ELECTRIC POWER PLANTSBy: Maria García Bermejo and María Alejo Hernández.I.E.S Rodríguez Moñino 3ºA 2011/2012
INDEXThere are different types of power plants depending on the source of the energy:Nuclear power plantsFossil fuel thermal power plantsHydroelectric power plantsWind power plants and wind farmsSolar power plantsGeothermal power plantsBiomass thermal power plantsOcean power plantsCuriosities
Nuclear power plantsThese nuclear power plants burn the radioactive material (mainly uranium), to produce electricity.
Process in the nuclear power plantsFirst, uranium is burned in the reactor and inside the control rods, nuclear fission takes place.Water in the reactor is heated to very high temperatures.Then its transported to the steam generator where the reaction of hot and cool water produces steamThe steam moves a turbine that produces electricity.This electricity is then induced into the electric network.While this occurs the steam produced is cooled down again to water, and is transported to the reactor.The process is repeated.
Process in thermal power plantsThese types of power plants, use fossil raw materialssuch as coal,natural gasl or petroleum in order to heatwater in a boiler. The steam produced is thentransported to a turbine and makes it turn. The turbine isconnected to an electric generator that produceselectricity. The steam is converted again to water andthe result is the realisng water vapour through thecooling tower.
Process in hydroelectric power plantsThese types of power plants use the force of water accumulated in a dam in order to make a turbine move. Again the turbine is connected to an electric generator and produces electricity. The characteristics of the obtained electricity are modified in the transformer to high voltage in order to be transported. When it reaches the electric network near the cities and towns, the voltage is then reduced in order to be consumed.
Process in wind power plantsThe nacelle is a metallic box in which a series of electric machines measure the physical characteristics of the wind. When a curent of wind cames, the blades move the generator inside the nacelle. The process in the hydroelectric network is then repeated, tranporting the electricity to the far away cities, passing first through a transformation and control substation.
Solar power plantsWe can find two different types: Photo-thermal and photovoltaic power plants
CharacteristicsPHOTOVOLTAIC PHOTO-THERMALRadiation from the sun The sun heats water and reaches photovoltaic water vapour is cells that are capableof produced in order to transforming it into move a turbine. The electricity. turbine is conected to a generator that producesThey are usually located in electricity. large areas. Special mirrors areCan also be obtained at required to reflect the home and then sold to sun light to the boiler. the electric grid.
This type of energy source is able to produce energy in two ways: DIRECTLY INDIRECTLYThe internal heat of the This is the process in Earth is used for which the (unwanted) storing hot water and water vapour heating in industrial produced in the direct and domestic use. one is used (recycled) to produce electricity through a generator.
Process and characteristicsThis power plant uses energy from recycled waste that has non-potential use to produce electricity such as agricultural waste, agri-food industrial waste and specific crops.These wastes are burned and as a consequence steam is produced which again moves a turbine conected to a generator.The main disadvantage is the huge quatities of CO2 released to the atmosphere.
CharacteristicsIt uses three different types of energy from the sea:-the mechanical energy from the tides-the mechanical energy from the waves-the energy from the oceans thermal gradientIts principal aim is to move a turbine that is connected to a generator that produces electricity.
Advantages and disadvantagesAdvantages DisadvantagesIt is a clean form of energy Its productivity is very low that takes advantage of the because ocean power natural force of the sea plants arent still totally such as the waves and the experimented. tides. It causes environmentalIt benefits from the impact and affects the differences in temperature development of the between the surface and species. the ground soil, creating energy from the thermal gradient.
Curiosities: Wind turbine creates water from thin airThis ecological purpose aims to help arid and desertic areas that have low manufacture of drinking water by taking advantage of a renewable energy. How? Its easy, the energy produced in wind power station is used to make a water generating system works. This process extracts humidity from the air and stores fresh water into stainless steel pipes. This process has been discovered by a French firm and the good point about it is that it can took place anywhere.