Electrical vs Electronics: Difference and Comparison

The power of electricity has been the driving force of mankind and has brought the world from the dark ages of medieval times to the modern age of the industrial revolution.

Technological developments have made it possible to open the unlimited potential of electric power to make our lives easier and better.

Key Takeaways

  1. Electrical refers to the study and application of electricity, including power generation, transmission, and distribution. In contrast, electronics refers to studying and applying electronic devices and systems, including semiconductors, microprocessors, and communication systems.
  2. Electrical and electronics play important roles in modern technology and infrastructure, but their focus and applications differ.
  3. Electrical engineering requires a strong foundation in mathematics and physics, while electronics engineering requires a strong foundation in circuit theory and semiconductor physics.

Electrical vs Electronics

The difference between Electrical and Electronics is that electrical technology and devices are used to generate or convert electrical energy and also to store this energy. On the other hand, electronic technology and devices deal with using this electrical energy to perform some task or operation. Thus electronic technology deals with the creation of various electronic equipment.  

Electrical vs Electronics

An electrical device is an instrument that operates on electrical power. The main principle of operation of these devices is the conversion of electrical energy into other types of energy.


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Electrical devices are often used to generate. Convert and store electrical power or electricity for industrial as well as commercial use.

Electronic devices are devices that regulate electrical power to apply the power to perform some task. Thus these devices control the flow of electricity through a circuit.

For the operation of the circuit. These devices generally do not generate electric power by themselves and thus rely on a constant flow of energy from some other source.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonElectricalElectronics
DefinitionElectrical technology and devices deal with generating, converting, and storing electrical power.Electronic technology and devices control the flow of electric power to operate or task.
OperationThese devices are capable of generating their electric powerThese devices rely on an outer source of power
PrincipleElectrical devices produce current and voltageElectronic devices control the flow of current and voltage
Materials usedConductors such as copper are mostly used for making electrical devicesSemiconductor materials such as silicon and germanium are mostly used
ExampleTransformer, alternator, motor, fuse, etcDiodes, transistors, microcontrollers, etc

What is Electrical?

Electrical technology and devices are mainly concerned with converting electrical energy into some other form or generating electrical energy from another form and storing this energy.

These devices are designed on the principle of producing voltage and current. Thus they work on producing electrical energy by converting other types of energy into electricity.

These devices are made of highly conductive materials such as copper and aluminium to achieve this. The electricity generated is also AC type, as AC can be transferred.

From the place of power generation to the actual commercial or industrial location. The AC power generated is then converted into DC to be used in electronic devices and for storage.

Large generation units are used to generate such a high quantity of power. Often multiple units of power generation are used together to tackle the power requirement.

The main sources of power generation are hydro, wind, and solar-electric generation. In the former two types, mechanical energy is converted into electric energy.

In the form of the rotation of turbines for the production of electricity. In solar-electric generation, heat is converted into electricity.

There are several examples of electrical devices. Some of the common devices in this category are motors, generators, transformers, etc.


What is Electronic?

Electronic technology and devices deal with controlling the electric energy for using the energy to perform some operation or task. The electric power is controlled at the electron level.

For usage in different applications. Hence these devices control the flow of electric power generated by electrical devices for usage in different applications.

Hence these devices are mainly used in designing circuits for different types of equipment that run on electricity. To control the flow of electricity, electronic devices are made of semiconductor materials.

Thus silicon and germanium are often the main materials used for making electronic devices. Electronic devices are often very small, in the millimetre and nanometer range.

Thus they can be conveniently used for designing circuits. The primary principle for making electronic devices is the control of voltage and current.

These devices also consume very little power by themselves, often in the mV range. By changing and controlling the flow of electrons in the electric flow,

These devices can manipulate any data that depends on the number of electrons in the flow. Hence electronic devices are mostly used in controllers and other decision-making devices.

The most common example of such a device is the mobile phone which uses electrical energy to perform various operations.


Main Differences Between Electrical and Electronic

  1. Electrical technology is concerned with generating, converting and storing electric power. Electronic technology deals with controlling electric power.
  2. Electrical devices are capable of producing their own electricity. Electronic devices cannot produce electricity by themselves and rely on an external source.
  3. Electrical devices operate by producing current and voltage. Electronic devices operate by controlling the flow of current and voltage.
  4. Electrical devices are made from highly conductive materials such as copper and aluminium. Electronic devices are made from semiconductor materials.
  5. Examples of electrical devices are transformers, alternators, fuses etc. Examples of electronic devices are microcontrollers, diodes, resistors etc.
Difference Between Electrical and Electronics
  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1lR701DFtaMC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=electrical+technology&ots=9ZdkQCj57K&sig=u3nXES5OO6eFOXPXcfEne1QiR5k
  2. https://siarchives.si.edu/collections/siris_sic_12464
  3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/196876
  4. https://bmcmedinformdecismak.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6947-13-95
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