Power plants burn fossil fuels to heat water and make steam, which triggers complex generators inside the plant. These processes create an electromagnetic field that provides the electrical energy that people consume. A number of fossil fuels are used to make electricity, but the most common and inexpensive is coal.Continue Reading
Power plant workers begin by heating the fossil fuel. Because coal is the cheapest to burn, it is used most often. Natural gas and petroleum may also be used as fossil fuels in power plants, but they are typically used less often because they are more expensive.
The burning fossil fuel heats water, turning it into steam. The steam travels into a turbine with thousands of blades. When the steam pushes these blades, the turbine shaft rotates at high speeds. The generator, a collection of highly wound coils, lies at one end of the turbine shaft. The rotation of the turbine causes the coils to turn, creating an electromagnetic field. Electrons begin to move; this flow of electrons is electricity.
When energy is first generated, operators transform it into the higher voltages (around 4,000 volts) used for economic transmission. When the energy approaches domestic areas, it is transformed down to a safer 100-250 voltage system.Learn more about Electricity
The main sources of electricity are fossil fuels, nuclear power and renewable energy. Electricity is a secondary source of energy derived from primary sources.Full Answer >
According to National Geographic, electricity comes from energy sources such as fossil fuels, wind energy and hydroelectric power. Electricity is transported from a power station via power lines that carry electrical current into communities.Full Answer >
Alternating current generators, typically referred to as AC generators, generally work on the same principle as direct current generators.The basic function of a generator is to convert motion into electricity. Providing this motion requires that either a magnetic field is generated and a wire coil is rotated within it, or a magnetic field is rotated within a stationary coil.Full Answer >
A waste heat boiler is a system that captures excess thermal energy from a combustion plant and uses it to convert water into steam to produce electricity. Walls of pipes in the boiler circulate the captured flue gases, which reach up to 1,000 degrees Centigrade; the water boils, creating steam.Full Answer >