How Does A Power Station Generate Electricity?

6 Answers

Taylor Edgar Profile
Taylor Edgar answered
Electricity is generated at power stations from a variety of raw materials including coal, gas and nuclear. The energy released by these sources is harnessed to create highly pressurised steam to drive turbines.

The blades of the turbine in turn spin a magnet-bearing shaft that is encased within heavy copper coils, a generator. The rotating motion creates massive amounts of electricity.

The electricity generated in the power station reaches our homes, businesses and offices via the National Grid. This grid is a distribution network comprising a UK-wide network of overhead lines and underground cables.

To get from the power station to the customer, the electricity is distributed at very high voltage. With the exception of very large industrial customers like manufacturing factories and such who take their electricity direct from the National Grid, the high distribution voltage needs to be reduced. This is achieved by stepping the voltage down through a series of national, regional and local distribution systems and substations. These act like transformers, eventually reducing in stages the voltage to the 240 volts we're all familiar with in our homes.
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Anonymous commented
Great info Cheers wombat 96
Dan Bunker
Dan Bunker commented
Lets look at the definition of a generator in its simplest term. A generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. A generator uses a "prime mover", a mechanical machine, such as a turbine, or a engine to turn it. There are all types of power plants out there that use everything under the sun to do this. The majority of the power stations use a steam turbine to turn a generator.
There are many types of power plants out there. Depending on how much capacity each plant is capable of providing will be a factor on what type of mechanical energy will be used to turn the generator. Example, some power plants or strictly "peak time" plants. They will only come on line for a few hours a day to put power on the grid to handle peak loads. The summer months is prime time for these types of generators with airconditioning running in the hot afternoons. These plants use diesel engines, or water turbines. 
One plant I know of not too far from me has a huge reservoir they fill up and when more power is needed on the grid they open up a valve and use the gravitational flow of water to turn turbines which in turn turn generators. Kinda like Niagra falls and the Hoover dam does. Since the water supply is limited, this type of power generation is not used full time 24/7.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Electricity is generated at Power Stations by burning materials such as: Coal, Gas and Nuclear. The steam from this procedure is released to drive turbines. Turbines can be turned by other things such as: Water (Waves and Tidal), Wind and Solar. The turbines in turn, spin a magnet covered in heavy copper rods. This is called a generator and creates a large amount of electricity. The electricity created is sent around the country via The National Grid. This grid is a network covering the UK via Telegraph wires and underground cables. Electricity has to be distributed at a high voltage to be able to reach places. 240 volts is what is need for a normal family home. Most electricity plants are powered by Coal as it produces steam. Nuclear Power Plants use Nuclear power to turn turbines as Nuclear also produces steam.
pha cue Profile
pha cue answered
Most electric plants are coal powered. They burn the coal to make steam that turns electric motors that produce electricity. Nuclear plants create steam too. There's also hydroelectric power, that's made by having water turn the motors. Hopefully wind and solar are the next two widely used sources.
sherlin smith Profile
sherlin smith answered

Thermal power stations. In a thermal power station fuel such as coal, oil or gas is burned in a furnace to produce heat - chemical to heat energy. This heat is used to change water into steam in the boiler. This drives thegenerator to produce electricity - kinetic toelectrical energy.

amber Jhon Profile
amber Jhon answered
The conversion of other forms of energy into electricity is known as electricity generation. At power stations, electricity is produced by using electromechanical generators. The most common method used in these generators is electromagnetic induction. Large coils are placed between poles of large permanent magnets. These coils are moved with the movement of turbines. When these coils are moved electric current is produced due to change of magnetic flux. This method is known as electromagnetic induction. The turbines can be moved by falling water, steam and wind. In this way mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy.

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