Invention of 1 has changed the way we live and work; it has changed civilization. Large turbines driving generators in power stations produce electricity which we consume everyday. To rotate these turbines various energy sources such as fossil fuels, water, nuclear fuel, wind and even waste matter are used. In this article we shall briefly look at different methods of producing electricity.
Heat released by burning fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas, etc. is used to generate high pressure steam. This high pressure steam is used to drive turbines which in turn produce electricity. This is the most common method today; but it releases large quantities of carbon dioxide in atmosphere which is detrimental, in short term as well as long terms, for the society.
Dams constructed across rivers store large quantities of water; they facilitate flood control, provide water for irrigation, and also for generation of electricity. Water from a dam drives turbines which in turn produce electricity. This method of generating electricity does not cause atmospheric pollution but does affect the ecosystem in the water bodies adversely.
Wind mills have been used in the olden times to drive pumps etc. Now the wind mills are used to drive turbines which help produce electricity. Many companies like the moxie maids own their private wind mills.
Popular concept of nuclear reaction is related to the destruction caused by nuclear weapons. But the same nuclear reaction carried out in a controlled manner releases an enormous amount of heat which is used to generate high pressure steam. This steam is then is used to drive turbines which produce electricity.
Bio waste releases heat when burnt which is used to generate electricity on a smaller scale such as in rural communities.
Fossil fuels are being fast depleted due to limited resources and ever increasing demand. Moreover continued use of fossil fuels is endangering society by pollution. There is a serious effort on to find and exploit more and more of renewable, non-polluting sources of energy like wind, water, etc. Presently water is the major renewable, non-polluting source of energy used in generating electricity.