Generation of Electricity
Electricity generation can best be described as production of electrical power from a primary source of energy according to a local electrician. The principle of electricity generation was discovered at the eve of the 19th century by a British scientist known as Michael Faraday. This basic method of electricity generation is used to date. Generally, it involves the movement of a loop of wire between two poles of a magnet.
There are many ways in which natural forms if energy can be transformed into electrical energy. The oldest for, of electricity generation is static electricity. This is a form of electricity that is generated from the physical separation and movement of charges. Examples of such phenomena include lightning and the triboelectric effect. This form of electricity is still used today in devices such as the MHD generators and Van de Graaff generator.
Another common form of electricity generation is a turbine. Almost all of the electrical power produced in the world is generated from a given type of turbine. They are commonly driven by water, wind, steam or burning gases. This turbine in turn powers the electricity generator. In a steam turbine for instance, water is boiled using coal in a thermal power plant. The steam generated from this is used to drive the turbines.
As for nuclear fission, the heat that is produced by the nuclear reactor is used to boil the water. There are other ways in which steam may be generated. One of this is by burning biomass. Solar thermal energy and geothermal power may also be used.
Apart from steam turbines, we have gas turbines whereby natural gas is burned in a turbine and the gas produced during combustion is used to drive the turbine. Energy may also be captured from moving water for example in a dam or in rising and falling tides whereby the moving water drives a turbine which in turn produces electricity.
Apart from turbines, one may use reciprocating engines as a way of generating electricity. Small generators often use reciprocating engines which burn biogas, diesel or natural gas to produce electricity. These are not reliable as such on the long run and so they are often used as backup generators for when the power fails.
Lately, people have employed the use of photovoltaic cells to produce electricity. This is a very convenient method of electrical power generation especially for home based needs. It does not produce a lot of power thus it can be inconvenient to employ this method for industrial use. It is an expensive venture to start with but in the long run, it can save you a lot of money.