Electrical energy is energy that is caused by moving electric charges. Since the electric charges are moving, this is a form of kinetic energy. The faster the electric charges are moving the more electrical energy they carry. We can use the analogy of a ball being thrown at a window. The ball represents an electric charge and if the ball is not thrown very fast, then it may simply not have enough energy to break the window. The faster the ball travels, the more energy it has and it then has the ability to break the window. Electrical energy is basically generated the same way regardless of the starting form of energy. If nuclear energy is utilized, the energy released heats water into steam. The steam is then used to turn a turbine blade which fires up a generator and gives the electric charges their energy. If hydroelectric energy is used, then the falling water is used to spin turbine blades, which turns the generator creating electrical energy. If windmill energy is used, the windmill itself turns the turbine blade which makes the generator create electrical energy. Regardless of the starting form of energy, that energy is used to give electric charges energy of motion which is electrical energy.
Examples of Electrical Energy:
1. In a car battery, the chemical reaction creates an electron which has the energy to move in an electric current. These moving charges provide electrical energy to the circuits in the car.
2. A lamp is plugged into a wall outlet. The electric current moves from the wall outlet into the light bulb in the lamp supplying electrical energy. When the electric charges slow down in the filament to light the light bulb, light energy is created.
3. Batteries in a cell phone supply chemical energy to electric charges. The electric charges use the energy to be put into motion. This electrical energy now travels through the phone supplying the phone with electricity.
4. When our bodies break down food to produce ATP energy, our bodies convert the ATP energy into electrical energy. The electric charges move through our special nervous system cells to make our heartbeat.
5. A stove plugged into a wall outlet takes the moving electric charges, electrical energy and changes them into thermal energy by causing the heating coils to get very hot for cooking.