ICS Engineering Inc.
Electrical Consulting | Communications | Automation

Ohm's Law - How Voltage, Current and Resistance Relate

Without electricity, your business will quickly grind to a halt. No phone, no computers, no heat, no lights! Could we really go back to the 1800's and work by candle-light? So let's explain some of the physics that drives our modern electrical world - Ohm's Law.

Ohm's law states that:

V = IR
Voltage = Current * Resistance

A simple water pipe analogy helps make this intuitive.

If we have a water pump (a battery or generator) that exerts pressure (a voltage) on water (the current) around the pipes (a circuit), the flow will encounter friction (resistance) as it reaches tanks, faucets and the inside surface of the pipe.

The bigger the pump, the stronger the pressure and the more work it can do, like to drive your pressure washer to wash your car or to run your dishwasher.

The same is true for electricity - well DC anyways but let's keep things easy for now.

In Ohm's Law, there are three variables - voltage, current and resistance and the way they interact, drives that machines that makes our modern lifestyle so convenient.

This allows electrical consultants to take only two variables and calculate the third. Whoopie-ding you may say!

Well it is very important.

Using Ohm's Law, we can then sit down with you and:

  • design a flexible electrical system that doesn't overheat or trip breakers.
  • create a lighting design that saves energy (lighting is a big energy consumer).
  • plan an electrical system that accommodates your growing business.
  • devise a backup system that will seamlessly carry your business through a disruption.

For instance:

  • Can an autobody shop accommodate a new 60 Amp welder with the existing supply?
  • Can a coffee shop run another Espresso machine on the existing counter circuit?
  • Can a recreational centre install an electric vehicle charging station without adding another distribution panel?

Our goal as consultants is to make sure your power system is:

  • Reliable - so that power is always available when you need it.
  • Energy-efficient - "Don't waste water!" our parents used to say. Electricity can be saved in a similar way.
  • Expandable - can it accommodate new machines as your business grows?
  • Safe - When a piece of equipment fails, the electrical hazards need to be minimized to keep everybody safe.

If you take a look at a label on an electrical appliance, you'll see two pieces of information - voltage and current. It's required by law to be there and is meant for electrical consults to apply Ohm's Law and others to plan for a smooth, uninterruptable and safe service for you and your business.