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NUE 052 - Power, Energy & Efficiency

Electrical Energy and Work
Electricity is produced by converting other forms of energy like heat or light. The supply company then distributes this energy to consumers over high voltage overhead wires. When close to the consumer the energy is changed to the low voltage supply available at a standard electrical socket. A unit of energy is known a joule. Energy is the ability to do work. It can be said that when energy is transformed from one form to another, work is done.
Power is the rate that energy is used or work is done. The unit of power is the watt with a symbol of the letter W. The watt is named after James Watt the English inventor who was responsible for the term 'horsepower'. One horsepower is equal to 746 watts.
All systems have losses which is power used in excess to the requirements of the load. These losses can be mechanical and/or electrical. Efficiency is expressed as a percentage of the ratio of power output to power input. The symbol is n (pronounced 'eta') expressed in a number followed by the percent symbol; e.g., efficiency = 89%
 Work  is done when energy is converted from one form to another, e.g. from sunlight to voltage
 Power  is the rate of doing work
 Energy  is the ability to do work
Torque is the term used for for the effect of a force producing rotation about a a point. Torque can only be present when there is rotation. The ability of an electric motor to turn a shaft is measured in torque.
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