Power and domestic appliances
Physics Narrative for 11-14
Home appliances working
Let's think about making a pot of tea. Boiling enough water for a pot of tea takes 180 second with my kettle. The kettle is marked 3.0 kilowatt, which means that it costs me 3000 joule every second to run the kettle. To boil the kettle, I must therefore pay the electricity board for 3000 joule / second × 180 second which can be worked out to be 540,000 joule. Other domestic appliances cost me different numbers of joules, as they work at different rates for different lengths of time. Some are high power, but work only for a short time (cooker, kettle). Others are lower power, but work more or less continuously (refrigerator) or for long periods of time (lighting).
Here are some typical annual costs:
|appliance||energy / megajoule|
To find out how much energy each appliance uses, simply keep a log of how long you run it for (time in second – the duration), then multiply this quantity by the power of the appliance (power in watt).
energy = power × duration
energyjoule = powerwatt × durationsecond
energykilojoule = powerkilowatt × durationsecond
Of course the averages given above vary with lifestyle and occupancy. Here are some estimates of how the annual total energy per household might vary:
|household||energy / megajoule|
|working couple||14 820|
|family with two children (parents working, children at school)||19 730|