|Power Plants and Stations|
|Power Plants and Portable Power Stations | The Basic Problem | The Answer|
Unfortunately the mass production of electricity –for the most part- has not changed much, for most parts of the world. Fossil fuels have provided the United States and other countries with the energy needed to produce electricity. But as we begin to see what the 21st century has in store for us, we are beginning to see what the power plants of the future will look like.
To produce electricity in large quantities, the tried and true method is with a turbine. A turbine is a shaft, that when turned, spins large magnets around a housing of copper or other conductive or superconductive material. The process creates electricity measured in kilowatts or megawatts. The essential problem is what turns the shaft to rotate the magnets. Conventional fossil fuels are used as a heat source to boil a liquid. The oil or coal is burnt in a furnace. The furnace heats a boiler which produces steam. The steam rotates paddles that turn the shaft that activates the turbine’s magnets.
The problem with this process is that the burnt fossil fuels emit smog, (particulate clouds made of small pieces of soot and ash that creates health hazards), heat pollution, carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide, (CO), nitrous oxide, (NOx) o-zone, and other hazardous pollutants. The side-effects of all these pollutants are global warming, increased respiratory diseases and wildlife population disruption.
The goal of alternative energy sources is simple: replace fossil fuels as energy sources. For every new barrel of oil found, the world consumes four. This means that eventually, alternative energy sources will not be the alternative, they will be the only way of bringing electricity to our homes and horsepower to our cars.