Physics 1b - Energy Sources & Power Stations

These revision cards cover the topic of Energy Sources, Power Stations and their effects on the environment - Part 1 out of these cards


Non-Renewable Energy Resources

Three Fossil Fuels and a Nuclear!

  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Natural Gas
  • Nuclear

Non-Renewable Resources will all run out one day.

They all do damage to the environment. ie, air pollution

However they provide  most of our energy.

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Renewable Resources

The Renewable 8

  • Wind                  
  • Waves
  • Tides
  • Hydroelectric
  • Solar
  • Geothermal
  • Biofuels

They will never run out

They do cause damage to the environment but not as much as Non-Renewable resources do.

A problem is with Renewable resources is that they tend to be unreliable as some of them rely on the weather and they do not produce as much enegry

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How Electricity Is Generated - Fossil Fuels

Generating Electricity in Power Stations

1) The fossil fuel is burned in a furnace to convert its stored chemical energy into heat energy.

2) The thermal energy heats up water in the boiler to produce steam.

3) The steam turns a turbine converting thermal energy into kinetic energy.

4)The turbine is connected to a generator, which transfers kinetic energy into electrical energy.

5) The water is cooled in a cooling tower before being sent back to the furnace

Note: In some parts of the UK biofuels are burned together with fossil fuels.

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How Electricity is Generated - Nuclear

Nuclear Reactors

1) Nuclear power stations work in the same way as a (fossil fuel)  normal power station.

2) The difference is in the furnace: Nuclear fission with Uranium or Platonium is used to produce the heat that makes the steam (which drives the turbine).

3) Nuclear power stations take the longest to set up out of all of the power stations.

4) Natural gas power stations take the shortest time out of the fossil fuel power stations.

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