Energy is a broad and confusing topic. In this series, Inside Energy reporters de-mystify the wonkiness that dominates so much of the energy conversation, through answering your questions, as well as questions we encounter in the field. What’s your energy head scratcher? Submit it at ask.insideenergy.org, e-mail it to us at Ask@insideenergy.org, or tweet it to @InsideEnergyNow with hashtag #MyEnergyQuestion.
Wait, don’t you mean, “What is a spark?” Actually…no. We really just mean, Spark! As the Inside Energy project rounds the corner on its one-year anniversary, we figured it was about time for us to come out from behind your radio and your computer screen, and meet you live in person. This week our team launched a community event series called Spark! with the mission of revealing why energy is something you should care about – even if you aren’t in the energy industry.
Your phone is supposed to be a phone, not a hand-warmer. So why does it, at times, feel like it could barbeque your palm? The components in your phone or tablet – the screen (which it’s easy to forget is actually powered by a tiny light bulb), the GPS, the camera, the processor – draw electricity from the battery. When they do so, they aren’t completely efficient: They always waste some energy, which is released in the form of heat. By measuring how hot your phone gets, you could figure out how inefficient its electronics are.