The electricity generation uses natural and artificial resources for the production and distribution of certain types of energy. With this resource, it is possible to generate heat, produce electricity for homes and commercial environments, provide vehicle displacement, etc.
In addition, electric power generation sources can be renewable or non-renewable. In the first option, as its name implies, are those capable of being restored naturally. On the other hand, the second alternative represents the sources that may run out in the near future.
Do you know how is electricity generated, and what are the main sources of energy in the world? In this article, you will find answers to these questions, besides checking the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Keep following the Polyexcel blog to learn more!
Hydroelectric plants use hydropower to generate electricity. Therefore, a dam is built on a river to retain water, creating a reservoir, much like a lake.
Then, the collected liquid is led through pipes to the powerhouse. There, turbines and generators are used to transform the dam content pressure into a movement, generating electricity from water.
The renewable electric energy from this source corresponds to more than 64% of the energy mix of Brazil, and it is estimated that only 35% of the potential of this resource is being used.
One of the disadvantages of biggish hydroelectric plants is the environmental impacts that can be caused, since a large flooding area is required. Another damage is the deforestation produced by its construction and change in the structure of the rivers.
Thermoelectric plants are another way of producing electricity. In this case, the system works by heating the water with fossil fuels, including petroleum, natural gas and coal.
The heating produces steam, which is led by pipes to the turbines, making them spin. The turbines are connected to generators that create an internal electromagnetic field, forming electricity.
Unlike the previous option, this electricity source is not renewable, as it is powered by finite fossil fuels. They also cause environmental impact due to the burning of the materials, generating air pollution.
The construction of wind farms are built to turn wind into energy. It works through turbines, which look significantly like a pinwheel, that move due to the wind.
Next to the turbines there are also generators that, due to the rotor, an internal moving part, generate electromagnetic fields that are transformed into electric power — now do you know how does a wind turbine generate electricity.
This electricity option is renewable and 100% clean, which reduces the environmental impact. The main disadvantage is the intermittency, after all, there is not always enough wind for the electricity generation of this process.
Nuclear plants use radioactive elements, such as uranium, to generate energy. In this system, the nucleus of the uranium atom is disintegrated, releasing a large amount of heat (energy), which is why they are known as sources of “nuclear” electricity.
The heat produced in these plants is used to turn water into steam, which is conducted by pipes, promoting the movement of the turbine that, in turn, moves the electric generator.
The major advantage of this option is the productive capacity, which provides 1 kWh of energy for each pound of charcoal (453.59 g). Although it is worth remembering that it is not renewable, since it needs radioactive material in the process.
Solar power or photovoltaic works through the use of sunlight. Photovoltaic modules or a solar thermal system are used to transform it into energy.
In the procedure done with the modules, solar irradiation is directly converted into hydroelectric energy. On the other hand, in the solar thermal system, the sunlight is transformed into heat and, later, into electricity.
While the investment cost of this kind of electricity generation is relatively high, it has been falling due to technological advances. This option is also totally clean and renewable, once the sun is a resource that does not run out.
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