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AGC/United Learning • 1560 Sherman Ave., Suite 100 • Evanston, IL 60201 • 800-323-9084

LAUREEN: IT WORKS LIKE THIS. WATER IN A RESERVOIR HAS GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY. WHEN IT FLOWS DOWN A PIPE, THE GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY OF THE WA- TER IS CONVERTED TO KINETIC ENERGY. BRENDON: AND WHEN THE WATER HITS THE BLADES OF THE TURBINE, THE KINETIC ENERGY OF THE WATER IS CONVERTED TO KINETIC ENERGY OF THE TURBINE. LAUREEN: AND TRANSFERRED TO KINETIC ENERGY OF THE GENERATOR. BRENDON: WHICH IS THEN CONVERTED TO ELECTRICAL EN- ERGY. SARAH: WOW! SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF CHANGES. LAUREEN: NO KIDDING. SARAH: HOW CAN WE USE OUR FORMULA TO CALCULATE THE EFFICIENCY OF THIS CONVERSION? LAUREEN: WELL, THE ENERGY INPUT IS THE GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY OF THE WATER. SARAH: RIGHT. BRENDON: WHICH WE CALCULATE USING THE FORMULA: EP IS EQUAL TO MGH. SARAH: RIGHT. NOW, SAY THE POWER COMPANY USES 3.11 TIMES 10 TO THE 5 LITERS OF WATER PER SECOND. LAUREEN: WELL, ASSUMING THE MASS IS 1 KILOGRAM PER LITER, THAT’S 3.11 TIMES 10 TO THE 5 KILOGRAMS PER SECOND. SARAH: RIGHT. AND IF THE DAM IS 120 METERS ABOVE THE TURBINE, THEN H IS 120 METERS. BRENDON: SO IT WOULD HAVE A GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY OF: LAUREEN: SO THE INPUT ENERGY IS: SARAH: AND ACCORDING TO THE POWER COMPANY, THE PLANT OUTPUT IS 350 MEGAJOULES PER SECOND. BRENDON: SO OUTPUT, 350 MEGAJOULES, DIVIDED BY INPUT, 366 MEGAJOULES — LAUREEN: THAT’S 0.956 TIMES 100%...IS 95.6%. BRENDON: IS THAT BAD OR GOOD? SARAH: WELL, ON ITS OWN, IT’S HARD TO SAY. AND THAT’S WHY WE DO COMPARISONS. DARREN: A COAL-FIRED GENERATING PLANT CONVERTS THE

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