Meaning of Electrical Energy

What is electrical energy:

Electrical energy is a type of energy that is generated by the attraction and repulsion between electrical charges. It has the ability to transform into other types of energy, such as light energy, thermal energy or mechanical energy.

As examples of electrical energy we can mention the following: alternating current, direct current, batteries (which transform chemical energy into electricity) and the transmission of nerve impulses through the axons of neurons.

There are two types of electricity: static electricity and current electricity. Let’s see what each of them consist of.

Types of electrical energy

Static electricity

static energy

Static electricity is one that is produced by the friction of two bodies that have the ability to become electrically charged. During friction, one of the bodies is likely to lose some electrons and the other to gain them, which produces an excess charge. This accumulation of charge is called static electricity, and is characterized by being temporary.

For example, static electricity is produced when we rub a balloon with our hair. After constant rubbing, the hair will tend to stick to the balloon.

Static electricity is often used, for example, in xerography, a type of dry printing technique. It is also useful in agriculture for pest control. It is also used in disinfection processes with electrostatic sprayers, in medical devices, in powder paints, etc.

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running electricity

Electric power

Current electricity is the one commonly used in homes. Current electricity is produced as a consequence of the movement of charges, that is, by the flow of charges resulting from the free movement of electrons through an appropriate conductor. The materials that best conduct current electrical energy are the metals copper, silver and aluminum.

electrical power sources

Electrical energy is obtained from nature in various ways. We can list the following:

  • Thermoelectric plants: are the ones they use fossil fuels as a source of energy. They are highly polluting due to the emission of toxic gases.
  • nuclear power plants: energy is obtained through a nuclear reaction specific. Its residues are toxic. Eventual accidents would cause nuclear radiation that is extremely harmful to health.
  • Hydroelectric plants: are those that take advantage of the movement of the Water to create energy.
  • Solar power plants: get energy from sunlight through panels that contain a liquid that conducts heat.
  • Wind power plants: obtain energy from the force of the wind through a system of propellers.
  • Geothermal power plants: get energy from Earth crust where heat is stored

See also Fossil fuel.

Environmental impact of electrical energy

In any of the cases, the indiscriminate consumption of electrical energy by the end user has an environmental impact that should not be underestimated. It adds, therefore, to some of the causes of global warming.

The electrical energy obtained by solar, wind and hydroelectric plants have in their favor the fact that they take advantage of renewable energies, such as sunlight, the force of the wind or the movement of water, respectively. In this sense, they are said to be a source of sustainable energy.

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However, although they are less polluting than other types of plants such as nuclear or thermoelectric plants, their installation and the process of obtaining them always generate an impact on the ecosystem.

See also:

  • Energy.
  • renewable resources.
  • Global warming.