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Electricity 101

February 15, 2023 | Online

Sponsored by EUCI

Click Here to register $895.00

This interactive course teaches fundamental concepts about electricity that everyone working for or with today’s electric utilities should know. 

The problem with most courses offered is that they often discuss terms and concepts as if they are already known, which can cause people to struggle with topics before these theories are well-understood on a foundational level. This course is a low stress, safe, and entertaining opportunity to learn at your pace, ask questions, and really understand the terms and concepts of electricity and how it works. While this course does have a scheduled outline of what you “need to know”, it is less about “the presentation” and more about the questions and information you would like to know in order to be successful and be comfortable initiating and participating in in-depth conversations and projects revolving around how electricity works, how it’s made, and how it’s distributed. 

Learning Outcomes  

  • Discuss the smart, transformative technologies that are changing the game like renewable energy, storage, demand response, EMS, ADMS, distributed grids, etc.
  • Identify key electrical components and review advanced terms and concepts such as power factor, VARs, harmonics, ABC phases, induction, EMFs, capacitance, frequency, and circuits 
  • Analyze how electricity developed and expanded into our modern electrical grid and where it is going next
  • Appreciate how voltage, current, and resistance interact and how they affect the grid
  • Compare and contrast the differences between alternating current and direct current, energy and power, megawatt and kilowatt, 50hz and 60hz, radial and looped feeders, and single phase and 3 phase
  • Explore the concept of balancing the grid for the only product that needs to be produced at the exact moment it’s consumed
  • Recognize the main grid transitioning advancement being focused on right now, how they work, and their effect on infrastructure and current policy



9:00 a.m. – 4:30p.m. Central Time

What is Electricity?

  • Discovery and evolution
  • How a kWh and a food Calorie are related
  • What does electricity look like?
  • How electricity travels
  • War of the Currents (Edison, Tesla)
  • Direct and Alternating Current
  • Why electricity was adopted so quickly as an energy source
  • How energy is converted to make electricity
  • What is Energy vs. Power; difference between kWh and kW
  • How to calculate your electricity cost
  • How a plug logger works
  • Metric system (kW, MW, GW)

How Electricity is Made

  • How a generator makes electricity
  • What is frequency and why we standardized on 50/60 Hz
  • What are phases, why do we need them, and how do they work?
  • Why 3 phase has more power than 1—and why not 4?
  • Overview of the complexities of balancing the grid
  • The need for and the current energy storage technologies
  • How Solar works and how it is related to LEDs and Diodes
  • Wind power, how it works, and where it’s going
  • What Distributed Energy Resources are
  • ADMS and EMS
  • Demand Response

The Components of Electricity

  • How voltage, current, and resistance interact together and effect the grid
  • How does Ohm’s Law apply to an electrical grid?
  • Power equation wheel
  • Voltage and its discovery
  • Why more voltage needs more insulation
  • Why the US uses a different voltage than most countries
  • Outlets in the US and other countries
    • Pros and cons
    • Converting V and Hz
  • Current and its discovery
  • Why more current needs more conductor
  • Which is more dangerous: Voltage or Current?
  • What is resistance
  • How to use a multi meter

What is the Grid?

  • What is “the grid” and what is “the smart grid”
  • How the grid evolved to what it is now
  • What are the main grid advancements being focused on now?
  • Acronyms of transformative and new tech and concept behind them (ADMS, SCADA, EMS DR, DER, VAR, PV, HVDC, QF, DG, RPS, AMS)
  • What is Generation, Transmission, and Distribution?
  • What is a substation, circuit, and feeder
  • What is a series, parallel, loop, and radial circuit?
  • Underground vs. Overhead; right-of-way vs. easements
  • Bluestaking and how to read it
  • What are the types of conductors (OH & UG) and insulators?
  • What are EMFs and are they harmful?
  • What causes an outage and how are they restored?
  • How outages are prevented using breakers, fuses, switches, reclosures, etc.

Advanced Concepts

  • What are transformers and induction?
  • What is meant by primary and secondary wires?
  • How 120 and 240 gets to a home wiring
  • What is power factor and VARs, and why do we install capacitors?
  • What are harmonics and why are they so bad?

Course Recap and Other Topics of Interest from the Participants


Brent Olsen, President, 3 Phase Consulting

Brent has 25+ years of experience working for large electric utility industries including Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, and Portland General Electric. He has worked in distribution, transmission and generation engineering and is currently a Project Manager for Specialized Energy Operations where he manages the installation of generation facilities, microgrids, distributed energy resources, and various grid edge research and development projects. He leads a user group of utility professionals who follow and discuss business and technological changes in the electric utilities industry. 

Brent is an electrical engineer specializing in utility power systems with a masters in Energy Policy and Management and an MBA. He is also a PMP, has a degree in Spanish and is the two-time winner of PGE’s Project Manager and Project of the Year awards.