What I mean is, how come when we produce energy in the form of electricity some is lost through heat, or light or whatever? How come we cannot make something that produces the correct energy for that machine or something?
The Energy Department wants to make your phone charger more energy-efficient http://t.co/SJOt0xAp5o
— National Journal (@nationaljournal) February 3, 2014
I was just wondering, is it a engineering design fault? Or is it a technological fault? Because if we have the technology and the logic to create energy surely it must be a engineering design fault?
Also, if you managed to make a 100% energy efficient energy source would it not require any fuel added or anything? Would it be self sufficient? Thanks!
I'll go to simple physics first – all things are made up of energy, so for example oil is full of energy, so is coal and so is the sun. When you convert this energy to a form that we want to use, for example into electricity then this is where you get some losses in efficiency. So 1 lump of coal energy will not make one lump of electrical energy – there will be some heat energy created as well. ]
Each time you convert energy from one form to another you get losses. So take coal to electricty, the coal is burnt and this goves of heat (an energy change), which is converted to kinetic energy (rotation of a generator) which then converts to electrical energy. This electricity is transmitted to where it is needed in wires and then at the user it is converted again often to kinetic energy (a motor for example) (this is pretty much the same as a gas or petrol generator as well)
Here the losses are that heat escapes from the furnace either through the chimney or the exhaust pipe – some thing that can't be avoided since this heat also takes the waste products away. If not then you would need to have a machine to do this – which will use energy. As the heat from the burnt fuel travels to the generator there are a few losses with heat loss in the system and a bit with friction. Then there is the generator itself – all moving machinery has looses due to friction and so on through the whole system. This is an example of course
At the moment all the systems can be pretty efficient however some things can't be changed. For example we cannot get rid of friction – so any generator that relies on moving parts will have losses, we do not have a perfect insulator so any generators that rely on heat will have heat losses, few energy sources are where you need them so you will get losses as you transport the energy to where it is used and so on.
There are some improvements in design that can be made but many of the limitations are nothing that we can change.
As for making a 100% efficient source that would not require fuel added. This is in theory possible if everything was perfect and this is known as perpetual motion however this needs that changes in state of energy to incur no losses and that means we need to remove things such as friction and to create a perfect insulator. It also means that whatever the machine is doing there can be no output from it to anywhere else (an output would mean that energy would go with that and so be lost – so more energy would need to be added to replace it)
So in your question the short answer is probably no.