Q.3 Generation process of electrical energy.
“Generation Process of Electrical Energy”
The conversion of energy available in different forms in nature into electrical energy is known as generation of electrical energy.
Electrical energy is a manufactured commodity like clothing, furniture or tools. Just as the manufacture of a commodity involves the conversion of raw materials available in nature into the desired form, similarly electrical energy is produced from the forms of energy available in nature. However, electrical energy differs in one important respect. Whereas other commodities may be produced at will and consumed as needed, the electrical energy must be produced and transmitted to the point of use at the instant it is needed. The entire process takes only a fraction of a second. This instantaneous production of electrical energy introduces technical and economical considerations unique to the electrical power industry.
Energy is available in various forms from different natural sources such as pressure head of water, chemical energy of fuels, nuclear energy of radioactive substances etc. All these forms of energy can be converted into electrical energy by the use of suitable arrangements. The arrangement essentially employs an alternator coupled to a prime mover. The prime mover is driven by the energy obtained from various sources such as burning of fuel, pressure of water, force of wind etc. For example, chemical energy of a fuel (e.g., coal) can be used to produce steam at high temperature and pressure. The steam is fed to a prime mover which may be a steam engine or a steam turbine. The turbine converts heat energy of steam into mechanical energy which is further converted into electrical energy by the alternator. Similarly, other forms of energy can be converted into electrical energy by employing suitable machinery and equipment.