Questions tagged [power]

The time rate of change of energy

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
110
votes
12answers
44k views

Why don't we use weights to store energy?

One of the main reasons why we haven't switched to clean energy is the lack of efficient storage methods - But, why aren't we using dead weights to store energy and draw it back later when needed? As ...
79
votes
6answers
15k views

Why does public mains power use 50-60 Hz and 100-240 V?

Is there a physical reason behind the frequency and voltage in the mains electricity? I do not want to know why exactly a certain value was chosen; I am rather interested to know why that range/order ...
53
votes
9answers
21k views

What practical issues remain for the adoption of Thorium reactors?

From what I've read on thorium reactors, there's enormous benefit to them. Their fuel is abundant enough to power human civilization for centuries, their fission products are relatively short-lived, ...
28
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it possible to build a thermoelectric nuclear power plant?

Current nuclear power plants are essentially an enhanced version of a kettle, which seems like a stupidity caused by a lack of other options. We heat the water which turns to steam which rotates the ...
28
votes
6answers
8k views

Can a gym be built to supply electricity to homes? [closed]

A moving magnet induces a current in a conductor, then shouldn't we be able to generate electricity through manual labour? I was thinking about building a gym that used magnets as weights. People ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a theoretical lower limit to watts needed for lumens?

For example 100 watt incandescent bulb produces 1600 lumens. Led 23 watt can produce 1600 lumens. Is there minimum amount of watts needed ?
22
votes
9answers
6k views

The water analogy seems to imply that power = current. Why is this incorrect?

Many people think of the water analogy to try to explain how electromagnetic energy is delivered to a device in a circuit. Using that analogy, in a DC circuit, one could imagine the power-consuming ...
21
votes
2answers
10k views

How big is a 1kW fire?

What is the size/scale of a wood fire that is producing 1kW? I'd like to improve my ability to conceptualize various power scales.
16
votes
5answers
35k views

How does power consumption vary with the processor frequency in a typical computer? [closed]

I am looking for an estimate on the relationship between the rate of increase of power usage as the frequency of the processor is increased. Any references to findings on this would be helpful.
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Watts vs. volts amperes

What I understand: In simple DC circuits, this is a product of the current and voltage, such that 1 watt = 1 ampere x 1 volt I understand that a watt is a unit of power (change in energy per unit ...
13
votes
4answers
28k views

Why do power lines sag when they are heated up?

I was reading some information about the 2003 power blackout in the Northeastern US. Beginning early in the afternoon of August 14, 2003 big transmission lines began to fail in First Energy's ...
13
votes
2answers
266 views

Could a mirror array used for thermal solar power plant double as a telescope at night?

I was looking at the Ivanpah Solar facility and it occurred to me that the large array of mirrors could double as some sort of telescope array at night. The climate in the desert would be ideal for ...
12
votes
8answers
4k views

Understanding voltage and power in the fluid analogy for DC circuits

I am trying to understand electric circuits (ie voltage, current, power, and resistance). For the most part, everything makes perfect sense, but for some reason I do not feel as if I understand the ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

why aren't there nuclear powered aircraft?

I know this might sound like more of an engineering question that about physics, and it probably is, but bear with me: i'm still not sure if the answer to my question lies in the physics or in the ...
10
votes
8answers
18k views

Why is a 1mW laser dangerous?

In our Physics lab we have a 1 milliwatt (0.001W) helium neon laser. Despite the low power, we were cautioned not to even look at reflections of the beam as it could cause permanent eye damage - why ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Quantum Computing Power Advantages

Currently, the world's fastest supercomputer runs at 17.59 Petaflops, which consumes 9 megawatts of electricity. A qubit-based quantum computer has the potential to operate much more quickly for some ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Contradiction in Ohm's Law and relation $P=VI$

Ohm's law states that  electric current is directly proportional to voltage provided that physical conditions like temperature remain constant i.e. $$V = IR$$ On the other hand, $$\text{Power = ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Trying to understand jet engine [closed]

I'm trying to understand at a high level how a jet engine works. I want to know if the following summary I wrote is more or less accurate: The jet compresses regular air into a combustion chamber. ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't increasing resistance increase brightness if $P=I^2\cdot R$

Light bulb brightness increases with power, $P$. So why doesn't increasing $R$ increase $P$ and hence increase brightness as $P=I^2\cdot R$ due to $P=I\cdot V$ and $V=I\cdot R$? I read increasing $R$...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does it take so long to make a nuclear bomb?

So as I know nuclear bombs are derived from fission reactions: By providing the nucleus with enough power to trigger a chain reaction. If uranium was present why does it take so much to make a nuclear ...
8
votes
6answers
5k views

Intuitively, Why is Power Proportional to $I^2R$

As the resistance of a circuit goes down, the power increases because the current increases, assuming constant voltage. Why is this? I feel like resistance and current are inversely proportional, so ...
8
votes
1answer
200 views

Why is my solar panel more efficient as the temperature increases, rather than less efficient?

I have recently performed an experiment in which I placed a solar panel inside a closed box, together with a heater and a lamp (60W). I increased the temperature using a heater from 20ºC to 50ºC. The ...
7
votes
5answers
867 views

Difference between ways of transmitting power

There are two ways to transmit the same amount of power, 1 amp at 1 million volts or 1 million amps at 1 volt. Conceptually what is the difference? How can I think about it conceptually? I would ...
7
votes
6answers
7k views

When driving uphill why can't I reach a velocity that I would have been able to maintain if I started with it?

Consider these two situations when driving on a long straight road uphill: Starting at a high velocity $v_h$, which the car is able to maintain. Starting at a lower velocity $v_l$, and then trying to ...
7
votes
3answers
31k views

$\rm Lux$ and $W/m^2$ relationship?

I am reading a bit about solar energy, and for my own curiosity, I would really like to know the insolation on my balcony. That could tell me how much a solar panel could produce. Now, I don't have ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How could this small nuclear reactor power two jet engines?

In the 1950s, the US was working on an Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion and it is stated that they successfuly operated two modified General Electric J47 jet engines using a 2.5 MW (thermal) nuclear ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How much power and energy is (actually) in a 230 dB “click” from a whale?

In the BBC Science in Action podcast the acoustic power of a 1 millisecond "click" from a whale was said to be 230 dB. The related BBC article mentions this number and elaborates: The blue whale is ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Averaging decibels

Wikipedia: The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit that indicates the ratio of a physical quantity (usually power or intensity) relative to a specified or implied reference level. If I measure ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Optimal speed for the water wheel

The hydroelectricity plants extract the potential energy of highly deployed massive object (water) as it falls down. Without turbine, all that energy would be converted into speed (kinetic energy) at ...
6
votes
7answers
108k views

Power dissipated by resistors in series versus in parallel for fixed voltage

Do two resistors in parallel dissipate more power for a fixed applied voltage compared to the same two resistors in series?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did the microwave oven only heat my coffee half as much as expected?

A sticker on my microwave oven states its output effect to be $750\ \mathrm W$, which is $180$ calories per second. This means that heating $250\ \mathrm g$ of water by one degree Celsius would take $...
6
votes
2answers
280 views

Why isn't the product rule used in the definition of mechanical work?

Mechanical power is normally defined as $P = \mathrm{d}W/\mathrm{d}t$, and work is normally defined as $W = \vec F \cdot \vec x$. Today an undergrad pointed out a confusion he had from Griffiths' E&...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Do resistor-based fan regulators save no power at all?

I have heard that the traditional resistor-based fan speed regulators are inefficient. In fact, I have noticed that such regulators tend to get hot when the fan is set to low speed. However, does that ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Voltage and Current in transformers

In transformers, the ratio of the voltages equals the ratio of the turns - so double the output coil's turns and the output voltage doubles. Then, in order to conserve energy, current halves. This ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What happens if the load on the electrical generator exceeds its generation power? And why?

What happens if the load on the electrical generator exceeds its power generation? and why? To be more precise, suppose we have a standard induction generator operating at frequency $\nu=50\:\mathrm{...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

Saturn V F-1 engines and beyond

I read that the F-1 engine from the 1st stage of the Saturn V rocket is the most powerful engine ever created by mankind, delivering ~200 gigawatts of power. Thus, I have got two questions: Will ...
6
votes
2answers
265 views

Does ambient day/night temperature change have significant energy generation potential

Is there significant energy to capture in daily day/night temperature change? For instance, I see from posts such as the following that there are materials with varying coefficients of linear thermal ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Would the ionic wind power fence actually work?

Described here and in the references (patent, patent), the idea is to use a large fence as a grid electrode. Spray water droplets near a high voltage to charge them, and then the wind blows them away,...
5
votes
2answers
965 views

How do you calculate power at the focal point of a mirror?

I'm a Mechanical Engineering student and I'm working on my senior project, so I need help. My project is about designing a solar dish having a diameter of 1.5 meters and a focal length of 60cm. so at ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the luminosity per square meter hitting the Earth's surface from the Sun?

So I know that the Sun's luminosity is $3.839 \cdot 10^{26}$. What I want is the luminosity per square meter at the Earth's surface. So this is what I have got so far: I know the distance to the ...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Why do power stations use steam to drive turbines?

Wouldn't it make more sense to use a liquid with a lower specific heat capacity/latent heat of vaporisation so that less energy was used up in converting the water to steam?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Would a thinner atmosphere (such as high altitude) yield better solar panel energy generation?

I am curious. If you were to put a solar panel up in high altitude or on the surface of the moon, both of which have much less atmosphere to reflect/refract light, would that solar panel produce more ...
5
votes
1answer
451 views

What type of solar energy technology has the most future potential?

In terms of dollars per watt, using theoretical efficiency limits, what technology holds the most promise to become the primary solar energy capture technology? My hunch is carbon-based modules, ...
5
votes
1answer
715 views

Neutrino power plant

Suppose there is a material that interacts with 50% of high-energy neutrinos. To what temperature such material will heat up naturally here on Earth? What power can be extracted from it?
5
votes
1answer
321 views

Derivation of the Lorentz transform of brightness ($dP/d\Omega$)

In the book 'Relativity made Relatively Easy' by A.Steane their is a derivation of the Lorentz transform of the 'brightness': $$ \newcommand{\p}[2]{\frac{\partial #1}{\partial #2}} \newcommand{\f}[2]{...
5
votes
1answer
327 views

Poynting theorem and entering power

I refer to the time-domain version of the Poyinting theorem in electro-magnetism: $- \displaystyle \oint_S (\mathbf{E} \times \mathbf{H}) \cdot d\mathbf{S} - \int_V \mathbf{E} \cdot \mathbf{J}_i \ dV ...
5
votes
0answers
381 views

How efficient is the Crookes radiometer?

I remember many years ago, I think at 8th grade, seeing the teacher show us a Crookes radiometer. I remember it being very fascinating. Today I read the wiki article on it, after looking up what it ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

What does 1714 mean in hydraulics?

After reading this answer: http://www.answers.com/Q/What_does_1714_mean_in_hydraulics, I still do not have a good idea of what 1714 represents. In fact, in the equations I was working with I saw a ...
4
votes
2answers
980 views

What is a single word that describes the idea of the second time derivative of energy?

I think about position, its time derivative speed, and its second time derivative, acceleration. I would like to identify a single word that can be used as a handle for the second time derivative of ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Car “oomph”: power or torque?

Two of the most important magnitudes that characterize a car's engine are maximum power and maximum torque. How are those two magnitudes related to the sensation that the car has "oomph" or is "...