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11.2. Power Generation and Transmission

Here we look at some important principles in Electrical Engineering, including diving into a bit more depth into alternating current. But before we start, why do we use alternating current rather than direct current for our mains electricity?

Let's begin with a bit of historical context. In the late 19th century there was a rivalry between the proponents of alternating current (notably Nikola Tesla) versus those who believed in the use of direct current (led by Thomas Edison). Both factions were competing to get widespread acceptance for electric lighting. The rivalry ended up in both factions trying to discredit each other as being more dangerous, culminating with the invention of the electric chair to demonstrate the dangers. One notable victim of this 'war of currents' was an elephant called Topsy, electrocuted in front of a live audience. Learn more about the story behind the 'war of currents' below:   

There is quite a lot in this section, it has been split up as follows:

 

AC Generators

You may be somewhat familiar with how an AC generator functions. Essentially they all function on the principle of a coil of wire rotating in a magnetic field, thereby inducing an EMF. However, now that we are familiar with the idea of flux and flux linkage, we can further our understanding of how these generators work.

Video Lessons

Chris Doner
AC Generators
IB Specific
Science Shorts
AC Generators
Back EMF not part of IB

Resources

IB Physics
Topic 11 Notes
IB-Physics.net
Chapter 11 Summary
IB Revision Notes
Mr. G
11.2 Teaching Notes
11.2 Student Notes
Physics and Maths Tutor
Fields Definitions
Fields Key Points
Fields Detailed Notes
B Field Flashcards
A Level Resources - content slightly different

Questions

Cambridge University Press
Topic 11: MCQs
CUP Website Link
Freely available online
Grade Gorilla
11.2 (Power Generation) MCQs
Topic 11 (Induction) Final Quiz
Quick IB Specific Mixed MCQs
Mr. G
11.2 Formative Assessment
Topic 11 Summary Qs
IB Specific Questions
Physics and Maths Tutor
EM Induction (AQA 1)
EM Induction MS (AQA 1)
A-Level Qs: overlapping content
 

RMS Current and Voltage

What is the average power of an alternating current?

Video Lessons

Chris Doner
RMS Current
IB Specific
Science Shorts
AC Current

Resources

IB Physics
Topic 11 Notes
IB-Physics.net
Chapter 11 Summary
IB Revision Notes
Isaac Physics
Alternating Current
Level 5/6 Beyond IB
Mr. G
11.2 Teaching Notes
11.2 Student Notes
Physics and Maths Tutor
Fields Definitions
Fields Key Points
Fields Detailed Notes
B Field Flashcards
A Level Resources - content slightly different

Questions

Cambridge University Press
Topic 11: MCQs
CUP Website Link
Freely available online
Grade Gorilla
11.2 (Power Generation) MCQs
Topic 11 (Induction) Final Quiz
Quick IB Specific Mixed MCQs
Mr. G
11.2 Formative Assessment
Topic 11 Summary Qs
IB Specific Questions
Physics and Maths Tutor
Alternating Current (AQA 1)
Alternating Current MS (AQA 1)
A-Level Qs: overlapping content
Physics and Maths Tutor
Alternating Current (WJEC)
Alternating Current MS (WJEC)
Alternating Current (AQA 2)
Alternating Current MS (AQA 2)
A-Level Qs: overlapping content
 

Transformers

We were originally introduced to transformers in GCSE. They are particularly useful as they alow an alternating current to be 'stepped up' (voltage increased), or 'stepped down' (voltage decreased) as necessary. We need to have a bit of a look back at those transformer equations.

Transformers are normally very efficient (over 95%) - so we have previously looked at transformers with no power loss (i.e Power in = Power out). In reality there are energy losses associated with transformers, so where do these come from?

Video Lessons

Chris Doner
Transformers
Power Transmission
IB Specific
Cowen Physics
Transformers
Science Shorts
Transformers

Resources

IB Physics
Topic 11 Notes
IB-Physics.net
Chapter 11 Summary
IB Revision Notes
Isaac Physics
Transformers
Mr. G
11.2 Teaching Notes
11.2 Student Notes
Physics and Maths Tutor
Fields Definitions
Fields Key Points
Fields Detailed Notes
B Field Flashcards
A Level Resources - content slightly different

Questions

Cambridge University Press
Topic 11: MCQs
CUP Website Link
Freely available online
Grade Gorilla
11.2 (Power Generation) MCQs
Topic 11 (Induction) Final Quiz
Quick IB Specific Mixed MCQs
Isaac Physics
Transformers
Mr. G
11.2 Formative Assessment
Topic 11 Summary Qs
IB Specific Questions
Physics and Maths Tutor
Transformers (AQA 2)
Transformers MS (AQA 2)
A-Level Qs: overlapping content
 

Half Wave and Full Wave Rectification

Video Lessons

Resources

IB Physics
Topic 11 Notes
IB-Physics.net
Chapter 11 Summary
IB Revision Notes
Mr. G
11.2 Teaching Notes
11.2 Student Notes

Questions

Cambridge University Press
Topic 11: MCQs
CUP Website Link
Freely available online
Grade Gorilla
11.2 (Power Generation) MCQs
Topic 11 (Induction) Final Quiz
Quick IB Specific Mixed MCQs
Mr. G
11.2 Formative Assessment
Topic 11 Summary Qs
IB Specific Questions
 

Additional Resources

IB Questions

A question by question breakdown of the IB papers by year is shown below to allow you to filter questions by topic. Hopefully you have access to many of these papers through your school system. If available, there may be some links to online sources of questions, though please be patient if the links are broken! (DrR: If you do find some broken links, please contact me through the site)

Questions on this topic (Section 11) are shown in green.