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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.

The movement of charges such as electrons is called current, and this electrical current is what powers household appliances. Charge Passing Through A Given Area Electric Current = ------------------------------Time

Electric current generation - whether from fossil fuels, nuclear, renewable fuels, or other sources is usually based on the:

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.

- AC of 60 Hz produced by generator - Resistance losses are smallest at high voltages and low currents

At home, electric current that was generated by generators in the power plant is used to power electric appliances. The electric current, running through the copper wire causes the armature to spin which is how most motors generate motion.

-Wind variability must be overcome by system design - Basic energy Storage

- Differences in pressure gradients around wind turbines affect birds

-Noise from the turbines affects people and animals


-Eyesore, the appearance of mile after mile of wind machines with transmission lines is of concern to the public

-Conversion from potential energy of water to electric energy is at 80 90% efficiency -Hydroelectric projects in the United States have rated capacities from 950 6480 MW -The use of Water Power is much greater in some other countries. Norway obtains 99% of its electricity from water power. Nepal, Brazil, and New Zealand are close seconds.

Water generated - Hydroelectric Shasta Dam In California

-About 50% of the United States potential for hydroelectric energy has been tapped. However, further advances are unlikely. -The Wild and Scenic River Act and the Endangered Species Act have inhibited development of some sites

-Silt collection in hydroelectric Dam storage volumes over time causes maintenance issues, as well as environmental concerns
-The loss of free flowing streams and land due to flooding behind the dam disturbs the life of species: eg Salmon - Possibility of dam failure

Fossil Fuels Oil Refinery 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%. -9000 tons of coal a day -40,000 barrels a day or one tanker a week of oil -generates about 5.3 x 10^9 kwh/year -powers a city of a million people

-total world production in 1996 of petroleum is 62,239e3 barrels / day

-an average well in the US produces only 11 barrels / day -In Saudi Arabia an average well produces 9600 barrels /day Oil Drilling Platform Cook Inlet, Alaska

-There are 109 power reactors in the United States -Produce 22% of nations electricity - In France 79% of electricity comes from nuclear reactors

-Plant electrical output 1220 MW -Plant efficiency 34%

Nuclear Power Diablo Canyon - California

-Solar Power uses the sun energy to either boil water or directly converts solar energy to electrical energy

-Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion uses temperature differences between different depths of ocean water to drive a heat engine. Working fluid is ammonia which is gas at room temperature.
-Biomass Energy: Municipal Solid Waste burning wastes to drive heat engines -Geothermal Energy based on naturally occurring heat in the Earth in the Earth due to radioactive decay -Tidal Energy uses the gravitational pull of the moon on our oceans to drive turbines