Technological systems would not be possible without energy, work, and power. Although it is common to hear these terms used interchangeably in conversation, each is different and crucial to creating, using, or maintaining a technological system.
Most power used today is stored or made available when needed. In the past, power that was created was often used immediately. A windmill might have been used to pump water or irrigate a field. A water wheel’s rotary motion might have been used to ground grains into flour. These systems did not consist of many steps or processes between the energy source and its end use. Today’s society demands that energy be stored and transported reliably and predictably to the end user. When energy and power changes form, some of it is lost along the way to elements like friction and heat. Engineers are being challenged to find creative ways to generate energy and to make systems more efficient.
In this lesson students will learn that as energy and power are converted, losses in the system will occur. Students will understand that such losses affect the overall efficiency of the system.
K1 – Describe the characteristics of various sources of energy. K2 – Know types of nonrenewable, renewable, and inexhaustible energy sources. K3 – Know the equations for work and power. K4 – Know the equation for calculation the efficiency of a system. K5 – Know the equations related to describing the characteristics of simple circuits.
S1 – Calculate work and power. S2 – Correctly use a digital multimeter as a voltmeter, ohmmeter, and ammeter. S3 – Calculate electrical power developed in a circuit. S4 – Calculate mechanical power developed when lifting an object. S5 – Determine efficiency of a system that converts an electrical energy to a mechanical energy. S6 – Calculate circuit resistance, current, and voltage using Ohm’s law, including circuits with elements in series and/or parallel. S7 – Compare and contrast the behavior of electrical circuits with parallel and series circuit designs.
Texas produced 48.6 billion gallons* (1.16 billion barrels) of crude oil in 2014, over 36% of all domestic production. No other state came close.
*This would fill more than 73,000 Olympic swimming pools!
Nonrenewable and Renewable Energy Sources, an Introduction - website (U.S. Energy Information Administration: eia.gov)
Nonrenewable and Renewable Energy Sources, a more detailed look - website (eia.gov)
Top 6 Things You Didn't Know About Solar Energy - website (U.S. Department of Energy: energy.gov)
Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Wind Power - website (energy.gov)
Wind Energy Basics - website (European Wind Energy Association: ewea.org)
Top 6 Things You Didn't Know About Nuclear Power - website (energy.gov)
Geothermal Energy - YouTube video (U.S. Department of Energy)
The Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland - website (Mannvit, plant engineering firm)
Natural Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking") - pdf (energy.gov)