AS Physics - What type of energy does a cell/power supply convert energy from/to?

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blobbybill
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So I think a battery transfers chemical energy into electrical energy.

How does a typical mains power supply work? It obviously transfers it into electrical energy (to flow around the circuit), but which type of energy is transferred into the electrical energy?

Is it just electrical energy to electrical energy in a mains power supply (as it grabs electrical energy from the plug socket)?

Thanks
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Joinedup
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(Original post by blobbybill)
So I think a battery transfers chemical energy into electrical energy.

How does a typical mains power supply work? It obviously transfers it into electrical energy (to flow around the circuit), but which type of energy is transferred into the electrical energy?

Is it just electrical energy to electrical energy in a mains power supply (as it grabs electrical energy from the plug socket)?

Thanks
How far back do you need to go?

The mains comes from generators some of which are driven by steam turbines and some of which are driven by wind or hydro turbines.

of the steam turbines some are driven by heat from burning fuel and some by heat from nuclear reactions.

of the fuel burning type some are burning fossil fuel like coal and gas and some are burning biomass.

etc.
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blobbybill
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(Original post by Joinedup)
How far back do you need to go?

The mains comes from generators some of which are driven by steam turbines and some of which are driven by wind or hydro turbines.

of the steam turbines some are driven by heat from burning fuel and some by heat from nuclear reactions.

of the fuel burning type some are burning fossil fuel like coal and gas and some are burning biomass.

etc.
The mains comes from generators some of which are driven by steam turbines and some of which are driven by wind or hydro turbines.
Do those turbines just convert kinetic energy into electrical energy?

And since power supplies (that we use in school physics circuit experiments) just get the electrical energy from the mains, why do we need to use a power supply? Why can't we just plug it straight into the mains? Is it because we need to limit the voltage (and current)?

Thanks a lot
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J£$U$
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kinetic to electrical
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Joinedup
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(Original post by blobbybill)
Do those turbines just convert kinetic energy into electrical energy?

And since power supplies (that we use in school physics circuit experiments) just get the electrical energy from the mains, why do we need to use a power supply? Why can't we just plug it straight into the mains? Is it because we need to limit the voltage (and current)?

Thanks a lot
Mostly it's safety as mentioned on other threads - supply mains is lethal.

there might be specific reasons why you want a specific low voltage for certain experiments e.g. plotting the characteristic curve of a diode.
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Zargabaath
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(Original post by blobbybill)
Do those turbines just convert kinetic energy into electrical energy?

And since power supplies (that we use in school physics circuit experiments) just get the electrical energy from the mains, why do we need to use a power supply? Why can't we just plug it straight into the mains? Is it because we need to limit the voltage (and current)?

Thanks a lot
Pretty sure it's so you can regulate the voltage/current for experiments
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Darth_Narwhale
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Also power supplies generally provide DC current, which is much more useful for school level experiments, whereas the mains supplies AC current, which would complicate things. Most power stations use chemical/physical reactions to produce heat, which boils water, which turns a turbine containing a magnet inside a coil of wire which produces electricity (electromagnetic induction).
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