Electric energy is not readily available in nature. And therefore we are in need to generate electric energy from natural sources. Electric energy generation is the conversion of other kinds of energy, mainly primary energy, into electric energy.

Generally, the process of generating electricity goes through several transformations, as there is little primary energy directly convertible into electric energy.

The primary sources for the generation of electric energy are listed below,

  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Natural gas
  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Tidal energy
  • Thermal energy
  • Nuclear energy

The heat from the above energy sources is used to convert water into steam and the steam under high pressure is used to spin a turbine and the turbine in turn is coupled with a generator to produce electricity.

 

The place where the electric energy generation is carried out is named as electric power plant. Almost all kind of electric energy power plants have common components as their basic generation method is same as mentioned above (in bold letters).

Some of the important components that are necessary for the generation of electric energy are,

  • Boiler unit
  • Turbo generator
  • Cooling unit

 

BOILER UNIT

Boiler is also called as steam generator. Steam is nothing but a third state of water. As we all know water has three states, liquid state, solid sate and vapour state. When water is heated, the liquid state of water gets converted into vapour state i.e. steam. So in order to convert water into steam we need heat energy and this heat energy can be obtained by the above sources.

 

The role of boiler is to heat the water into steam. Different electric power plants like thermal power plant, thermal power plant, hydral power plant, nuclear power plants, etc. In each electric power plant, the source used to heat the water is alone different but the remaining procedures are all same.

  • In hydro energy, the water falling from heights is used to run the turbine.
  • In case of thermal energy, heat by burning the coal. Lignite is used to run the turbine.
  • In nuclear energy, heat energy released when bombarding atoms are used  to run the turbine.

 

TURBO-GENERATOR

Now the steam that is produced from the boiler unit is received by the turbo generator. Turbo generator is nothing but a turbine coupled with a generator. The turbine has blades and the steam is used to spin the blades of the turbine.

The spinning movement in the turbine will turn the coil of wires within the generator in circular arrangements. Thus the rotation of coil in circular movements leads to electric energy generation.

COOLING UNIT

In order to have a closed cycle, the steam must be cooled and condensed back into water. Generally cooling water can be obtained by nearby lake or river. Another method to cool the steam is to have cooling towers.

Cooling   tower is a very large tower where the evaporation of water falling through the tower provides the cooling effect.   

Steam energy
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