Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Efficient energy conversion

  1. Mar 31, 2008 #1
    Hi,

    I was wondeing if anyone could help me out here. What form of energy can most efficiently be converted to electrical energy (by current means)?

    Cris
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2008 #2

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I'd have to look around for more detail, but the efficiency of a gas turbine is around 50%. I think a nuclear reactor and coal plant are both around 30%. Hydrothermal is 50%, maybe? Wind is tough to gauge due to intermittency, solar is likewise, but commercial photovoltaics are 10%, IIRC.

    Edit- you probably want to ask the engineers.
     
  4. Mar 31, 2008 #3

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Those numbers sound reasonable, but maybe the OP is looking for types of energy, ie mechanical, chemical, thermal, radiant, etc. A normal heat engine based power plant converts chemical (or nuclear) to thermal to mechanical to electrical. A solar cell, radiant directly to electrical. But less efficiently than a heat engine based power plant.
     
  5. Mar 31, 2008 #4
    Chemical energy should have the highest efficiency. Ex. fuel cells.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Efficient energy conversion
  1. Energy conversion (Replies: 2)

  2. Energy conversion (Replies: 4)

  3. Energy conversion (Replies: 4)

Loading...