Physics (P1) - Generating Electricity

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  • Created by: Roma
  • Created on: 12-12-13 21:48
How do most power stations work?
Water is heated to produce steam. The stream drives a turbine, which is coupled to an electrical generator that produces electricity.
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What are three fossil fuels and where can you obtain?
Coal, oil, gas. Obtained from long dead biological material.
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How do gas fired power stations work?
Hot gases drive the turbine directly. These can be switched on quickly.
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What is a biofuel?
Any fuel obtained from a living or recently living organism, which can be used in small scale gas fired power stations. They are renewable.
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How do nuclear power stations work?
Uranium nuclei atoms (there are lots of them) undergo nuclear fission which releases a lot of energy. This energy is then used to heat water, turning it into steam.
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What is wind energy?
The wind passing over turbine blades, makes them rotate and drive a generator at the top of a tower.
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What is hydroelectric power?
Water is collected from a reservoir and allowed to flow downhill and turn turbines at the bottom. In a pumped storage system, surplus energy is used at times of low demand and is pumped back to the reservoir where it can be stored.
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What is wave power?
The movement of waves drives a floating turbine which turn a generator. This is delivered to the grid system on shore by cable.
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What is tidal power?
At high tide, the water can be trapped behind a barrage across a river estuary. As the water is released to fall back to sea level, a turbine is driven.
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What is solar energy?
Energy from the sun which travels directly to Earth as electromagnetic radiation.
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How can solar energy be used?
A solar cell can transfer the Sun's energy into electrical energy . Solar cells can be combined to make a solar panel.
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How is water heated by solar energy?
Water flowing through a solar heating panel is heated directly by energy from the Sun.
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How does a solar power tower work?
Thousands of mirrors reflect sunlight onto a water tank to heat the water and produce steam.
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How is geothermal energy produced?
In volcanic areas, holes are drilled and cold water is pumped to the radioactively heated rocks. The water is heated and comes back to the surface as steam, which drives turbines that turn generator to produce electricity.
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Evaluate coal as an energy resource
Reliable and there are big reserves of it. However, it is non renewable and produces C02 and S02.
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Evaluate oil as an energy resource
It is reliable. However, it is non renewable and produces C02 and S02.
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Evaluate gas as an energy resource
It is reliable. However, it is non renewable and produces C02.
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Evaluate nuclear as an energy resource
It is reliable and non polluting. However, it's non renewable and produces nuclear waste and can pose a small risk of a nuclear accident.
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Evaluate wind as an energy resource
It is renewable, a free energy resources and is non polluting. However, it requires large turbines and is unreliable.
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Evaluate falling water as an energy resource
It is renewable, a free energy resource, and non polluting. However, it only work in wet/hilly areas and damming causes flooding and harms local ecology.
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Evaluate waves as an energy resource
It is reliable,renewable, a free energy resource and is non polluting. However, building barrages could cause damage and only a few river estuaries are suitable.
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Evaluate solar as an energy resource
It is renewable, a free energy resource, and non polluting. However, many solar cells are needed and it is not reliable is cooler countries.
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Evaluate geothermal as an energy resource
It is reliable,renewable, a free energy resource and is non polluting. However, drilling is expensive so is only economically viable in a few countries.
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What is the national grid?
A network of pylons and cables that connect power stations to buildings all over Britain. Power stations can be switched in or out of the grid according to demand.
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How are the cables in the national grid carried?
By overhead pylons in the countryside, and buried underground in towns.
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How and why is the voltage increased?
Voltage is increased by step up transformers before the electricity is transmitted across the national grid. This is because it reduces energy wastage in cables and is more efficient.
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How and why is the voltage decreased.
Step down transformers are used to reduce the voltage for homes and offices as it would be dangerous to supply electricity to consumers at high voltages.
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What is a 'base load'?
A constant amount of electricity provided by nuclear, coal fired, and oil fired power stations.
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How are variable electricity demands met?
Using gas fired power stations, pumped storage system schemes and renewable energy sources.
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How do pumped storage systems work?
When demand is low, energy is stored by pumping water to the top of a reservoir or pumped storage systems.
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Which power stations have the quickest start ups times?
Gas fired power stations have the quickest start up times, and nuclear power stations have the longest.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are three fossil fuels and where can you obtain?

Back

Coal, oil, gas. Obtained from long dead biological material.

Card 3

Front

How do gas fired power stations work?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is a biofuel?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How do nuclear power stations work?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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