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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

An easier way to think of electric current is to picture cars going


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:

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
magnetic field.

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
electricity generation
Is where does the
Motion come from
that keeps the
copper wire and
magnets moving
relative to one
another.
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!

- 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.

Where does the motion needed to keep the copper wire moving relative
to the magnetic field come from?
-attains between 50 70% efficiency
- one windmills average energy
output ranges from 11.4 W/m^2
57 W/m^2 depending on how windy
-wind farms tend to generate between
50 and 600 Kw
- California currently produces
of all the wind generated electricity
in the world.

Wind generated
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

-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

- Hydroelectricity has dropped from producing 30 % to 10% of US electricity


- Large fluctuations in output are mainly due to variable rainfall totals

-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
Nuclear Power
-Plant electrical output 1220 MW
-Plant efficiency 34%
Diablo Canyon - California

-In normal operations a nuclear reactor produces some environmental


emissions. E.g.: escape of radioactive fission products through cracks and
diffusion, radioactive H3 in small amounts in discharged water
-Core meltdown are possible, but unlikely due to negative feedback and
shutdown systems
-Even after shutdown there is 7% of normal power generation still in the
reactor fuel rods. This may be sufficient enough to melt core and destroy
the reactor, if cooling water is not supplied
-A study entitled Severe Accident Risks: An Assessment for Five US
Nuclear Power Plants conducted by NRC in 1990, shows that for all the
109 reactors now operating in the United States over a 30 year lifetime
there is about a 1% chance of a large release due to internal events.

-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

Proportion of Worlds energy


consumption - 1997

Proportion of the worlds


Electricity generation - 1997