Generating electricity is an important part of modern life, and there are several methods of doing so. Among energy sources, coal and natural gas are used to generate electricity by combustion (thermal energy), uranium by nuclear fission (nuclear energy), and magmatic heat to boil water and rotate steam turbines (geothermal). Renewable energies such as sunlight, wind, and running water can also be converted into electricity. The continuous development of technology is making it easier to convert resource energies or renewable energies into electricity with less losses.
It is also important for the operation of the power plant to maintain or train operators.The most common electricity generator in use today is the electromagnetic generator, which uses an electromagnet, a magnet produced by electricity, not a traditional magnet. A basic electromagnetic generator has a series of insulated wire coils that form a stationary cylinder called a stator that surrounds an electromagnetic axis called a rotor. As the rotor rotates, an electrical current flows in each section of the wire coil, which becomes a separate electrical conductor. The currents in the individual sections combine to form a large current, which is the electricity that passes from generators to consumers through power lines.Combustion gas turbines, which are similar to jet engines, burn gaseous or liquid fuels to produce hot gases that cause the turbine blades to rotate.
Combined heat and power (CHP) plants use heat that is not directly converted to electricity in a steam turbine, a combustion turbine or an internal combustion engine generator for the heat of industrial processes or to heat spaces and water. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) systems use a temperature difference between ocean water at different depths to power a turbine and produce electricity.Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and internal combustion engines are other types of electricity generators. Internal combustion engines, such as diesel engines, are used around the world to generate electricity, including in many remote villages in Alaska. They are also widely used for the supply of mobile power on construction sites and for the supply of emergency or backup power for buildings and power plants.
Generators with diesel engines can use a variety of fuels, including oil, diesel, liquid biomass-based fuels and biogas, natural gas and propane.Small internal combustion engine generators fueled by gasoline, natural gas or propane are commonly used by construction crews and retailers and as an emergency power supply for homes. Other types of electricity generators include fuel cells, Stirling engines (used in solar thermal generators with parabolic plates) and thermoelectric generators. Energy storage systems for electricity generation include hydropumped storage, compressed air storage, electrochemical batteries and flywheels.To produce electricity, a turbine generator set converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. In the cases of natural gas, coal, nuclear fission, biomass, oil, geothermal energy and solar thermal energy, the heat that is produced is used to create electricity.