Generation of Electrical Energy and its Importance

Generation of Electrical Energy

The transformation of energy available in different forms in the nature into electrical energy is called the generation of electrical energy.

Energy is available in various forms in the nature such pressure energy in water head, chemical energy in fuels, nuclear energy in radioactive materials, etc. All these forms of energy can be converted into electrical energy by using a suitable arrangement of equipment. A typical arrangement for the generation of electrical energy is shown in the following block diagram.

  • Here, an alternator (an electric generator that generates alternating electrical energy) is coupled to a prime mover (device that can convert any form of energy into kinetic energy).

  • The prime mover is driven by the energy obtained from different energy sources like pressure of water, burning of fuel, steam, etc.

  • For instance, the heat energy produced by burning of coal can be used to produce steam at high temperature and pressure.

  • This steam is fed to a steam turbine or steam engine (prime mover).

  • The steam turbine converts the heat energy of steam into mechanical energy which is further converted into electrical energy by the alternator which is coupled to the prime mover.

In the same way, other forms of energy can be converted into electrical energy by using a suitable arrangement of equipment.

Importance of Electrical Energy

The modern society is so much dependent upon the use of electrical energy that it has become a part of our life. The energy may be needed as heat, as light and in many other forms. The present day technology made it possible to convert electrical energy into any desired form. Actually, the advancement of any country is measured in terms of consumption of electrical energy.

The following reasons account for the popularity of use of electrical energy as compared to the all other forms of energy −

  • Convenient Form of Energy – The electrical energy can be easily converted into other forms of energy such as heat (using heater), as light (using electric bulb), as mechanical energy (using electric motor), etc. Therefore, the electrical energy is a very convenient form of energy.

  • High Flexibility – The electrical energy can be generated at one place and can be easily transported to another place for utilisation with help of conductors. Thus, the electrical energy is widely used because it offers greater flexibility over all other forms of energy.

  • Easy Control & Operation – The electrical machines have simple and easy starting, operation and control. For example, an electric motor can be started or stopped easily with the help of a switch. Also, using a speed control circuit, the speed of the motor can be easily adjusted at the desired value.

  • More Economical – It is overall economical to use the electrical energy for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes, because the electrical energy is much cheaper than other forms of energy.

  • No Pollution – The use of electrical energy ensures cleanliness and healthy conditions in the environment, because the use of electrical energy does not produce smoke, fumes or poisons gases. Hence, the use of electrical energy does not pollute the environment.

  • High Transmission Efficiency – Generally, the generating stations of electrical energy are situated quite away from the places of its utilisation. Using the overhead transmission lines or underground cables, the electrical energy can be transmitted efficiently and conveniently from the generating stations to the points of utilisation.