How to generate electricityElectrons are a part of every atom, electricity is what results when electrons are flowing through a conductor. Ultimately, all that is needed to generate electricity is a metal wire for a conductor and a catalyst to start the electrons flowing.
There are many different sources of electricity and many different ways electricity can be produced.
How does lemon juice conduct electricity?
The most common method for
generating electricityis moving a magnet around a conductor. Electricity can also be generated or by putting two different conductors into salt water, or by touching two different conductors together and shining light on them. The most common for is by using magnets, but there's even a backpack that uses the energy of a walking person to generate up to 7 watts of electricity, enough to power many devices simultaneously.
When we talk about different sources of electricity we refer to the different types of fuel or power used to generate electricity, but except for solar power, they all involve spinning a copper wire between magnets.
When a magnetic field is in motion relative to a copper wire it triggers the flow of electrons in the wire, creating electricity.
With the exception of pv cells / photovoltaic cells , power plants and electrical generators use large magnets positioned on a shaft - called an armature - spinning inside large quantities of copper wiring at very high speeds. This process gets electricity moving through the copper wires. Oh yeah, electricity can also be generated by spinning lots of wire inside of big magnets. The more coils there are and the faster they spin, the more current is produced by the generator. In power plants, most often the armature is turned by the force of water or steam. Electrical generators are most often powered by natural gas.
Steam turbine generators, gas turbine generators, diesel engine generators, nuclear power, and alternate energy systems, all follow this principle, each providing a unique way to spin the armature.
Sources of electricity
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We are still improving this process in search of energy solutions that carry the least cost when both the expense of generating it and the cost of damage to the health of people and the environment are considered.
Fun fact: an electrical generator is identical to a motor. When electricity is created by spinning the shaft we call it a generator, when an electric current is hooked to it the electricity forces the wires to spin the shaft and we call it a motor.
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