The image shows a thermal power plant, which produces electricity by converting thermal or caloric energy, heat, initially obtained by burning fuels.
Similar to the other power plants, especially the thermal power plants, are the basic components, namely the electric generator driven by the steam turbine, a heat engine.
The coal is burned, the accumulated steam under pressure sets in motion the low, medium and high pressure turbines, which are connected to a generator that converts their mechanical energy into electricity, which is further distributed to the electric substations by the power lines.
In the image, the boiler tube where coal is burnt and hot air is rising into the funnel tower where exits in the air, is represented by a vertically elongated circle, the left edge, inside of which, at the base, the fire flame is rendered by oblique and parallel lines.
The water is rendered with a dotted texture in a steel tube of the boiler, called superheaters, joined at the bottom by a horizontal tube, connecting it by the feedwater pump to the condenser in the lower right.
The condenser at the bottom right side is marked by a square half filled with dotted texture.
The hot vapors from the steam turbine above are transformed into liquid water and cooled by the condenser and pumped by the feedwater pump back into the steam generator or the boiler superheaters.
The turbine is highlighted in the center right, in the shape of a blank square in the center of which is a thickened dot surrounded by four lines arranged in the form of a sloped cross.
The steam turbine is connected to the generator through a pipe rendered as a thickened horizontal line.
The electric generator is represented in the upper right edge, in the form of a blank horizontal rectangle, in the center of which is another embossed rectangle.
After the discovery of the utility of the electric current, interest in its generation methods increased. At first, electricity was only available in places where there were individual power generators. For this reason, it was necessary to create an electricity generation and distribution infrastructure to ensure the supply of electricity to a wider area. The infrastructure has been created and so we have electricity in almost all populated areas of the Earth. This infrastructure is called an electricity grid. The main components of the electricity grid are the power plants in which the current is produced, the transformer stations that adjust the voltage according to the needs of the consumers, and the cables through which all elements of the grid are interconnected. Also, through the cables, the current reaches the consumers.
Power plants are of many kinds, depending on the energy they use to produce electricity. All power plants have as their main component electric generators, which convert mechanical energy into electricity.
Wind power plants are the ones that use wind force to operate electric generators. Like windmills, they have turbines that, at the action of the wind, rotate, then the rotational motion is transmitted to the generators. Wind turbines are a green, clean source of electricity. They are worth installing in areas where the wind is blowing strongly all year round.
Another green electricity resource is hydropower plants. These, like wind power plants, are equipped with turbines. If wind power plants use wind force to operate turbines, hydropower plants use the force of flowing water. Hydropower plants are built on rivers or rivers. To increase performance, reservoirs and artificial dams are used. The most important hydropower plants in The Country were built on the Danube, at the Iron Gates dam.
Thermopower plants bring an important supply of electricity to the national electricity grid. They convert heat into electric current by burning fuels. They are equipped with turbines that are, in most cases, powered by the force of steam. As fuels, coal, fuel oil, natural gas or biomass are used. The mode of operation is this: As a result of the burning of fuels, heat is released. The heat generated heats the water to the point where steam appears, and the steam activates the turbines. Some thermal power plants can be used both for the production of electricity and for the production of heat, which is distributed to consumers through the heating network. The great disadvantage of thermal power plants is the pollution produced by the burning of fuels.
Another category of power plants consist of nuclear or atomic power plants. As a mode of operation, it resembles thermal power plants, in that even in the case of nuclear power plants, steam force is used. The major difference is that heat is obtained not by burning fuels, but by nuclear reaction. The reactor is the site where the fission of the nuclei takes place, a process that produces heat. This energy is used for heating water, which turns to steam, and pressure steam activates the turbines of electricity generators. The only nuclear power plant in Romania is at Cernavoda. The great disadvantage of nuclear power plants is pollution by radioactive waste, which is very harmful to human, animal and plant health.
Did you know that Romania is the largest wind farm in Europe? This is CEZ Wind Park and is located in Constanta County.
The largest hydropower plant in the world was built in China and, if used to the fullest, could generate twice the electricity needs for the whole of Romania.
The largest atomic catastrophe in Europe occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, when the plant’s reactor 4 exploded. The consequences of this accident are still being felt today and will still be present for a long time.