PHYS 2212 Module 5.5

Electrical Energy and Power

5.5 Electrical Energy and Power

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

• Express electrical power in terms of the voltage and the current
• Describe the power dissipated by a resistor in an electric circuit
• Calculate the energy efficiency and cost effectiveness of appliances and equipment

Electrical Power in Circuits

In physics 1, you discussed mechanical power which is the rate at which mechanical work is done: .

The units for power are J/s, which are called Watts, symbol: W (but don’t confuse the unit W with the symbol for work, they’re not the same thing). Generally, power is the measure of how quickly energy is transferred into or out of a system.

Here we will discuss electrical power, which is also measured in J/s = W (watts). But instead of looking at how the kinetic energy or the gravitational potential energy changes, we will focus on how the electric potential energy changes in time.

Practice!