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Q & A: frictionless turbine in space?

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Most recent answer: 06/29/2013
Q:
Can A.C. Generator be used in outer space? I'm guessing the turbine can turn for ever and due to no friction in space, there would be no energy lost. Correct me if i am wrong. Thank you
- know young (age 15)
singapore
A:

It's not clear what is driving the turbine- maybe some chemical fuel? At any rate, there will certainly be friction even in space. Various parts may slide against each other. Fluid inside the turbine has some viscosity, which will give friction. Magnetic induction will stir up some electrical eddy currents, giving another source of friction. AC current flows will radiate electromagnetic waves carrying energy away. So even in these circumstances not all the mechanical energy that goes into the generator will be converted to the desired ac output.

Mike W.


(published on 06/29/2013)

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