by Linea Lorenzo
The sun is the most common source of energy. Energy, also known as power, helps many things function. A good example is the machines used in industry. Human beings also require energy, and you get it from consuming some food. There are many forms of energy, including light, heat, and chemicals. You can transfer energy from one state to another. For example, if you have a battery that contains chemical energy, you can convert it into electrical energy.
To understand how exactly to store electric energy, it is only fair that you have a brief overview of what electrical power is all about. The following paragraphs will give insight into that. A somewhat obvious fun fact is: you get electricity from electric energy. Electrons that have a negative charge move through a medium, and in most cases, the medium is copper wires to form electricity or the current.
We have two categories of energy: kinetic and potential. Potential refers to the stored kind, while kinetic shows that there is motion involved. Electric energy is a form of kinetic energy. The creation of electrical energy happens when electrons move from a single atom to another. The force of the attraction or repulsion between the protons and electrons is what causes the movement. The speed dictates the amount of electrical energy that will be created. Lightning, which is a natural phenomenon, is an excellent example of electric energy in action. In a nutshell, electrons move quickly and simultaneously from a cloud to the ground or from one cloud to the other. For a bulb to light, there has to be electric energy flowing through its wires. We use power lines to distribute and transmit this energy. By now, you may be wondering, what are atoms and electrons?
Atoms are the tiniest particles of a unit of matter that exist. They make up the entire universe. That is because they are the building blocks of everything in existence. The atoms consist of neutrons, electrons and protons. We can further break down those components into particles known as quarks. The neutrons and protons make up the nucleus of an atom. The electrons have a negative charge; they are lightweight and therefore orbit the atom’s nucleus. Electrical force holds them in their shells as they revolve. On the other hand, protons have a positive charge.
When we refer to energy as potential, we look at the relative positions of the protons and neutrons while in the static state. You have had a slight look at the creation of electricity. Static electricity comes when there is a separation or imbalance of the charged particles on a specific object. That is a form of potential electrical energy. However, if there is a sufficient build-up of charge, you could form a spark once there is a discharge.
An electron is a particle that carries current. It moves in the opposite direction of a proton. The direction a proton follows when put on a field is the direction of the electric field. When you were a child, high chances are at one point, you rubbed a ruler and tried to make your hair stand with the ruler. Without knowing it, you were pushing electrons from the ruler and onto the hair. Since electrons have the same charge, they move away from each other. That then would cause some movement on your hair. That is an illustration of static electricity.
Michael Faraday discovered how to create electricity. He took a magnet and moved conductive metal between its poles. Electrons move freely in a copper wire. The electrons’ movement happens when they attract cations and protons or repel other electrons and the anions. That creates the electrical charge. Other particles that may take part in the creation of this energy include atomic nuclei and positrons. Note that protons and cations both have a positive charge while electrons and anions have a negative charge. The positrons have antimatter that is equal to electrons.
A single atom has an equal number of electrons and protons. The number of neutrons may not be the same as that of the protons or electrons in a particular atom. To categorize an atom, you look at the number of protons or electrons it has. The first shell of the atom can only contain a maximum of two electrons. Atoms can have up to seven shells, and each can contain eight electrons at most. The electrons and protons attract each other electrically. That is because the electrons have a negative charge while the protons have a positive charge. The neutrons do not have any charge. The positive and negative charge are both equal.
The electrons in the innermost shell have more attraction to the nucleus or protons. That means that you can easily remove the electrons from the outermost shells of an atom. You can therefore apply force to move the outer electrons from one atom to another. That shifting process is what generates electrical energy.
We use watt-second or joule as the basic unit of measurement.
Electrical energy is kinetic, so storing it requires converting it into another form of energy. You can, however, convert it back when there is high demand or low supply of electricity. Below are ways of storing electric power:
Hydropower is adequate for peak loads. The water flows with the use of gravity.
Today people use electricity to do so much. You can use it for cooking, lighting, refrigeration, cooling, and operating appliances such as computers and televisions. You can get the electricity through direct use or purchasing from retailers. The latter means that you have to produce the electricity then consume it. Storing energy is therefore crucial. To have renewable energy in your home, you could decide to use thermal energy storage.
About Linea Lorenzo
Linea was born to love drawing and just a few tech gadgets. While not working or sleeping, he often spends hours to look through the coolest, latest gadgets at different shopping sites, drooling about them. He also likes to keep things clean and tidy - now that the reason you see so many cleaning devices and electronics reviews at linea.io. Ah yes, he made the site also just for that. Occationally, he invited friends to share their expertise around here too. Linea received Bachelor of Arts in Arts & Letters at Sacramento State University.