How is Electricity Made
Ever since the discovery of Electricity in the year 1752 by Benjamin Franklin, attempts were made to harness the benefits of electricity. The first successful attempts to generate electricity were made by the scientist Michael Faraday who worked based on the principle of converting kinetic energy into electric energy. The principle involved was as follows. When an electric coil is placed between the poles of a rotating magnet, electricity is induced in the coil. Even today, most of the methods involved in generation of electricity work based on this principle. The basic motive is to set the turbines in motion which result in the storage of electricity in the armature coil. However, there are different driving forces made use of, to ensure that electricity is generated.
In the modern day world, the generation of electricity is done in power stations owing to the low cost of production when the production is done on a large scale. The various kinds of power stations classified on the basis of the method used are hydroelectric power station, nuclear power station, wind energy power station etc. Some of the methods of power generation make use of non renewable sources of energy like coal and other fossil fuels, whereas some of them rely on renewable sources of energy like wind and water. It is to be noted that producing electricity with the use of renewable sources of energy turns out of be more expensive as compared to the large power stations where coal or other fossil fuels are used.
Once the turbine is set in motion by the kinetic energy generated, electricity gets induced in the armature of the coil. The electricity thus generated, is then moved out of the generator and stored after stepping up its voltage with the help of specially designed transformers. This is a key step as it is essential that the voltage of electricity is increased to ensure long distance transmission. In a hydroelectric power station, water is used to turn the turbine, whereas a nuclear power station makes use of heated gases at high pressure that are produced owing to nuclear reactions.
The other forms of electricity generation are with the use of Solar Thermal energy and Ocean Thermal energy Conversion (OTEC) and geothermal energy. These methods of generation of electricity are in their in their infancy stage and are expected to be more popular in the future as they make use of renewable sources of energy. The photoelectric and the photovoltaic cells on the other hand make use of the sun’s energy and convert it into electric energy directly.