Power generation is a term used to describe the production of electricity using different types of technology. From steam boilers that are over a hundred years old to more modern wind turbines, electricity generation is the process of generating electrical energy from primary energy sources. Power plants are industrial facilities that generate electricity from sources such as coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar or wind energy. Most power plants use generators to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Solar power plants use photovoltaic cells instead of turbines to generate electricity. The modern steam turbine, invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1888, currently produces around 80% of the world's electrical energy. With the invention of long-distance energy transmission, the coordination of power plants began. Electricity generation at central power plants started in 1882 when a steam engine driving a dynamo at the Pearl Street station produced direct current that powered the street lighting on Pearl Street, New York.
This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks or a generator can convert it into electricity. Turbines are the most common in commercial power generation, but smaller generators can run on gasoline or diesel engines. Something has to make the generator turn, which could be a hydraulic wheel on a hydroelectric dam, a large diesel engine or a gas turbine. Electric powertrain refers to the electrical circuit that includes the traction motor or motors and may also include the REESS, the electrical energy conversion system, electronic converters, wiring harness and associated connectors and coupling system for charging the REESS.
A steam generating unit of an electric utility is any electric steam generating unit constructed for supplying more than a third of its potential electrical production capacity and more than 25 MW of electrical power to any power distribution system of the public company for sale. The fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered in the 1820s and early 1830s by British scientist Michael Faraday. Cogeneration means simultaneous generation of thermal energy and electrical or mechanical energy. The maximum amount of energy is usually measured in megawatts (MW) or kilowatts and helps utility companies project how large an electricity load a generator can withstand.
Natural gas power plants are more efficient than coal-fired power generation but still contribute to climate change, though not as much as coal generation. Renewable energy sources include small hydroelectric, wind, solar energy including their integration with combined cycle, biomass, biofuel cogeneration, urban or municipal waste and other similar sources approved by the MNRE. They differ from most building-mounted solar energy and other decentralized solar energy because they supply energy at the service level rather than to a local user or users. A fundamental issue related to centralized generation and current methods of electricity generation is their significant negative environmental effects.