Electricity. Generation. Today we will explore electrical energy, better known as electricity. So What Exactly Is Electricity?. Electricity by definition is electric current that is used as a power source!. This electric current is generated in a power plant, and then sent out
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better known as electricity
So What Exactly Is Electricity?
Electricity by definition is electric current that is used as a power source!
This electric current is generated in a power plant, and then sent out
over a power grid to your homes, and ultimately to your power outlets.
What is Electric Current?
The movement of charges such
as electrons is called current, and
this electrical current is what
powers household appliances.
Through A Given Area
Electric Current =
through a Turnpike or Parkway Toll.
The cars could represent
electrons or charge, and the
toll booth could represent the
cross sectional area of the
wire at a certain point.
If you counted the number of cars or electrons, that passed through
the toll booth or a certain cross sectional area of the wire, and divided
that number by the time it took for those cars or charges to pass,
you would get the current!
Electric current generation - whether from fossil fuels, nuclear, renewable fuels, or other sources is usually
based on the:
What does copper wire and magnets have to do with Electricity?
In September of 1831, Michael Faraday
made the discovery of Electromagnetic Induction.
Faraday attached two wires to a disc and
rotated the disc between the opposing
poles of a horseshoe magnet creating
an electric current.
If you place a magnet and a conductor (copper wire), in a room together
there will be no electric current generated.
This is because motion, from our equation for electricity, is missing!
An electric current is not generated unless the magnetic field is moving
relative to the copper wire, or the copper wire is moving relative to the
So simple electric generators found in power plants contain, magnets
and copper wire that when put into motion relative to one another
create the electric current that is sent out to homes.
The major problem in
Is where does the
Motion come from
that keeps the
copper wire and
relative to one
In this case, wind power applies a force to the blades that turns them.
The spinning blades, spin an armature that turns the copper wire
relative to the magnetic field. As long as the blades spin, electricity
will be generated!
At home, electric current
that was generated by
generators in the power
plant is used to power
The electric current,
running through the
copper wire causes
the armature to spin
which is how most
Where does the motion needed to keep the copper wire moving relative
to the magnetic field come from?
- California currently produces ¾
of all the wind generated electricity
in the world.
Kilronan Wind Farm In Ireland
-North Dakota with 20 times the wind potential of California has not
erected a single wind turbine
Wind power classes 3 (300-400 W/m2) to 7 (800-2000 W/m2) are suitable
for wind power development
- Basic energy Storage
- Differences in pressure gradients around wind turbines affect birds
-Hydroelectric projects in the United
States have rated capacities from
950 – 6480 MW
Water generated - Hydroelectric
Shasta Dam In California
- Hydroelectricity has dropped from producing 30 % to 10% of US electricity
- Large fluctuations in output are mainly due to variable rainfall totals
- Possibility of dam failure
Pasadena - Texas
Standard Large Power Plants Provide 1 Giga-watt of electric power
and releases 2 Giga-watts of thermal power as waste heat. An
efficiency averaging around 30%.
Oil Drilling Platform
Cook Inlet, Alaska
-Produce 22% of nation’s electricity
- In France 79% of electricity comes from nuclear reactors
Diablo Canyon - California
-Biomass Energy: Municipal Solid Waste – burning wastes to drive heat
consumption - 1997
Proportion of the world’s
Electricity generation - 1997