X
50% Complete

## Page content

Load, in electrical engineering, is the amount of current being drawn by all the components (appliances, motors, machines, etc.).

Load is further categorised as base load and peak load depending upon the nature of the electrical components connected. As you may be familiar, all electrical appliances at your home do not run at all times.

• A toaster or microwave oven may be used for a few minutes,
• A television or computer may be used for a few hours
• Lighting in the house is only required during the evening and so on.

There are several appliances which keep running at all the times, no matter what. The refrigerator, for example, has to be plugged in at all the times. Another such example are the heating, ventilation and cooling systems in the house (HVAC system).

Base load is the minimum level of electricity demand required over a period of 24 hours. It is needed to provide power to components that keep running at all times (also referred as continuous load).

Peak load is the time of high demand. These peaking demands are often for only shorter durations. In mathematical terms, peak demand could be understood as the difference between the base demand and the highest demand.

Now going back to the examples of household loads: microwave oven, toaster and television are examples of peak demand, whereas refrigerator and HVAC systems are examples of base demand.

## A broader perspective of understanding these concepts

Now on a broader perspective, it could be assumed that the electrical grid is a big household. Under normal circumstances, the power required by the electrical grid is fairly constant during various period of the day.

This constant power, which is required at all times, is called the base loading. But during a special event, like the final match of World Cup, the demand will be more, as a lot of people will watch TV. This short, high demand period is considered to be a peak loading.

Power plants are also categorised as base load and peak load power plants.

Plants that are running continuously over extended periods of time are said to be base load power plant.

The power from these plants is used to cater the base demand of the grid. A power plant may run as a base load power plant due to various factors (long starting time requirement, fuel requirements, etc.).

Examples of base load power plants are:

1. Nuclear power plant
2. Coal power plant
3. Hydroelectric plant
4. Geothermal plant
5. Biogas plant
6. Biomass plant
7. Solar thermal with storage
8. Ocean thermal energy conversion

To cater the demand peaks, peak load power plants are used. They are started up whenever there is a spike in demand and stopped when the demand recedes.

Examples of gas load power plants are:

1. Gas plant
2. Solar power plants
3. Wind turbines
4. Diesel generators

## Comment Section

### By Sylvester Kemei on 29 April 2016

I can now tell the difference.

### By Jain k b on 22 January 2017

Crisp understanding.Thanks

### By Sarojkumar on 9 February 2018

Very good explanation , with example.

### By Austin on 9 May 2016

Nice write up. I learnt from this.

### By James on 22 May 2016

Thanks. Well understood

### By madhu on 7 June 2016

Tq nice explain and gud examples

### By sylvester Ossai on 27 June 2016

thanks for this important piece of information. Is a light-bulb

### By Elisha Akobueze .U on 7 July 2016

my quest satisfied. thanks for nice explanation.

### By sivaprakasam on 13 July 2016

very nice explanation,now i understood.

### By Fagbemi Ademola on 18 July 2016

These explosions are simplified and i assimilated the concepts so easily. Nice work

### By Aziaka D.S on 19 July 2016

Good explanation, but would have been more professional if graphical representation was shown.

### By Ashish on 27 November 2016

Good explanation

### By M rashid on 4 January 2017

A brilliant piece of work.thanks

### By Manoj Arora on 5 January 2017

A significant fraction of the average wind power production is available with 95% or greater probability, and so may be used for baseload power.

### By SAYAK PAL on 19 February 2017

Good answers and easy to understand.

### By Sunday Baduku on 8 September 2017

nice explanation

### By Sahibzada Abdul Haseeb on 11 October 2017

It’s explained in a very simple, yet comprehensive way. Keep up the good work.

### By Vishal on 9 February 2018

Easy to understand…great job.

### By Khairul on 8 April 2018

Thank you brother. it so helpful

### By Dr. Ramana on 13 April 2018

Very Nice Explanation . Examples are very good. Simple and more effective to understand. One can easily understand the whole concept from these few lines when we cant get clear information form 100 of pages,

### By Soumyarup chowdhury on 26 April 2018

Nicely expressing thoughts .. Article…with easy xmples…. All the best for ur upcoming article…… ðŸ˜Š