What is induced voltage? (with photos)

Lightning can induce voltages in conductive materials.

Induced voltage is an electric potential created by an electric field, magnetic field, or a current. Stress induced in natural and man-made materials is carefully planned in many disciplines, including safety and equipment protection. Early in the history of electricity, Benjamin Franklin demonstrated the accumulation of electrical charges in clouds that resulted in an electrostatic charge and slight luminescence of a certain material.

Ben Franklin was known for his early experiments with electrical charges.

The friction between the air and the cloud particles creates a buildup of electrostatic charge in the clouds. The voltages generated in clouds at high altitudes can go far beyond billions of volts. When atmospheric conditions create a low-resistance path between the charged cloud and the ground, lightning strikes where most of the energy hits the ground. The high current associated with lightning is conducted to the ground by an ionized section of the atmosphere and this can easily induce stresses in conductive materials such as steel towers and electrical cables. The result is current-induced voltage that can damage sensitive electronic equipment.

The voltages generated in clouds at high altitudes can go far beyond billions of volts.

Field-induced voltage is created by an electric or magnetic field. A voltage-induced electric field occurs when a capacitor or capacitor is charged with a direct current and a positive charge on one plate and a negative charge on the other plate are induced. The same capacitor will have a voltage across its terminals, and this is the field-induced voltage. On changing the voltage, the resulting current flow changes the voltage level. When lightning strikes a cloud formation, the extremely high voltage that previously caused lightning drops to a certain level determined by air and ground conditions.

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This voltage can still create a magnetic field, hence it can be referred to as an induced voltage magnetic field. When lightning strikes the lightning rod at the top of a radio tower, the current wave travels towards the ground in the grounding cable. This current generates a transient magnetic field that can induce a voltage in any nearby conductor. Transformation can take place as extensively as the intensity of the original energy allows. This may suggest why equipment damage due to current and voltage spikes during lightning storms can be extensive.

In an electrical transformer, the primary winding induces a voltage across the secondary winding. The induced voltage formula suggests that the ratio of the output voltage to the input voltage is equal to the ratio of the number or switch on the primary to the secondary winding. Also, voltage testing on a transformer uses a voltmeter connected to the input terminals and later to the output terminals of the transformer. Comparing the two readings, it is possible to calculate the ratio of turns.

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