Electric generation stations refer to those sites where electricity is produced or generated by a variety of different strategies and from different sources. There is a wide list of sources from which electricity is produced at different generation stations facilities. Regardless of the source, electricity or electric current is produced using a magnetic field. It is essentially important to rotate the magnetic field to produce a particular amount of electric current. In addition to that, the production, direction, and magnitude of electric current greatly depend on positive and negative poles of the magnetic field as well. All of this can be easily be remembered by considering the point that an electric or magnetic field can be produced by the rotation of the either one.
The next significant thing to remember is that generating stations operate within a specific range of electrical voltages. This range is between 13,800 and 24,000 volts. The major thing that affects the voltage range is transmission distance. When it is intended to produce the electric current and transmit it to major or long distances, the voltage ranges is also increased. However, now certain attention is being given to the sources of electrical generation and their after-effects on the nearby environment. Some of the commonly used electrical generation sources are non-renewable as well as produces large amounts of pollutants. These pollutants whether they are air, water or soil pollutants are playing havoc with the surrounding environment.
It is because electricity is produced on a large scale, so the sources used are also utilized in a large amount. However, it is an understood fact that there are residual products left at the end of every production process. Same in the case of electric production, the sources used like water are polluted or contaminated during the process (in the sense as they do not remain suitable for regular or common use). This water, at the end of the production process of electric current, is sent out of the generation facility. As it has turned non-usable and pollutants (containing different chemicals and substances), it increases the pollution and danger to the surrounding environment.
For example, mostly the water used in generation facilities (both electric and other) is thrown out of the boundaries without pondering over its mixing with the regular, normal and clear water present in the rivers or lakes. So it mixes with the clean water and causes damage according to the impurities it contains and its amount. There are many sources for the electric generations which include hydroelectric, steam, distributed generation, wind as well as a turbine or combusted engine.
Apart from the sources, there are different methods of generation of electricity. The major and commonly used methods include utilizing the piezoelectric effect, triboelectric effect as well as the method using capture of nuclear decay. In addition to that, niche application utilizes the betavoltaics. This method involves the direct conversion of heat into the electricity through thermoelectric effect. There are different kinds of generators placed within the generation facility that is used for the production of electric current either by rotation or by photovoltaic systems.
The mechanisms through which the electric generators work include the transformation of kinetic energy into electrical energy. The important thing to remember is that all the generators and mechanism involves the transformation or conversion of one form of energy into the required form of energy (electrical). The mechanism is conducted by rotating a magnet within closed loops of wire. The wire is essentially made up of any good conducting material like copper. This process is referred as electromagnetic induction and is used in almost all electrical generation facilities on a commercial level.
In the method of electromagnetic induction, the generators are started by the use of mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is converted into kinetic energy, and then this active form of energy is converted into electric current. The second method of production of electric current includes conversion of chemical energy into electricity. It is the same as it happens in electrical batteries. This kind of conversion of one form of energy into other for the basic purpose of electricity production is important in mobile and portable applications. It is because such kind of conversion does not need abundant backup supplies and can be moved easily from one place to another place.
In the electrical batteries, there are two kinds of cells, primary and the secondary cells. The primary cells work directly as the source of power like in the zinc-carbon batteries. On the other hand, secondary cells are used as storage systems unlike the use of primary cells. By this functioning, there are open and closed electrochemical systems. The open electrochemical system is also referred as fuel cells. The fuel cells comprise the ability to extract power either from the synthesized fuels or even from the natural fuels as well. It is mainly used for the extraction of power from the fuel regardless of the fuel origin and nature.
One of the possibilities of electricity production also includes utilization of osmotic power. But this possibility can only be availed at places where there is the presence of fresh water and salt and circumstances where they can be merged. The next significant method used for the production of electric current is the use of the photovoltaic effect. This effect involves the transformation or conversion of light energy into the electrical form of energy (as the name describes itself). It is the same process that is conducted in the solar cells. These panels or cells contain the ability to convert light energy into electrical energy directly. The apparent advantage of using this effect is that the solar energy (the source in this case) is readily and easily available in an abundant amount. However, the reason for not using the photovoltaic effect is the overly high price of the solar panels.
The progress has been made in this area to solve this problem. Now, silicon solar cells are commercially available that have very decreased cost, but along with that, they also have marked decreased functional ability as well. The silicon made solar cells are only capable of 30% conversion of solar energy or light into electric current. Now, owing to the photovoltaic effect, the solar cells or photovoltaic systems are used in the remote sites that incapable of having access or connection to the commercial power grid system.
Though the price of solar cells is very high, other devices like silicon made solar cells are now used, and they have largely replaced the grid or electrochemical systems in the remote areas. In addition to that, considering the big advantage of plenty of availability of light as a source, now commercial sites are also using these cells or panels. Though the basic purpose is the production of electric current or electricity, other needs like the lesser use of sources, minor disadvantages to the neighborhood and surrounding environment and plenty of availability of required sources are also important. Considering all these factors and important underlying points, the sources and methods of electrical production are utilized in any electrical generation facility.
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