SOURCES OF ELECTRICITY

1. Hydroelectric plants  This power plants convert the kinetic energy of falling water to electric current.  Large dams stop the flowing rivers and produce large stored quantities of water.  The height of water in the dam gives rise to a high pressure at the base. Water released near the bottom of the dam spouts with a high velocity and spins special water turbines.  Hydroelectric plants are ideal sources of electricity 2. Fossil Fuel Power Plants  The natural gas, crude oil and coal are commonly known as fossil fuels  The heat obtained from burning coal is used to boil water and produce steam. The steam runs the turbines where electricity is generated. Electricity, in turn, is distributed to the community by electric companies.  Since these fuels are constituted by carbon compounds when they are burned, they form products that destroy the natural characteristics of the environment. 3. Geothermal Plants  Heat from under the earth is another source of electrical energy . Steam from underneath the earth is tapped. It is used to turn the blades of the turbines. The generator converts the mechanical energy in the turbines to electrical energy.  The first major geothermal power plant put into operation on December 1978 was the Tiwi geothermal plant.  The side effects of this power plant are almost harmless. Methane can be separated and sold as fuel and ammonia can be neutralized and used as fertilizer. 4. Nuclear Plant  Another source of electrical energy is the energy released by atomic nucleus during controlled nuclear reaction in nuclear power plants. A large amount of energy is released during the fission of the nucleus of an atom of a radioactive element like uranium.  The environment is exposed at three points in the nuclear fuel cycle. These are the reactor, at the fuel processing and at the waste disposal site.  The enormous release of energy makes the nuclear power potentially dangerous.  In the Philippines, the first nuclear power project was erected in Morong Bataan. 5. Solar Energy- Sun is a power source that is clean, predictable, readily available and free to all those that have the equipment to use it. a. Photovoltaic Cells- are constructed so that sunlight shining on them is converted to electric energy. The overall efficiency of these cells is fairly low- about 18%. b. Solar reflectors-are mirrors that concentrate and reflect the sun’s toward a central point. c. Windmills-the force of the wind is powerful enough to turn the blades of a windmill, which in turn drives a turbine. d. Biogas-fermentation of animal manure and agricultural waste forms biogas. The waste materials are fermented in a digester. The gas produced may be stored in an enclosed tank.

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