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Encyclopedia > Electricity generation
Sustainable development Portal
World-wide electricity production for 1980 to 2005.
World-wide electricity production for 1980 to 2005.

Electricity generation is the process of converting some form of energy into electricity. For electric utilities, it is the first process in the delivery of electricity to consumers. The other processes are electric power transmission and electricity distribution which are normally carried out by the electrical power industry. Electricity is most often generated by electro-mechanical generators, primarily driven by fuel combustion but also by other means such as the kinetic energy of flowing water and wind. There are many other technologies that can be and are used to generate electricity though, with solar photovoltaics being the most significant alternative currently. Image File history File links Sustainable_development. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Electricity (from New Latin Ä“lectricus, amberlike) is a general term for a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. ... An electric utility is a company (often a public utility) that engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity for sale generally in a regulated market. ... Power line redirects here. ... 11kV/400V-230V transformer in an older suburb of Wellington, New Zealand Electricity distribution is the penultimate stage in the delivery (before retail) of electricity to end users. ... Transmission lines in Lund, Sweden Electric company redirects here. ... This article is about machines that produce electricity. ... Photovoltaic tree in Styria, Austria Photovoltaics, or PV for short, is a solar power technology that uses solar cells or solar photovoltaic arrays to convert light from the sun directly into electricity. ...

Sources of electricity in the U.S. in 2005; fossil fuel generation was the largest source.
Sources of electricity in the U.S. in 2005;[1] fossil fuel generation was the largest source.
Sources of electricity in France in 2006; nuclear power was the main source.
Sources of electricity in France in 2006;[2] nuclear power was the main source.

Contents

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 414 pixel Image in higher resolution (1082 × 560 pixel, file size: 39 KB, MIME type: image/png) Made by Acdx in Excel 2007 based on [1] and Image:Sources_of_Electricity_in_the_US_2005. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 414 pixel Image in higher resolution (1082 × 560 pixel, file size: 39 KB, MIME type: image/png) Made by Acdx in Excel 2007 based on [1] and Image:Sources_of_Electricity_in_the_US_2005. ... Mohave Generating Station, a 1,580 MW coal power plant near Laughlin, Nevada A fossil fuel power plant is an energy conversion center that burns fossil fuels to produce electricity, designed on a large scale for continuous operation. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 484 pixelsFull resolution (929 × 562 pixel, file size: 31 KB, MIME type: image/png) Made by myself in Excel based on [1]. I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 484 pixelsFull resolution (929 × 562 pixel, file size: 31 KB, MIME type: image/png) Made by myself in Excel based on [1]. I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document... This article is about applications of nuclear fission reactors as power sources. ...

History

Centralized power generation became possible when it was recognized that alternating current power lines can transport electricity at low costs across great distances by taking advantage of the ability to raise and lower the voltage using power transformers. City lights viewed in a motion blurred exposure. ... Electricity (from New Latin Ä“lectricus, amberlike) is a general term for a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. ... International safety symbol Caution, risk of electric shock (ISO 3864), colloquially known as high voltage symbol. ... For other uses, see Transformer (disambiguation). ...


Electricity has been generated for the purpose of powering human technologies since 1881, over 120 years, from various sources of energy. The first power plants were run on water power or coal,[3] and today we rely mainly on coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydroelectric, and petroleum with a small amount from solar energy, tidal harnesses, wind generators, and geothermal sources. For other uses, see Niagara Falls (disambiguation). ... Coal Coal (IPA: ) is a fossil fuel formed in swamp ecosystems where plant remains were saved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation. ... This article is about applications of nuclear fission reactors as power sources. ... This article is about the fossil fuel. ... Hydroelectricity is electricity produced by hydropower. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Lubbock, Texas Ignacy Łukasiewicz - inventor of the refining of kerosene from crude oil. ... Solar power from a parabolic reflector. ... Tidal energy, sometimes called tidal power, is a form of hydropower that exploits the movement of water caused by tidal currents or the rise and fall in sea levels due to the tides. ... A tall tower holds a wind turbine aloft where winds are consistently stronger. ... Krafla Geothermal Station in northeast Iceland Geothermal power is energy generated by heat stored beneath the Earths surface. ...


Electricity demand

Large Dams such as Hoover Dam are able to provide large amounts of hydroelectric power; it has a 2.07 gigawatt capability.
Large Dams such as Hoover Dam are able to provide large amounts of hydroelectric power; it has a 2.07 gigawatt capability.
Coal fired power plants provide more than 50% of consumed electricity in the United States. Cleaner burning technologies continue to make coal fired power one of the cheapest ways to generate electricity[1]. This is the Castle Gate Plant near Helper, Utah.
Coal fired power plants provide more than 50% of consumed electricity in the United States. Cleaner burning technologies continue to make coal fired power one of the cheapest ways to generate electricity[1]. This is the Castle Gate Plant near Helper, Utah.

The demand for electricity can be met in two different ways. The primary method thus far has been for public or private utilities to construct large scale centralized projects to generate and transmit the electricity required to fuel economies. Many of these projects have caused unpleasant environmental effects such as air or radiation pollution and the flooding of large areas of land. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2272x1704, 1167 KB) Summary Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2272x1704, 1167 KB) Summary Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... For the dam near Westerville, Ohio, see Hoover Dam (Ohio). ... Hydroelectric dam diagram The waters of Llyn Stwlan, the upper reservoir of the Ffestiniog Pumped-Storage Scheme in north Wales, can just be glimpsed on the right. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 502 pixelsFull resolution (2293 × 1439 pixels, file size: 523 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper Utah by David Jolley 2007. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 502 pixelsFull resolution (2293 × 1439 pixels, file size: 523 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper Utah by David Jolley 2007. ... Helper is a city located in Carbon County, Utah. ...


Distributed generation creates power on a smaller scale at locations throughout the electricity network. Often these sites generate electricity as a by-product of other industrial processes such as using gas from landfills to drive turbines. Distributed generation generates electricity from many small energy sources. ...


Methods of generating electricity

Turbines

A coal-fired power plant in Laughlin, Nevada U.S.A. Owners of this plant ceased operations after declining to invest in pollution control equipment to comply with pollution regulations.
A coal-fired power plant in Laughlin, Nevada U.S.A. Owners of this plant ceased operations after declining to invest in pollution control equipment to comply with pollution regulations.[4]
A combined cycle natural gas power plant near Orem, Utah.
Nuclear power plant.

Rotating turbines attached to electrical generators produce most commercially available electricity. Turbines are driven by a fluid which acts as an intermediate energy carrier. The fluids typically used are: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2003x1474, 2150 KB) Summary This is a picture of Mohave Generating Station, a 1,580 MW coal power plant near Laughlin, Nevada. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2003x1474, 2150 KB) Summary This is a picture of Mohave Generating Station, a 1,580 MW coal power plant near Laughlin, Nevada. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 377 pixel Image in higher resolution (847 × 399 pixel, file size: 54 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Natural gas fired power generation plant by David Jolley 2007. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 377 pixel Image in higher resolution (847 × 399 pixel, file size: 54 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Natural gas fired power generation plant by David Jolley 2007. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... WWII era ship propulsion turbine A turbine is a rotary engine that extracts energy from a fluid flow. ... This article is about machines that produce electricity. ...

  • steam - Water is boiled by nuclear fission or the burning of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, or petroleum). Some newer plants use the sun as the heat source: solar parabolic troughs and solar power towers concentrate sunlight to heat a heat transfer fluid, which is then used to produce steam. Another renewable source of heat used to drive a turbine is Geothermal power. Either steam under pressure emerges from the ground and drives a turbine or hot water evaporates a low boiling liquid to create vapour to drive a turbine.
  • water - Turbine blades are acted upon by flowing water, produced by hydroelectric dams or tidal forces,
  • wind - Most wind turbines generate electricity from naturally occurring wind. Solar updraft towers use wind that is artificially produced inside the chimney by heating it with sunlight.
  • hot gases - Turbines are driven directly by gases produced by the combustion of natural gas or oil.

Combined cycle gas turbine plants are driven by both steam and gas. They generate power by burning natural gas in a gas turbine and use residual heat to generate additional electricity from steam. These plants offer efficiencies of up to 60%. An induced nuclear fission event. ... Mohave Generating Station, a 1,580 MW coal power plant near Laughlin, Nevada A fossil fuel power plant is an energy conversion center that burns fossil fuels to produce electricity, designed on a large scale for continuous operation. ... A parabolic trough is a type of solar thermal collector. ... The solar power tower at Solar Two in California The solar power tower (also known as Central Tower power plants or Heliostat power plants or power towers) is a type of solar furnace using a tower to receive the focused sunlight. ... Krafla Geothermal Station in northeast Iceland Geothermal power is energy generated by heat stored beneath the Earths surface. ... Hydroelectric dam diagram The waters of Llyn Stwlan, the upper reservoir of the Ffestiniog Pumped-Storage Scheme in north Wales, can just be glimpsed on the right. ... Tidal energy, sometimes called tidal power, is a form of hydropower that exploits the movement of water caused by tidal currents or the rise and fall in sea levels due to the tides. ... This article is about the machine for converting the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical energy. ... Schematic of a Solar updraft tower This article is about a type of power plant. ... This article is about the chemical reaction combustion. ... A combined cycle is characteristic of a power producing engine or plant that employs more than one thermodynamic cycle. ... This machine has a single-stage centrifugal compressor and turbine, a recuperator, and foil bearings. ...


Reciprocating engines

Small electricity generators are often powered by reciprocating engines burning diesel, biogas or natural gas. Diesel engines are often used for back up generation, usually at low voltages. Biogas is often combusted where it is produced, such as a landfill or wastewater treatment plant, with a reciprocating engine or a microturbine, which is a small gas turbine. Components of a typical, four stroke cycle, DOHC piston engine. ... This article is about the fuel. ... Biogas-bus in Bern, Switzerland Biogas typically refers to a (biofuel) gas produced by the anaerobic digestion or fermentation of organic matter including manure, sewage sludge, municipal solid waste, biodegradable waste or any other biodegradable feedstock, under anaerobic conditions. ... The diesel engine is a type of internal combustion engine; more specifically, a compression ignition engine, in which the fuel is ignited by the high temperature of a compressed gas, rather than a separate source of energy (such as a spark plug). ...


Photovoltaic panels

Unlike the solar heat concentrators mentioned above, photovoltaic panels convert sunlight directly to electricity. Although sunlight is free and abundant, solar electricity is still usually more expensive to produce than large-scale mechanically generated power due to the cost of the panels. Low-efficiency silicon solar cells have been decreasing in cost though, and multijunction cells with close to 30% conversion efficiency are now commercially available. Over 40% efficiency has been demonstrated in experimental systems.[5] Until recently, photovoltaics were most commonly used in remote sites where there is no access to a commercial power grid, or as a supplemental electricity source for individual homes and businesses. Recent advances in manufacturing efficiency and photovoltaic technology, combined with subsidies driven by environmental concerns, have dramatically accelerated the deployment of solar panels. Installed capacity is growing by 40% per year led by increases in Germany, Japan, California and New Jersey. Photovoltaic tree in Styria, Austria Photovoltaics, or PV for short, is a solar power technology that uses solar cells or solar photovoltaic arrays to convert light from the sun directly into electricity. ...


Other generation methods

Wind powered turbines provide reliable sources of electrical generation in conjunction with other methods of producing power.

Various other technologies have been studied and developed for power generation. Solid-state generation (without moving parts) is of particular interest in portable applications. This area is largely dominated by thermoelectric (TE) devices, though thermionic (TI) and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems have been developed as well. Typically, TE devices are used at lower temperatures than TI and TPV systems. Piezoelectric devices are used for power generation from mechanical strain, particularly in power harvesting. Betavoltaics are another type of solid-state power generator which produces electricity from radioactive decay. Fluid-based magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) power generation has been studied as a method for extracting electrical power from nuclear reactors and also from more conventional fuel combustion systems. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 1239 KB) Summary Taken by me. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 1239 KB) Summary Taken by me. ... The Peltier–Seebeck effect, or thermoelectric effect, is the direct conversion of heat differentials to electric voltage and vice versa. ... A thermionic converter, consists of a hot electrode which thermionically emits electrons over a potential energy barrier to a cooler electrode, producing a useful electric power output. ... Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion is a direct conversion process from heat differentials to electricity via photons. ... Piezoelectricity is the ability of certain crystals to produce a voltage when subjected to mechanical stress. ... Power harvesting (sometimes termed energy scavenging) is the process of acquiring energy from the surrounding environment (ambient energy) and converting it into usable electrical energy. ... Betavoltaics are generators of electrical current, in effect a form of battery, which use energy from a radioactive source emitting beta particles (electrons). ... // The MHD (magnetohydrodynamic) generator or dynamo transforms thermal energy or kinetic energy directly into electricity. ... Nuclear power station at Leibstadt, Switzerland. ...


Electrochemical electricity generation is also important in portable and mobile applications. Currently, most electrochemical power comes from closed electrochemical cells ("batteries") [6], which are arguably utilized more as storage systems than generation systems, but open electrochemical systems, known as fuel cells, have been undergoing a great deal of research and development in the last few years. Fuel cells can be used to extract power either from natural fuels or from synthesized fuels (mainly electrolytic hydrogen) and so can be viewed as either generation systems or storage systems depending on their use. English chemists John Daniell (left) and Michael Faraday (right), both credited to be founders of electrochemistry as known today. ... Symbols representing a single Cell (top) and Battery (bottom), used in circuit diagrams. ... A fuel cell is an electrochemical device similar to a battery, but differing from the latter in that it is designed for continuous replenishment of the reactants consumed; i. ... General Name, Symbol, Number hydrogen, H, 1 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 1, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 1. ...


Producers

Electricity output in 2005
Electricity output in 2005

In 2005, USA continued to remain as the top producer of electricity with a global share of at least 25% followed by China, Japan and Russia. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 440 pixelsFull resolution (1572 × 864 pixel, file size: 194 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This bubble map shows the global distribution of electricity output in 2005 as a percentage of the top producer (USA - 3,979 tera watt hours). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 440 pixelsFull resolution (1572 × 864 pixel, file size: 194 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This bubble map shows the global distribution of electricity output in 2005 as a percentage of the top producer (USA - 3,979 tera watt hours). ...


See also

Energy Portal

Image File history File links Portal. ... Distributed generation generates electricity from many small energy sources. ... The Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) is a comprehensive source of data on the environmental characteristics of almost all electric power generated in the United States. ... Power line redirects here. ... An electric utility is a company (often a public utility) that engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity for sale generally in a regulated market. ... 11kV/400V-230V transformer in an older suburb of Wellington, New Zealand Electricity distribution is the penultimate stage in the delivery (before retail) of electricity to end users. ... Electricity retailing is the final process in the delivery of electricity from generation to the consumer. ... Higher electricity use per capita correlates with a higher score on the Human Development Index(1997). ... Modern technology uses large amounts of electrical power. ... The Eugene Green Energy Standard is an international standard to which national or international green electricity labelling schemes can be accredited to confirm that they provide genuine environmental benefits. ... Linemen repairing overhead lines (that supply power to trains) Linemen repairing electricity distribution lines (that supply power to homes) A lineman or linesman is a tradesman who constructs and maintains electric power transmission and distribution facilities. ... In electronics, a load profile is a graph of the changes in the electrical load on an electrical device versus time. ... Power quality is a term used to discuss events on electric power grids that can damage or disrupt sensitive electronic devices. ... Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology is a bi-directional grid interface for gridable Electric vehicles such as Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... World power usage in terawatts (TW), 1965-2005. ...

References

  1. ^ Net Generation by Energy Source by Type of Producer, (c. 2006), accessed 2007-04-26, Washington: U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration.
  2. ^ (French) DGEMP / Observatoire de l'énergie (April 2007). L’Electricité en France en 2006 : une analyse statistique.. Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
  3. ^ Pearl Street Station: The Dawn of Commercial Electric Power
  4. ^ Reuters News Service. "Mohave Power Plant in Nevada to Close as Expected", Planet Ark, December 30, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-07-16. 
  5. ^ New World Record Achieved in Solar Cell Technology (press release, 2006-12-05), U.S. Department of Energy.
  6. ^ World's Largest Utility Battery System Installed in Alaska (press release, 2003-09-24), U.S. Department of Energy. "13,670 nickel-cadmium battery cells to generate up to 40 megawatts of power for about 7 minutes, or 27 megawatts of power for 15 minutes."

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Power Technologies Energy Data Book

  Results from FactBites:
 
Electricity generation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (504 words)
Electricity generation is the first process in the delivery of electricity to consumers.
The importance of dependable electricity generation, transmission and distribution was revealed when it became apparent that electricity was useful for providing heat, light and power for human activities.
Electricity has been generated for the purpose of powering human technologies for at least 120 years from various sources of potential energy.
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