What Does a Power Plant Use to Create Power?


Quick Answer

Power plants use electric turbines to generate power. When a turbine spins, it induces a moving magnetic field in and around copper wires, which makes electrons move, creating an electric current. The power to turn a turbine usually comes from steam, but wind or water can also be used.

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What Does a Power Plant Use to Create Power?
Credit: Idaho National Laboratory CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Photovoltaic cells are the only widely used systems that produces electricity without the use of a turbine. Photovoltaic cells are made of a treated silicon that loses electrons when struck by the sun's rays. This creates a flow of current, and when enough cells are connected together, a significant amount of electricity can be generated. All other primary generation methods, including concentrated solar, wind, water, fossil fuels and nuclear power, use electrical turbines to generate current.

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