Physics Colloquium welcomes Delta power expert

Physics Colloquium welcomes Delta power expert

Electricity may be a plentiful and widely used resource, but that will likely not always be the case.

 

The stadium-style basement classroom in the Pope Science Building was filled with over 30 students and faculty as technical expert Rand Crafts of Intermountain Power Service Corporation talked about the power plant in Delta and the electricity it provides.

 

The lecture was part of the weekly Physics Colloquium, a half-credit class that all Physics majors are required to take for four semesters. The colloquium provides a gateway for the UVU population to hear from professionals in all fields relating to Physics from all over Utah.

 

The 1900 megawatt Delta, Utah, power plant that supplies electricity to about 1.9 million homes in southern California, Crafts has firsthand knowledge of the amount of work and money that goes into each flip of a light switch.

 

Craft began by explaining the basics of electricity and the lifestyle it sustains, and went on to discuss the delicate future of energy production. Changes in worldwide energy sources are inevitable, he said, and when those changes take place, life might not be the same.

 

“Every aspect of our lives is affected by electricity,” Crafts said. “Any change you make is going to affect something.”

 

Right now the majority of the world’s energy comes from coal, which is cheap, plentiful and consistent. The sustainability of this energy source is not unlimited, though. The coal plants in Delta run at around 35 percent efficiency, which Crafts considered to be high as far as power plants go. Most alternative energy sources can’t compete with this, and each has its own drawbacks.

 

The bottom line, Crafts argued, is that energy costs will go up, and there is a good chance that the lifestyle most Americans are used to might have to be altered.

 

Crafts is one of many professionals from the community who volunteer their time to speak at these colloquiums.

 

Chair of the Physics Department Brent Bargeron explained that the colloquium functions largely independent of school finances, with Bargeron himself providing refreshments for the weekly lectures.

 

By Jeff Jacobsen
Online Content Manager

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