ELECTRICITY POWER GENERATION
An electricity power station uses either an engine, a turbine, water wheel, or other machine to drive an electric generator or a piece of equipment that converts mechanical, radiate energy chemical energy, or any other form of energy to electrical energy. However, internal-combustion engines, wind turbines, gas combustion turbines, Steam turbines, and water turbines, are the most frequently used methods to generate electricity power
Usually, electric power is manufactured using a rotating machine called an electric generator. An electric generator basically converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. The conversion process is based on the correlation of power and magnetism. When an electrically conductive material is moved across a magnetic field, an electric current flows in the electrically conductive material. In a generator, a magnet (Rotor) attached to the end of a rotating shaft is positioned inside a stationary conducting ring (Stator) that is wrapped with an elongated, continuous piece of electrically conductive material. Once the magnet rotates, a small electric current is induced in each section of the electrically conductive material. Every segment of the electrically conductive material constitutes a small, separate electric conductor. The little currents of individual segments add up to one large current used for electric power.
ELECTRICITY POWER GENERATING RESOURCES
Worldwide, there is a variety of energy resources availed to generate electricity. The energy resources are in two major categories; renewable and non-renewable energy resources. Each of these resources can be used as a source to generate electricity
Non-renewable resources of energy are divided into two types: fossil fuels (Coal, oil and natural gas) and nuclear fuel. These are briefly explained as follows:
- Natural gas. This can be used to heat water for steam turbines; it can also be used to run gas engines, and can also be burned to produce hot combustion gases that pass directly through a turbine, spinning the blades of the turbine to generate power
- Petroleum. This can be used to make steam to spin a steam turbine. Residual fuel oil, a product refined from crude oil is often used.
- Nuclear power. Here, a controlled process called nuclear fission is used to produce steam by heating water. This steam spins a steam turbine thereby producing electricity power.
A renewable resource is reasonably easy to replace. These include:
- Wind power. This is derived from the conversion of the energy contained in wind into electricity power. A module called a wind turbine similar to a wind mill is used to capture the energy in wind
- Biomass. This includes; solid waste, wood, and agricultural waste. These are some other energy sources for producing power. These are combusted to create steam like in conventional steam-electric plants
- Geothermal power. This arises from heat energy buried underneath the earth's surface. This heats underground water to steam. This steam is then tapped for use at steam-turbine plants.
- Hydro power. This is a process in which flowing water is used to spin a turbine connected to a generator through a shaft.
- Solar power. This power is resultant of energy that the sun radiates. The photovoltaic conversion generates electric power directly from the light of the sun. The component used is called a solar or photovoltaic cell. However, there are solar-thermal electric generators that utilize radiant energy from the sun to produce steam to drive steam turbines