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  Electrical Generation

Energy and Work

Potential & Kinetic Energy

Types of Energy

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Circuits

Electrical Generation

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A turbine turns the gears of the blue generator. Inside, copper coils move electrons along a circuit. The circuit snakes its way from the powerplant to the transmission grid to a substation – all the way down to your home, where it lets you flip a switch to turn on light.

Electricity is the controlled movement of electrons inside a conductor (like a copper wire). This type of electricity is called current electricity. It runs through wires. We can control this movement and use it to power items like our cars, lights, and computers.

The other type of electricity is static electricity. You have seen static electricity when your hair stands up on dry days. Or maybe you've dragged your feet across a carpet and shocked someone. Static electricity is when a pool of electrons is waiting to transfer. When the opportunity presents itself – ZAP! Luckily, we can take most types of energy and turn them into current electricity using a generator.

Generators
Generators use magnetic attraction to move electrons along a circuit (a path). The electrons flow until the attraction is switched off. (Typically we shut things off with buttons or switches.) A generator is basically a magnet that spins. As it spins, the electrons are moved along a wire. The movement of the electrons is the electrical energy we use. When the generator is shut down, the electrons quit moving and the electricity stops flowing.

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