What Are the Basics of Electrical Energy?

Nothing that we do remains untouched by electrical energy. We use it to light up our homes, wash our dishes and laundry, and even to run our cars. In fact, the U.S. made over 4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2020 alone!

Even though electrical energy works in so many facets of our lives, not many people stop to think about what electrical energy is how it’s made.

If you’ve ever been curious about what electrical energy is, keep reading to learn more.

What is Electrical Energy?

To understand electrical energy and its definition, it can be helpful to start by understanding how electrical energy is made.

Most electrical power is created by a turbine connected to a generator. Steam or some other form of gas spins the turbine attached to a rotating shaft. The rotation of this shaft inside of the generator creates the electrical energy.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking at a single-home generator or a massive power plant that provides electricity to an entire city. The basic process of generating electricity is the same.

Power plants often burn coal, oil, or natural gas to produce the hot air necessary to spin the turbine that creates electricity. However, wind turbines can create just as much, if not more, electricity, through wind power alone.

Electrical Energy Examples

Electrical energy comes in two types of currents. Direct current means exactly what it sounds like: the electrical energy moves in a single direction, from one place to another. This type of electrical energy powers and recharges batteries in things like motors, computers, and other electronics.

Alternating current also means exactly what it says. The electrical energy flows in two directions, both toward and away from the source.

This is the type of energy that powers most devices that come to mind when you think of the word “electricity.” This includes electric lights, kitchen appliances, and pretty much any other home good that needs electricity to function.

The Electrical Energy Formula

If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready for some more in-depth knowledge about electrical energy.

The electrical energy formula is usually represented as, “Electrical Energy = Power x Time.” This formula says that if you take the amount of power used in a given unit of time, and multiply that by the total number of units of time, you will figure out how much total power is used across that span of time.

Electrical energy is usually measured in kilowatts that are used by the hour, or kilowatt-hours. Knowing the number of kilowatt-hours consumed by an electrical device will allow you to compare its energy consumption to all other devices that you use.

If you can’t wait to learn more about electricity, consider joining online forums with engineers and automation professionals. Soon, you’ll be learning how to discharge a capacitor and other amazing things you can do with electricity!

Use Your Knowledge of Electrical Energy

Now that you know the basics of electrical energy and how it’s made, put your knowledge to use! Whether you’ll use this knowledge as the basis of a burgeoning career in electrical engineering, or just to help your team win next week’s round of trivia, you’re sure to impress your friends and colleagues with all your newfound knowledge.

Interested in learning more about how electronics work? Our tech articles have all the information you need. Check them out today!