The Surprising Efficiency of Canal Locks

From Practical Engineering. People use boats for all kinds of reasons, and in the same way, there are all kinds, shapes, sizes, and ages of locks used for waterway navigation across the world. Freight is big business. “Shipping” got its name for a reason, and we still use ships to move a lot of our…

What is Air Lock?

From Practical Engineering. A demonstration and brief explanation of air lock in fluid pipelines. Use code PRACTICAL10 to get 10 free meals including shipping with HelloFresh! https://bit.ly/2R4fLIc (purchase required) If you assume that gasses don’t get into pipes or that they can’t constrict the flow, you might design a pipeline that doesn’t work. Luckily for…

How Power Blackouts Work

From Practical Engineering. Exploring the protective systems that keep the power grid from self destructing. Get 9 free meals from HelloFresh at https://bit.ly/2pZsuRa and use code Practical9 at checkout. We usually think of the power grid in terms of its visible parts: power plants, high-voltage lines, and substations. But, much of the complexity of power…

World’s Largest Batteries – (Pumped Storage)

From Practical Engineering. The vast majority of our grid-scale storage of electricity uses this clever method. Electricity faces a fundamental problem that comes with pretty much any product that’s provided on-demand: our ability to generate large amounts of it doesn’t match up that closely with when we need it. The storage of electricity for later…