Monthly Archives: February 2014

Power & Energy

Almost everything that happens on our planet requires energy of some kind.  Plants need energy to grow, automobiles need energy to power the engines, and people need energy to live and make things.  Energy comes in many forms, such as heat, light, or motion.That power that reaches our planet from the sun every second of every day is roughly the same as the energy in the oil carried by six gigantic tanker ships.  In fact, a square of Earth’s surface a little bigger than a person’s 2 feet receives roughly the same amount of light and heat from the sun as a table lamp would provide.  If you can imagine Earth’s surface being covered in table lamps, you will soon have some idea of just how much energy the sun sends in our direction.

In everyday life, people think of energy is something that gives them the get up and go to do things like going to school or going to work.  Energy is much the same in science.  To a scientist, energy is the ability to do work.  Work means exerting force on an object over a distance.  Forces push or pull on an object that cause it to move or changes direction.  One force that is acting all the time is gravity.  This is the force of earth pulling you and everything else toward.  The force of gravity acting on object is called its weight.  To lift anything, you have two apply force that is greater than its weight, and this requires giving it more energy.  By doing work, such as pushing an object, you are adding energy to the object.  This energy may come from your muscles or from an engine, and the more work you do, the more energy is required.  Energy is never lost or used up as and when the work is done.  Instead, it is converted into another form.  If you push the car up a hill and then let it go, it would roll back down to the bottom again.  As you push the car up the hill, it stores some of the energy.  This energy is called potential energy, since it gives the car the potential to do work in future, such as roll down the hill.

It is impossible to make energy out of thin air, water, make it disappear completely.  All we can do is change from one form into another.  This idea is called the conservation of energy.One of the problem is with energy is that it is not always there when you need it.  In the modern world, people do not want to go out and gather firewood every time they need to cook a meal, although this is how many people in developing countries still live their lives.  People also do not want to have to burn candles to light their homes.  Instead they want to simply turn on the stove and the electric lights and get their energy delivered right away.  Electricity is the most versatile energy of all, because it can be stored, transmitted from place to place, and turned into just about any other kind of energy by a wide range of which were prices.  Electricity gives us flexibility in how we use energy.  No one ever invented electricity, it was always there.  But the inventors who harnessed its power have revolutionised the modern world by making it possible for us to use energy whenever and wherever we need it.

 The dawn of the electric age

American statesman and philosopher Benjamin Franklin championed and idea: there was one kind of electricity and that charged objects to either have too much of it or a lack of it.  This was partly correct.  Matter is made of both positively and negatively charged particles, but in most cases it is only the negative electrons.  The move.  Therefore, a positively charged object has a lack of electrons, and a negatively charged one has too many of them.

Ballarat electrician deal with current electricity all the time.  Current electricity is electricity that is allowed to move from one place to another.  It is a flow of electricity along a path known as an electrical circuit.  For example, when you put a battery in a flashlight, you complete a circuit.  This allows a current of electricity to flow around an unbroken loop from the battery into the lamp and back.

Generating electric power is not simply a matter of converting energy from fuels such as coal into electricity.  It also involves getting electricity from the power plant to the factories, offices, and homes that need it.  Nuclear power was utilised in the 1940s when American scientists nuclear reactions in the remote parts of Washington in South Carolina.  Nuclear reactions were controlled inside the reactor is to reduce plutonium.  They also produced heat that, at first was simply wasted.  Eventually, scientist realised they could use this heat to generate electricity.

Solar power

Nearly all the energy comes from the sun.  Even fuels like coal and oil store energy that originally arrived to sunlight.  Solar power involves making energy directly from sunlight in one of three ways.  Buildings can be designed with large areas of glass, so they heat up naturally in daytime; this is known as passive solar energy.  Another design known as active solar, large black solar panels can be fastened to the roof of any existing building.  Water is pumped constantly through the panels from a tank.  This water is heated up by the sunlight as it moves through.  This type solar power reduces the cost of running a normal hot water system.  A third type of solar energy is called solar electric.  This uses a different type of solar panel made from photovoltaic cells.  These cells are made from materials that convert light into electricity.  Solar cells of this kind were first built by Charles Fritz in 1899.

In the future it will be important to get our power from many different sources.  Each home may have its own micro power plant or receive electricity from several sources.