30 Jun How do we generate electricity?
Electricity is the backbone of our society. Everything that we run in our day-to-day lives requires electricity in some form or another. There are a lot of ways that electricity can be generated, and as we move to a net-zero society, more and more of these methods are sustainable. Electric cables and even the small wires in our electronics are usually made from copper as it is a good conductor and is not affected by oxidisation. When a metal is affected by exposure to oxygen or water, there is a need to use HVOF like that from www.poeton.co.uk/standard-treatments/plasma-coatings to protect the outer layer.
Here are some of the ways that we can generate electricity.
Coal – this fossil fuel has been generating electricity for us here in the UK for hundreds of years. It was during the industrial revolution that the mining of coal for fuel began, and we haven’t stopped since. Over time it became obvious that this way of generating electricity was dangerous and unsustainable for the planet. The government has put plans in place to decarbonise the grid and head towards net zero. This will mean that coal will no longer be used as a fuel as of the end of 2024.
Gas – this is another fossil fuel and is used to generate electricity. By burning the gas, heat is created that then turns a turbine. The turbine then spins a generator which creates the electricity. Again this is neither a clean nor a sustainable method of generating electricity.
Hydrogen – this can be created from fossil fuels such as natural gas, but it can also be created from biogas and renewable power sources such as solar and wind. This allows for us to generate electricity in a much more sustainable way, using the elements that are present naturally on Earth.
Nuclear – the creation of electricity through nuclear energy is complex and has at times been seen to be a controversial move. But with the government moving towards net-zero, it is thought that nuclear power will become much more common.
Solar – the sun radiates both heat and light, and solar panels harvest this energy and convert it into power. There are two types of solar panels. Those that help to create heat and those that use solar to create electricity.
Wind – turbines are positioned into the wind, and as they rotate, they turn a turbine that is encased in the wind turbine, and this creates electricity that can then be used for a variety of reasons.