Power generation is always on demand as the energy to drive the Lifestyle, Growth and Economy are on the rise each day. With limited natural resources the power generation methods are highly challenging depending on the location, cost and availability of these natural resources. Considering the socio economic and environmental impacts, regulations the focus on reducing carbon footprint during the power generation is a factor that is often looked upon. However not all countries on Earth have the potential to produce or reduce dependency on fossil fuels to generate electricity.
The objective in power generation narration is to bring some of the sources which are used in power generation in today’s world and an outlook focusing forward our future world.
Since the invention of power generation the principle behind the power production remains the same. A generator coupled to a rotary source driven usually by Engine, hydro energy, steam turbines, wind or gas turbines.
Fueling the power plant in Power generation
Every power generation system has an input, process and a output. Typical power plant there requires to be an input which is by some process means produces energy that can be potential or kinetic or combination of both by physics principles.
Following are some of the common fuels used in power plants as input source.
Petrol, Diesel, HFO, Radioactive nuclear Uranium, Coal, Air, Geothermal Heat, Sea Water, Tidal energy from Waves, Fuel cells from Water, Solar power, Wind energy, Natural Gas, Biogas etc.
Selecting the right power source
Considering the power plant operations, the input source has to be
Readily and locally to geographical location it must be available
Environment friendly – must not pollute earth
Low in cost
High energy generation during energy transfer
In most part of the world “Coal” is the most preferred use of fuel for a power plant. However the later technologies are used which focus on the non-fossil fuels thus reducing the environmental impact yet delivering the power to meet the demand from both commercial and domestic usage.
Most commonly used machinery and equipment in power generation
Energy machinery masters in the market.
Machine brand Country of Origin FG Wilson, AKSA --- Turkey Listterpetter, Cummins --- UK VISA --- Italy Ottomotor --- Mexico GE, Caterpillar, Waukesha --- USA GE-Jenbacher-Gas --- Austria Siemens, Man & Duetz --- Germany Weichai & Sida, Dongfong, Jinko Solar--- China Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi --- Japan Wartsila --- Finland
A Glimpse of Energy Production History and Control Factors [source-world energy council]
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POWER GENERATION METHOD
Thermal Coal or Steam Coal
Thermal power plants make use of the conventional fuels to generate heat. The usual fuel types are Coal, Oil.
These fuels are used to generate steam from water by constant heating, there by the produced steam run the steam turbines.
The turbines which are connected to the generators enable them to produce electricity.
Since the advent of science and availably of such natural resources, over a century power is still being generated using this method.
Burning of fossil fuels sometimes lead to incomplete combustion, which are harmful to environment and humankind.
More regulations and policies are coming up in countries to combat the environmental impacts due to these kinds of power plant.
Alternative renewable energy sources are looked upon as an option
Nuclear Power Plant
The use of radioactive materials which enable the break of molecules of the atom by fission process.
When the molecules are broken to subatomic particles further energy is released, thus this energy is used to heat the water to run turbines.
The turbines which are attached to generators generate the electricity.
The nuclear fission system is a controlled system, thus helps to control the amount of radioactive fuel is being broken down.
There are two types of waters being used, both carry the high pressure, where one act as a coolant, the later act as a moderator to carry the energy.
Using this method surplus source energy can be created, however it requires high level of awareness to operate them. The risks and impacts are directly fall on environment and mankind.
Hydroelectric power plant
Water from river or different source methods are made to move at high momentum, which forces the turbines to rotate. The rotating turbines thus generate electricity when a generator is coupled.
Dams are built for the purpose to store water especially at elevated areas and the powerhouse where the generators, turbines are placed are at a different low level location, thus the water can force the turbines to rotate due to gain in kinetic energy during their flow.
The use of water as source of power production is environment friendly, however the use of water and purpose during their storage use is contrary in some cases where forests are destroyed or the water is being cut off for human timely needs.
Geothermal power plant
The heat that is stored in the Earth deep core is extracted through heat exchanging methods.
The heat absorbed is then used to run the steam turbines to run the generators. Thus power is generated
It’s natural phenomenon heat is absorbed on earth
Locations on earth where the weather is extreme temperatures, geothermal energy is used for power generation.
Power Generation Through Batteries
Batteries are used to store electricity or charged ions.
These enable the portability to carry energy to remote locations on a temporary basis.
Batteries connected to a power source such as wind, solar will store the power generated thus the same can be used for later time using an inverter.
Depending on the nature of load, batteries can be of a 12, 24, 48V system. The energy stored in batteries are DC.
The use of natural winds to rotate the generator
The generator thus generates electricity which is later stepped up to sub-stations and transmitted to distant locations
The availability of winds are cyclic due to earth’s natural tilt ability, thus seasons are formed. This is continuous process thus wind energy is available always.
Wind power can be installed anywhere on earth, and has very low maintenance, high returns on a long term operation.
Under water turbines are installed to absorb the kinetic energy generated in water tides
The energy thus propels the turbine to run the generators to produce electricity
Locations close to seashores and rocks at the sea are ideal to generate to operate such power plants.
70% of earth surface has water, from which the 30% land shores can utilize the tidal energy to generate electricity.
These plants are environment friendly as well.
Power is produced through waste created by domestic and commercial organic waste.
Organic waste is processed to generate gas from which heat is generated to drive the turbines
The method is very nascent stage as more countries considering options to reduce the environmental impacts due to landfills.
The waste is recycled and thus reuse of local resources reduce the cost and enhance ready availability of resource locally.
Power generated by converting sunlight into Electricity using Solar Cells.
Solar Cells are arrayed to form a Solar Panel.
Widely used power system is suitable in remote locations such as Marine, Mountains, Military, Earth Stations, and Satellites etc.
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The combined power of the wind, solar and tidal bring the power to fulfill energy demand. A beginners guide to Renewable Power