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Electricity. By: Hannah Connolly, Claire Stone, Haley Truchan, Jamie Clougherty. . Chapter 1 How people use energy. 1.1 Energy in your life Energy - the ability to do work. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. You use energy constantly everyday: Alarm Clock Lights Refrigerator etc .

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By: Hannah Connolly, Claire Stone, Haley Truchan, Jamie Clougherty.

Chapter 1How people use energy

1.1 Energy in your life

  • Energy- the ability to do work. Energy cannot be created or destroyed.

  • You use energy constantly everyday:

  • Alarm Clock

  • Lights

  • Refrigerator etc.

  • The energy contained in various fossil fuels allows people to manufacture products, to travel, to grow food, to keep warm or cool, and to enjoy life.

1.1 How people use energy: Energy Sources

  • Fossil Fuels: Made from remains of long dead plants and animals that died and were buried in such a way that they were not exposed to oxygen which preserved them.

  • Fossil fuels are forming today, but they take so long to make that the world will run out of oil, natural gas, and coal before nature can replenish them. Therefore, fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources.

1.1 How people use energy: Energy Sources


  • Non-renewable energy- cannot be reused.

  • Renewable-can be reused, and are constantly being produced


1.1 How people use energy: Measuring energy consumption

  • Each source of energy is measured in a different way.

  • Electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours

  • All the various uses of energy really make up three broad categories:

    • Transportation

    • Residential and commercial

    • Industrial and agricultural

1.1 How people use energy: Transportation

  • People today consume much fuel energy by using forms of transportation such as automobiles, buses, and aircrafts. Mass transit vehicles, such as buses, consume less energy per rider than automobiles

  • Most of the energy used in transportation sector comes from petroleum.

1.1 How people use energy: Residential energy use

  • In homes, offices and stores, energy use can range from oil, gas, or wood heat to electrical appliances.

  • The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy consumers in the modern American home

  • In the average US home lights consume about 10% of all electricity.

  • Lights account for 20% of all electricity used in this country.

1.1 How people use energy: Industry and agriculture

  • Industrial use of energy includes the various motors and heaters that are used to make everything from chemicals and computer chips, to automobiles and ice cream.

  • In the supermarket where the product is sold, lights and heat consume energy.


1.2 Global Patterns of Energy Consumptions

Energy Use in Developed Countries:

  • Countries with lots of industry and commercial activity use more energy then people in less developed countries.

  • Percentages of high energy consumption:

    • United States- 25%

    • Russia- 15%

    • China- 9%

    • Japan and Germany- 5%

    • Canada and United Kingdom- 2.7%

1.2 Global Patterns of Energy Consumptions

  • A good way to compare energy consumption between countries of different sizes is to compare the energy per person on average. This is called per capita energy use.

  • The United States is one of the worlds leaders in energy consumption per capita (on average, each person uses 280 million BTU’s of energy each year.)

1.2 Global Patterns of Energy Consumptions

Energy Use in Less-Developed Countries:

  • In less developed countries traditional energy sources far outweigh fossil fuels and electricity.

  • Energy use is growing much more rapidly in developing countries than in the developed ones.


5.1 Reducing your Energy Use

  • If people use energy more efficiently and waste less, they can get the same benefits that energy provides with less of it.

  • Why conserve energy?

  • Make limited amounts of burning fossil fuels last longer.

  • Reduce global warming.

  • Reduce acid rain and urban smog.

  • Less incentive to drill for oil or mine coal.

  • Finally, to save money.

5.1 Reducing your Energy Use

Use Appliances and Lights Efficiently:

  • Appliances are one of the major uses of energy at your house, consume about half of the electricity.

  • To reduce the energy usage just simply turn off appliances when not using them except for computers because it could damage the hard disc.

  • Always turn off lights when leaving a room because they waste energy when on.

  • You can try using a lower wattage incandescent bulb or fluorescent bulbs.

5.1 Reducing your Energy Use

Kitchen Appliances:

  • Water will boil more quickly when you leave the cover on. This also saves more energy because the heat cannot escape and waste the energy. You should also leave the oven closed when not in use.

  • Some other tips to save energy are:

  • Defrost frozen foods before putting in the oven

  • Turn off he\at during the drying cycle in a dishwasher

5.1 Reducing your Energy Use

Estimating appliance energy use:

  • If you are not sure how much energy an appliance uses you can estimate it form the nameplate.

  • You will usually see that is runs at 120 volts at 60 hertz.

  • Then you will see the word “amperes” or “watts” amperes are the units of current or flow of electricity volts are units of pressure.

  • Multiply volts by amperes to get the wattage rating of the appliance.

5.1 Reducing your Energy Use

  • Shopping tips:

  • Look for a bright yellow Energy Guide label for more energy conservative appliances.

  • Compare appliance of the same size, so the new one fits.

  • Find an appliance in your price range.


5.2 What Communities can do to Conserve Energy

  • Collectively people can have a big influence on the energy needs of the entire country.

  • Transportation:

  • Carpool! This means less cars on the road and less gas in the air.

  • Use electrical cars, they are less expensive and eco-friendly.

  • Buildings:

  • Replace lights with fluorescent bulbs.

  • If possible reduce use of heating and air conditioning.

5.2 What Communities can do to Conserve Energy

  • Waste and energy:

  • Dispose of solid waste. Use a waste-to-energy plant which burns trash as fuel to boil water. The resulting steam is used to generate electricity.

  • Recycle! Requires much less energy to clean and reuse a glass bottle than to make a new one. Recycling is very beneficial in conserving energy.



  • Fossil Fuels- Made from remains of long dead plants and animals that died and were buried in such a way that they were not exposed to oxygen which preserved them. They are a non-renewable energy source

  • Non- Renewable Energy Source- Cannot be used again

  • Renewable- Can be used again such as hydro-electric power

  • First and Second laws of Thermodynamics- Two famous laws. The first law states that Energy cannot be destroyed or created. The second law states that whenever energy is converted from one form to another, some energy is lost as heat

  • British Thermal Unit- (BTU) The heat content of different fuels


  • Kilowatt-Hours- the amount of electricity consumption

  • Per Capita- A way of seeing how much energy is used per person in a country

  • Power- the rate of energy use

  • Single Glazed- a single window pane

  • Heat Island- waves of heat shimmer off a blacktop, being one reason why cities are usually warmer than their neighboring countryside’s

  • Evapotranspiration- When water evaporates through trees leaves

  • Deciduous- Kind of tree that loses their leaves in the winter

  • Waste to energy- a new incinerator that burns trash as fuel to boil water

  • Recycling- to reuse materials and turn them into something else


  • 1. How does electricity get from the power plant to the customer?

  • Answer:

    • Electricity is made at a power plant by huge generators. Most power plants use coal, but some use natural gas, water or even wind.

    • The current is sent through transformers to increase the voltage to push the power long distances.

    • The electrical charge goes through high-voltage transmission lines that stretch across the country.

    • It reaches a substation, where the voltage is lowered so it can be sent on smaller power lines.

    • It travels through distribution lines to your neighborhood, where smaller pole-top transformers reduce the voltage again to take the power safe to use in our homes.


  • It connects to your house through the service drop and passes through a meter that measures how much our family uses.

  • The electricity goes to the service panel in your basement or garage, where breakers or fuses protect the wires inside your house from being overloade

  • The electricity travels through wires inside the walls to the outlets and switches all over your house.


  • 2.) Circuit breakers, fuses, surge protectors

    • Circuit breakers: Whenever electrical wiring in a building has too muchcurrentflowing through it, it trips like a switch and opens the circuit when overloaded. Without circuit breakers household electricity would be impractical because of the potential for fires and other mayhem resulting from simple wiring problems and equipment failures.

    • Fuses: A safety device consisting of a thin strip of metal that melts and breaks an electric circuit if the current exceeds a safe level. They only work once.

    • Surge protectors: Most designs serve one immediately obvious function -- they let you plug multiple components into one power outlet. They also protect the electronics in your computer from surges in power.



  • 3.) Solar flare effect on electricity transmission.

    • A solar flare is a huge explosion that occurs on the surface of the sun. These explosions emit large amounts of radioactive material into space that can find its way to Earth. This radioactive material thrown from the sun during a solar flare can interfere with the magnetic fields of Earth, according to NASA.


  • 4.) Electric Meters

    •  Electric meter :a meter for measuring the amount of electric power used.

    • Units: watts


  • Cost of electrictyonce it leaves power plant:

    • Electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours and the average cost per kilowatt- hour is 12 cents.

    • The average cost for a residential house per month is $95.66.

    • wattage   x   hours used  ÷  1000  x  price per kWh  =   cost of electricity is a formula for finding the cost of a running appliance.


  • Series vs. parallel circuits:

    • A circuit composed solely of components connected in series is known as a series circuit; likewise, one connected completely in parallel is known as aparallel circuit.

    • In a series circuit, every device must function for the circuit to be complete. One bulb burning out in a series circuit breaks the circuit. In parallel circuits, each light has its own circuit, so all but one light could be burned out, and the last one will still function.

    • As an example, consider a very simple circuit consisting of four light bulbs and one battery. If a wire joins the battery to one bulb, to the next bulb, to the next bulb, to the next bulb, then back to the battery, in one continuous loop, the bulbs are said to be in series.

    • If each bulb is wired to the battery in a separate loop, the bulbs are said to be in parallel.



  • Alternating current vs direct current

    • Electricity flows in two ways; either in alternating current (AC) or in direct current (DC). Electricity or 'current' is nothing more than moving electrons along a conductor, like a wire, that have been harnessed for energy. Therefore, the difference between AC and DC has to do with the direction in which the electrons flow. In DC, the electrons flow steadily in a single direction, or forward. In AC, electrons keep switching directions, sometimes going forwards and then going backwards.


  • Batteries:

    • A container consisting of one or more cells carrying an electric charge and used as a source of power.

    • a device that produces electricity from a chemical reaction. 

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