It may seem unusual to insert a chapter on the electrical system in a text on thermodynamics, but after the energy generated is converted to electricity, it is still important to make the most efficient use of that electrical energy. There are two considerations that affect how efficiently the generated electrical energy is transmitted to the ultimate user or “load.” First the circuit must be balanced to deliver the maximum power to the load, and second the transmission voltage needs to be as high as possible to minimize transmission line losses. Both requirements will be explained below, and a short discussion of the electrical grid will follow to describe how the electrical energy is actually delivered to the consumer.
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