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AQA GCSE 1a-4 Generating Electricity. AQA GCSE Physics pages 62 to 73 AQA GCSE Science pages 266 to 277. April 10 th 2010. AQA GCSE Specification. ENERGY RESOURCES & THE GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY 11.4 How should we generate the electricity we need?

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aqa gcse 1a 4 generating electricity

AQA GCSE 1a-4Generating Electricity

AQA GCSE Physics pages 62 to 73

AQA GCSE Science pages 266 to 277

April 10th 2010

aqa gcse specification
AQA GCSE Specification

ENERGY RESOURCES & THE GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY

11.4 How should we generate the electricity we need?

Using skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works:

• to compare and contrast the particular advantages and disadvantages of using different energy sources to generate electricity.

Skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works set in the context of:

• In most power stations an energy source is used to heat water. The steam produced drives a turbine which is coupled to an electrical generator.

• Common energy sources include coal, oil and gas, which are burned to produce heat and uranium/plutonium, in which nuclear fission produces heat.

• Energy from renewable energy sources can be used to drive turbines directly.

• Renewable energy sources used in this way include wind, the rise and fall of water due to waves and tides, and the falling of water in hydroelectric schemes.

• Electricity can be produced directly from the Sun’s radiation using solar cells.

• In some volcanic areas hot water and steam rise to the surface. The steam can be tapped and used to drive turbines. This is known as geothermal energy.

• Using different energy resources has different effects on the environment. These effects include the release of substances into the atmosphere, noise and visual pollution, and the destruction of wildlife habitats.

• The advantages and disadvantages of using fossil fuels, nuclear fuels and renewable energy sources to generate electricity. These include the cost of building power stations, the start-up time of power stations, the reliability of the energy source, the relative cost of energy generated and the location in which the energy is needed.

thermal power stations
Thermal power stations

A thermal power station generates electricity by using the heat produced by the burning a fossil fuel such as coal, gas, oil or by the fission of uranium.

Over 90% of our electricity is produced by these type of power stations.

thermal power station block diagram

BOILER

TURBINES

GENERATOR

Thermal power station block diagram

BOILER

Fuel is burnt to turn water into high pressure steam.

TURBINE

High pressure steam turns a turbine (like a windmill)

GENERATOR

The turbine rotates the coils of a generator to produce electricity.

comparison of uranium and fossil fuels
Comparison of uranium and fossil fuels

Energy released per kg of fuel

1 000 000 kWh

100 kWh

radioactive waste that needs to be stored for many years

non-radioactive waste

Waste

Greenhouse gases

Yes, mostly carbon dioxide

None

slide8

Choose appropriate words to fill in the gaps below:

Most of our electricity is produced by __________ power stations. These use the _______ produced by burning _____ or the fission of __________ to generate electricity.

The heat produced is used to change ________ into high pressure steam. This steam is used to turn a _________ which in turn _________ an electrical generator.

Over _______ of our electricity is generated by using thermal power stations.

thermal

fuels

heat

uranium

water

turbine

rotates

90%

WORD SELECTION:

rotates

fuels

heat

90%

uranium

turbine

water

thermal

simulations
Power Station Animation - eChalk

Generator- Fendt

Nuclear Fission - Powerpoint presentation by Richard Miller of 5SJW (2005)

Nuclear Fission - Powerpoint presentation that includes a link to the 'mousetrap' demonstration

Nuclear Physics - PhET - Start a chain reaction, or introduce non-radioactive isotopes to prevent one. Watch alpha particles escape from a Polonium nucleus, causing radioactive alpha decay. Control energy production in a nuclear reactor!

Chain reaction demonstration using mousetraps - University of Michigan

BBC Bitesize Revision:

Introduction Page on AQA Generating Electricity

Test Bite on Generating Electricity

BBC Bitesize Revision:

Fossil Fuels

Nuclear Fuels

Comparing Sources - includes short and long term costs

Test Bite on Generating Electricity

Simulations
fuel for electricity notes questions from pages 62 266 63 267
Fuel for electricityNotes questions from pages 62/266 & 63/267
  • Copy figure 1 on page 62/266.
  • Explain the differences between coal and gas fired power stations.
  • Copy and answer questions (a) and (b) on page 62/266.
  • Copy figure 4 on page 63/267.
  • What is ‘nuclear fission’?
  • Explain how a nuclear power station produces electricity.
  • Copy the table on page 63/267.
  • Copy the Key Points on page 63/267.
  • Answer the summary questions on page 63/267.
fuel for electricity answers
In text questions:

It goes into the cooling tower, where it condenses into water.

It is carried away by the hot water from the cooling tower escaping into the air.

Summary questions:

1. (a) uranium (b) gas (c) oil, uranium

2. (a) (i) Advantage of oil-fired station: no radioactive waste; disadvantage: produces greenhouse gases.

(ii) Advantage of gas-fired station: can be started quicker; disadvantage: gas supplies will run out before coal supplies.

(b) 10 000 kg

(c) Balanced arguments for and against required.

Fuel for electricityANSWERS
renewable energy sources
Renewable energy sources

A renewable energy resource is one that will not run out.

Renewable energy sources do not produce radioactive waste, greenhouse gases or acid rain.

Examples include wind, hydroelectric, wave, tidal, solar and geothermal.

Fossil fuels such as coal. gas and oil as well as uranium are non-renewable energy sources.

wind power

A wind farm

Wind power

Wind is used to drive a turbine directly which rotates an electrical generator.

wind power versus thermal power stations
ADVANTAGES

Renewable energy source

No greenhouse gases

No acid rain

No radioactive waste

Inexpensive to build

Short start up time

DISADVANTAGES

Unreliable – needs wind!

Best used in places where they will often be regarded as unsightly

Many turbines are needed to produce the same energy of a small thermal power station

Noise

Danger to wildlife

Wind power versus thermal power stations
wave power
Wave power

Waves can be used to drive an electrical generator.

wave power versus thermal power stations
ADVANTAGES

Renewable

No greenhouse gases

No acid rain

No radioactive waste

No land needed

Short start up time

DISADVANTAGES

Unreliable

Can only be used in areas with suitable waves

Prone to storm damage

Many needed to produce the same energy of a small thermal power station

Danger to shipping

Wave power versus thermal power stations
hydroelectric power

The Hoover Dam near Las Vegas

Hydroelectric power

Falling water is used to drive a turbine directly which rotates an electrical generator.

hydroelectric power versus thermal power stations
ADVANTAGES

Renewable

Can produce as much energy as a thermal power station

No greenhouse gases

No acid rain

No radioactive waste

Short start up time

DISADVANTAGES

Can only be used in mountainous areas

A large amount of land needs to be flooded

Expensive to build

Hydroelectric power versus thermal power stations
tidal power

Tidal power station at La Rance, Brittany

Proposed Severn Estuary Tidal Power Scheme

Tidal power

Moving water caused by the tides is used to drive a turbine directly which rotates an electrical generator.

tidal power versus thermal power stations
ADVANTAGES

Renewable

No greenhouse gases

No acid rain

No radioactive waste

Short start up time

DISADVANTAGES

Very limited locations

Wildlife affected

Expensive to build

Tidal power versus thermal power stations
simulations1
Wind Energy

Wave, Tidal & HEP

Simulations
energy from wind and water notes questions from pages 64 268 65 269
Energy from wind and waterNotes questions from pages 64/268 & 65/269
  • Describe a wind turbine.
  • Copy and answer question (a) on page 64/268.
  • Copy figure 2 on page 64/268 and describe how waves can generate electricity.
  • Copy and answer question (b) on page 64/268.
  • What is (a) ‘hydroelectric power’ and (b) ‘tidal power’?
  • Copy and answer questions (c) and (d) on page 65/269.
  • Copy the Key Points on page 65/269.
  • Answer the summary questions on page 65/269.
energy from wind and water answers
In text questions:

No electricity is generated

Too much electricity would be needed to pump the water ‘uphill’.

From the gravitational potential energy of water in the reservoirs.

The tides are very predictable whereas the wind isn’t.

Summary questions:

(a) wind

(b) tidal

(c) hydroelectric

(d) wave

2. (a) (i) 1000 (ii) 25 km

(b) From top to bottom: hilly or coastal areas, estuaries, coastline, mountain areas.

(c) Check reasons given.

Energy from wind and water ANSWERS
solar power cells
Solar power (cells)

Electricity can be produced directly from the Sun’s radiation using solar cells.

solar power panels
Solar power (panels)

Solar panels are used to heat water saving electricity or gas use.

solar power versus thermal power stations
ADVANTAGES

Renewable

No greenhouse gases

No acid rain

No radioactive waste

Short start up time

DISADVANTAGES

Unreliable in the UK! – sunshine is needed for solar cells

Can only be used during the day

Only 10% of solar energy is converted into electricity by solar cells

Many cells needed to produce the same energy of a small thermal power station

Solar power versus thermal power stations
geothermal energy
Geothermal energy

In some volcanic areas hot water and steam rise to the surface. The steam can be tapped and used to drive turbines. This is known as geothermal energy.

geothermal versus thermal power stations
ADVANTAGES

Renewable

No greenhouse gases

No acid rain

No radioactive waste

Short start up time

DISADVANTAGES

Very limited locations

Expensive to build

Geothermal versus thermal power stations
power from the sun and the earth notes questions from pages 66 270 67 271
Power from the Sun and the EarthNotes questions from pages 66/270 & 67/271
  • What is solar power?
  • Describe how (a) solar cells and (b) solar heating panels make use of solar power.
  • Copy and answer questions (a) and (b) on page 66/270.
  • What is ‘geothermal energy’?
  • Explain how geothermal energy can be used to generate electricity.
  • Copy and answer question (c) on page 67/271.
  • Copy the Key Points on page 67/271.
  • Answer the summary questions on page 67/271.
power from the sun and the earth answers
In text questions:

Solar cell

The motor stops

The energy is from radioactive substances inside the Earth.

Summary questions:

(a) solar energy

(b) radioactivity, geothermal energy

(c) radiation

2. (a) 1500

(b) To supply electricity when the solar panels are in darkness

Advantages of solar energy: widely available, simple set up – domestic use possible.

Disadvantages: Not continuously available (eg not at night!), smaller scale electricity generation

Power from the Sun and the Earth ANSWERS
electricity generation pie chart
Electricity generation pie-chart

Most of our electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels (74% according to the pie chart opposite)

Nearly 20% is nuclear

Less than 5% is currently generated using renewable sources.

problems with fossil fuels

An effect of acid rain

Problems with fossil fuels

Burning coal, gas and oil produces carbon dioxide. This is a greenhouse gas which causes global warming.

Fossil fuel burning can also produce sulfur dioxide gas. This can dissolve in water and produce acid rain which causes damage to forests and buildings. Modern power stations remove most sulfur dioxide producing compounds before burning.

Fossil fuels are not renewable. They are running out. Estimates vary between 50 to 200 years to when we will need to find alternative sources of energy.

problems with nuclear power stations

The destroyed Chernobyl nuclear reactor

Problems with nuclear power stations

Nuclear fuel (uranium) does not produce greenhouse gases and it generates 10000 times more energy per kilogram than fossil fuels.

However:

Nuclear waste is radioactive and may have to be stored safely for thousands of years.

Although safe in normal operation, accidents can release radioactive material over a large area. The area around Chernobyl in Ukraine has been closed off since 1986.

slide36

Choose appropriate words to fill in the gaps below:

Renewable energy sources will not _____ out and they do not cause __________ gases, acid rain or radioactive waste.

However, most of our ___________ is produced using non-renewable sources such as ______ fuels (coal, gas and oil) and _________. These are highly concentrated and ________ energy sources.

In the near future we hope to use more renewable sources such as wind, wave and _______ power. This will help us to conserve the remaining _______________ energy sources.

run

greenhouse

electricity

fossil

uranium

reliable

tidal

non-renewable

WORD SELECTION:

fossil

non-renewable

electricity

uranium

greenhouse

tidal

reliable

run

energy and the environment notes questions from pages 68 272 69 273
Energy and the environmentNotes questions from pages 68/272 & 69/273
  • Copy the pie chart on page 68/272.
  • What are the problems of using fossil fuels?
  • Copy and answer question (a) on page 68/272.
  • Why are fossil fuels used?
  • List the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power compared with renewable sources.
  • Copy and answer question (b) on page 69/273.
  • List the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable energy sources.
  • Copy and answer question (c) on page 69/273.
  • Copy the Key Points on page 69/273.
  • Answer summary questions 1 and 2 on page 69/273.
energy and the environment answers
In text questions:

(i) carbon dioxide (ii) sulfur dioxide

It turns into radioactive waste when it is used.

They affect birds and can upset humans.

Summary questions:

(a) fossil fuels

(b) acid rain, greenhouse gas.

(c) radioactive waste, plant and animal life.

(i) A (ii) D

(iii) C (iv) B

Energy and the environment ANSWERS
big energy issues notes questions from pages 70 274 71 275
Big energy issuesNotes questions from pages 70/274 & 71/275
  • Answer questions 1 and 2 on pages 70/274 and 71/275.
big energy issues answers
Big energy issuesANSWERS
  • (a) Not enough electricity would be generated at night if there were no wind or waves.

(b) More pumped storage schemes would be needed to store electricity when it is not needed.

2. Fusion relies on fusing together ‘heavy hydrogen’ (deuterium) atoms. There is an almost unlimited supply of this in seawater and so we could produce electricity for thousands of years.

how science works answers
Tamara could have used a piece of card and placed it over different parts of the solar cell. All other variables would have been kept the same. Each time she would record the voltage. Each time the voltage would remain the same.

Results show that covering more of the solar cell reduces the voltage.

Tamara’s independent variable was an ordered variable and so was not as powerful as a continuous variable.

To improve her independent variable, Tamara should have measured the area of the solar cell covered, this would have been a continuous variable. This would have allowed Tamara to produce a graph and her conclusion would have been more powerful.

The readings were only to 0.1 volts and this did not produce a difference between some of the readings for different exposures. The voltmeter was not sensitive enough.

Farzana probably suggested a digital voltmeter that read to 0.01 volts.

Yes, even when the solar cell is completely covered there is a reading of 0.1 volts.

She could start again! Realistically she should take 0.1 volts off each of the readings.

How Science WorksANSWERS