If you say the word “motor” to most people, they would probably think first of the motor in their car. Many people understandably take a great interest in the gasoline or diesel engine that gets them around. But while amateur mechanics across the country may spend their weekends fussing over these motors, I’ve yet to see grease-covered enthusiasts gathered in a garage discussing the horsepower of their washing machines.
You probably pass by them all the time on the street without giving them a second glance: those gray cylinders on telephone poles. They are called distribution transformers -- and they are a crucial component of the electric grid. They serve to reduce the high voltage used in distribution lines to the lower voltages we use in our homes, offices and businesses.