We divide the power system into three parts. Generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. In this article we will discuss about power generation. Actually, in generating electricity, one form of energy is converted into electrical energy. We generate electrical energy from various natural sources.
We classify That and these sources into two types: renewable sources and non-renewable sources. In the current power system, most of the electrical energy is generated from non-renewable sources such as coal, oil and natural gas.
But these sources are limited. So, we have to use these sources carefully and always look for alternative sources or move towards renewable sources.
Renewable sources include solar, wind, water, ocean and biomass. These sources are environment friendly, free and unlimited available resources. Let’s learn more about renewable sources.
Solar Energy System:
It is the best alternative source of electricity. There are two ways to generate electricity from sunlight.
- We can generate electricity directly by using photovoltaic (PV) cells. A photovoltaic cell is made of silicon. Many cells are connected in series or parallel to form a solar panel.
- We can generate heat (solar thermal) by reflecting sunlight, and we use this heat to turn water into steam. This high temperature steam spins the turbines.
Advantages of Solar Energy System:
- The transmission cost for a stand-alone solar system is zero.
- Solar power generation system is environment friendly.
Maintenance cost is low.
- It is an ideal resource for remote locations that cannot be connected to the grid.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy System:
Initial costs are high.
Large area is required for bulk production.
Solar power generation system is weather dependent.
Solar energy storage (batteries) is expensive.
Wind Energy System:
Wind turbines are utilized to change over wind energy into electrical energy. Wind is made by temperature changes in the air. Wind turbines convert wind energy into dynamic energy. The force of the turn motor turns a posting generator, and that generator changes over dynamic energy into electrical energy.
Advantages of Wind Energy System:
- Wind energy is a limitless, free and clean wellspring of energy.
- Operating cost is almost zero.
- A wind power generation system can generate electricity at a remote location.
Disadvantage of Wind Energy System:
- It cannot produce the same amount of electricity all the time.
- It needs a large open area.
- It makes noise.
- The process of building a wind turbine is expensive.
- It gives less power output.
- It is threatened by flying birds.
Hydro Energy System:
The power acquired from stream or ocean water is called hydro power. Hydro power plants work affected by gravity. Here we store water in a dam or repository. As of now when we permit the water to fall, the development of the water as it streams down the pen stock makes engine energy that turns the turbines.
- It can be used in service immediately.
- After this process, the water can be used for irrigation and other purposes.
- Dams are designed for a long duration and hence can contribute to the generation of electrical energy for many years.
- Running and maintenance costs are low.
- No need to transport fuel.
Disadvantages of Hydro Energy System:
- Initial cost of hydel power plant is high.
- Hydropower plants are located in mountainous terrain, and it
- is far from the load. Therefore, they need a long transmission line.
- The construction of dams can cause flooding in towns and cities.
- It also depends on the weather.
Coal Energy System:
A nuclear energy station produces power by consuming coal in the heater. Heat is utilized to change over water into steam. This high strain and high-temperature steam streaming into the turbine turns a generator to create electrical energy.
After it goes through the turbine, the steam gets cooled in a condenser and reuse in the kettle to produce steam once more. Nuclear energy station works as per Rankine cycle.
Advantages of Coal Energy System:
- Nuclear energy station works as per Rankine cycle.
- Coal is cheap.
- It has lower initial cost compared to renewable power plants.
- It requires less space than hydel plant.
- We can build a thermal power plant anywhere because coal can be transported to the plant irrespective of its location.
- Thermal power plants take less time to construct and start up than hydel plants.
Disadvantages of Coal Energy System:
- Coal is a non-renewable energy source.
- Operating costs are high and variable according to the price of fuel.
- It pollutes the environment due to smoke and fumes.
- It requires a lot of water.
Nuclear Energy System:
The working of atomic power is practically equivalent to a nuclear energy station. In a nuclear energy station, coal is utilized in the evaporator to deliver heat.
In a thermal energy station, uranium is utilized in the atomic reactor to create heat. In both power plants, heat energy gets changed over into electrical energy.
1kg of uranium can deliver energy same as the energy created by consuming of 4500 tons of coal or 2000 tons of oil.
Advantages of Nuclear Energy System:
- It requires less space than thermal power plant and hydro power plant.
- It can produce an unusually large amount of electrical energy from a single plant.
- It does not emit CO2.
- A nuclear power plant requires a small amount of fuel.
Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy System
- Its initial construction cost is very high.
- It has high operating and maintenance costs.
- It contains radioactive waste.
- It has high risk of radioactivity and explosion.