Physics Of The Power Grid: Alternative Energy

635 words | 3 page(s)

Understanding how alternative energy such as wind, coal, solar and nuclear plant are generated and transmitted into our homes is usually a concern of most people. To begin with, it is important to understand that the generation of any form of alternative power begins from the power plant where water is turned into steam through extreme heating process. The obtained steam is then piped and redirected into the turbines (Motter et al., 2013). The core reason behind the heating down of water into steam is to obtain high levels of pressure that could be used to turn the blades of the turbine. On the contrary, a shaft is usually used to connect the turbines and the generator. It is also worth to note that the generator is usually designed with magnetic fields that are then used to produce electricity. The construction of a generator is usually a complex process that other than requiring high degree of technical expertise, it may also need a lot of time and money (Carbone, 2013).

The voltage power that is obtained from the generator is then redirected to the transmission substation that is usually located within the substation. The transmission substation within the power plant are usually designed with transformers that can be used to convert the underlying voltage that have been produced by the generator into relatively high voltages that can be transmitted effectively over long distances into other substations (Motter et al., 2013). After reaching the substations that are located outside the power plant, the conveyed power voltage is then passed through step-down transformers that convert the underlying power into appropriate voltage.

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Once conversion of the power voltage into manageable amount has been carried out, the power is then channeled through transmission systems made of poles and lines (Carbone, 2013). The designing of transmission systems are usually tedious and involving activities that required proper planning. In fact, factors such as reliability, economic sustainability, technically, and even environmental factors have to be put in place in the designing of transmission systems. More importantly, rational and considerable high amount of decisions have to be made before choosing to allocate the transmission equipment in particular areas. On that regard, the installation plan can take ten to even twenty years before its implementation (Motter et al., 2013).

After reaching the delivery point, power voltage is then passed through step-down transformers to reduce its voltage and to increase its usability (Carbone, 2013). Thus, after converting the voltage into manageable level, the power is then channeled into the underlying first component of the distribution system where it is redirected to our homes. Nonetheless, as simple at seems to appear, the designing and planning of the alternative energy transmission system can take years and even decades before their actual implementation. Therefore, that explains the valuation that is redirected to electricity generation and supply in the United States and other world countries (Motter et al., 2013).

After reaching home delivery points, electrical power is then connected into homes using electric cables. Wiring is usually conducted by electricians within the homes to ensure that there is a safe electricity supply platform. After that, a cable is that links the final power delivery point to different houses is then connected (Motter et al., 2013). In the homes, electric wires that have been pre-installed by the proven electricians are then used to subdivide and channel the power to different rooms. On the contrary, sockets are then used to connect various electrical appliances ready for use. Thus, that comprehends the underlying generation and transmission systems that are used to supply electric energy from alternative sources such as coal, wind, solar and even nuclear energy (Carbone, 2013).

  • Carbone, Anna. “Power Grid Complexity.” Phys. Today Physics Today 66.6 (2013): 54. Web.
  • Motter, Adilson E., Seth A. Myers, Marian Anghel, and Takashi Nishikawa. “Spontaneous Synchrony in Power-grid Networks.” Nat Phys Nature Physics 9.3 (2013): 191-97. Web.

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