Q:

How is electrical energy generated?

A:

Quick Answer

Electrical energy in the form of electricity is primarily manufactured by using massive generators equipped with turbines. It can also be generated by transforming one form of energy, which is stored in certain materials, into electrical energy.

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Full Answer

A constant supply of electricity is essential to support the lifestyle of progressive, modern societies. To address this growing demand for electrical energy, various power plants were established to provide electricity to the general public.

Thermal power plants, such as fossil-fuel plants, generate electricity by burning vast amounts of fuel, such as coal, natural gas and oil, to heat water and produce steam. The steam cranks the turbine, which in turn spins the powerful magnets that are attached to a generator. The rotating motion of the magnets induces an electrical current that travels around heavy coils of wire, which act as conductors. The principle behind this mechanism is known as electromagnetic conduction. Once the electricity is generated, it is transmitted to high-voltage cable lines where electricity travels long distances to be distributed to different localities and finally delivered to households.

Nuclear power plants, which work similarly to fossil-fuel plants, produce heat through atomic fission rather than fuel combustion. Kinetic generating plants harness the kinetic energy of water and wind to spin the turbines and generate electricity. Photo-voltaic cells that store solar energy can be transformed into electricity. The chemical energy in fuel cells and normal batteries can also be converted into electrical energy by reacting chemical substances to induce electricity.

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