How is electricity produced? (with photos)

The Hoover Dam is used to generate hydroelectric power.

There are many different ways to produce electricity. Each method involves using a turbine to spin and convert kinetic energy into electrical energy. Electricity is produced when a turbine moves a large magnet around a very large wire. This movement serves to electrify the wire. The energy is then expelled from the generator through special transformers.

Nuclear power plants use nuclear fusion to heat water into steam that drives turbines that produce electricity.

Steam, flue gases and water are commonly used to turn turbines to generate electricity. Wind can also be used. When steam is used, fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal are usually burned for the purpose of creating steam from water. The steam is then used to turn the turbine.

Nuclear energy is sometimes used to create steam to turn turbines. When nuclear energy is used, the uranium is broken down, creating thermal energy. Thermal energy is applied to water, creating steam for use in rotating a turbine.

Wind turbines incorporate dynamos that generate electricity as the turbine blades rotate.

Flue gases can be used to create electricity. In such cases, a gas turbine is used to burn natural gas or low sulfur oil. The fuel is mixed with compressed air and burned in combustion chambers. In these chambers, high-pressure combustion gases are formed and applied to the turbine, causing it to rotate.

Sometimes water is used to generate electricity. In this case, water falls on the blades of a turbine, turning it. This requires an incredibly large amount of water, which is usually obtained from a reservoir or lake. The body of water must be located above the turbine to spin its massive blades.

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A generator for backup electricity.

Once created, the electricity travels to a transformer and is changed from low to high voltage. This is an important step as it gives electricity the shock it needs to travel from the power plant to its final destinations. High voltage electrical current moves within thick transmission lines.

The traveling current is maintained above ground by transmission towers, and insulators are employed to maintain power in the transmission lines. Transmission towers and insulators are vital to ensuring the safe transport of electricity.

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