A machine cannot be completely efficient since its output is always less than its input. A certain percentage of work done on a machine is wasted due to friction and lifting some of the machine's moving elements. All machines have loss mechanisms such as this one that prevent them from operating at 100% efficiency.
Energy losses are also responsible for why heat is generated in conductors when electricity flows through them. The electrons flowing through the conductor lose some of their energy by bouncing off atoms in the metal, which heats up the conductor. This is why it is important to keep wires away from heat sources such as fires to prevent them from overheating and breaking.
Even batteries have loss factors. Batteries can only operate at maximum efficiency between their terminals. If you connect them incorrectly, or use them past their charge period they will eventually stop performing altogether. Energy losses occur because of resistance, contact resistance, and self-discharge of each cell inside the battery.
Finally, generators used in power plants also have loss factors. They produce less electricity than what enters them from the turbine, so some of this difference has to be made up by other components of the generator. These include bearings and motors which consume energy in order to turn their gears. In high-speed generators, almost all of this lost energy is converted into heat rather than electrical power.
Machine Effectiveness Because some of the input work is utilized to overcome friction, the output work is always less than the input work. As a result, efficiency is never 100 percent. The closer a machine's efficiency is to 100 percent, the better it is in reducing friction. In other words, a highly efficient machine does not require much maintenance because its components do their job well and don't need repairing too often.
Efficiency can be defined as the amount of output work per unit of input work. For example, if one could double the speed of a motor without any loss in power, then its efficiency would have doubled too. A motor that runs at 100 percent efficiency uses no more energy than one that runs at 25 percent efficiency. All else being equal, a high-efficiency motor is easier to drive and requires fewer repairs than a low-efficiency motor.
The efficiency of most machines is limited by friction. Friction comes from many different sources such as bearings, gearboxes, and heat sinks. If one could reduce these losses or friction effects completely, then the machine would be infinitely efficient. This would not be realistic but it does show that efficiency is never zero even if there are negative effects associated with operation.
Many factors affect the efficiency of a machine. These include the type of motor used, the number of rotations per minute (rpm), load conditions, quality of parts, and maintenance practices.
Machines are not completely efficient since part of their labor is spent to overcome friction. Work output is therefore always less than work intake. Mechanical efficiency, which is work output divided by work input, is used to calculate machine work. The higher the mechanical efficiency, the more energy efficient the machine is.
Mechanical efficiency depends on many factors such as type of drive (e.g., internal combustion engine vs. electric motor), size of the machine, etc. For example, a small electric motor has a high mechanical efficiency because it uses very little power when idling. On the other hand, a large diesel engine needs more fuel when idling because it has more inertia and requires more power to start. Once it does start, however, it runs at a highly efficient speed because there is not much force needed to turn its large propellers.
Efficiency of different types of machinery is shown in table below:
The majority of human-made devices are not capable of operating with 100% efficiency due to limitations of engineering design. For example, a car's engine can run only at certain speeds because its parts need time to move together.
Machines are never completely efficient because part of the useable energy is converted to heat. The system loses that heat. As a result, the output energy is always smaller than the input energy. A machine with a efficiency of 100% would not produce any waste heat; it would be cold all the time.
100% efficiency cannot be achieved in real life because it would mean that none of the energy is used for anything else but producing more energy. That's why we need to give some of the energy away so other things can be done as well. For example, in order to keep a human body at a constant temperature, it needs about 50% of its energy from food every day. The rest comes from the decay of radioactive elements and other sources such as solar power. In conclusion, one cannot achieve a perfect efficiency, but there are ways to get very close to it.