Energy and Power

Fuses (Also seen in GCSE Physics 2)

Electrical devices connected to the Mains supply by a three-pin plug have a fuse as part of their circuit. This is a thin piece of wire that melts if the current through it exceeds its maximum tolerance. The common fuses used are 3A, 5A and 13A. A 100W light bulb connected to the UK Mains would have a 240V potential difference across it. Using  we can see that the current would be 0.42A so a 2A fuse would be the best to use.



The starter motor of a motor car needs to transfer a lot of energy very quickly, meaning its needs a high power. Millions of Joules are required in seconds; since the voltage of the battery is unchanging we need current in the region of 160A which is enormous.

The power lines that are held by pylons and form part of the National Grid are very thick and carry electricity that has a very high voltage. Increasing the voltage lowers the current so if we look at the equation we can see that this lowers the energy transferred to the surroundings.