of measurement for voltage is the ‘volt’ designated by the letter ‘V’.

There are two methods that voltage forces current to flow:

  • Direct Current
  • Alternating Current

Direct current

Electrons flow continuously in one direction through a closed circuit. Therefore, this type of voltage called as DC voltage.

Batteries and DC generators produce DC voltage.

DC Voltage

Alternating current

In this type, electrons flow first in one direction, then in the opposite direction. It means that it is alternating in nature. Hence, this type of voltage called as AC voltage.

A generator is used to produce AC voltage. The voltage generated by utility companies for You can find appliances at the home, machinery in factories, computers, and lights in offices, etc. requires AC voltage. Thus, the voltage generated by power generation companies is AC voltage.

Alternating Voltage

Understanding Voltage Further with Tank Water analogy

Let us understand the voltage with the tank water analogy. Consider a water tank over the roof in a residential house. Think water pipe as conductor and water inside the pipe as electrons. The water has the stored potential because it is at a certain height above the ground. This creates a potential difference. Hence, water flows from the tank to the tap.

Similarly, in an electric circuit voltage exerts force on free electrons inside the conductor causing them to move through the conductor.

Water Tank analogy for Voltage


A voltage is nothing but the force that moves free electrons from one atom to another atom.


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