I’m sure everyone is familiar with power plants. I grew up close to a nuclear power plant, and you could see it from my house on a clear day. These intimidating places provide power so we can go with our lives, but have you ever wondered about the different types? Yes, believe it or not, there is more than one type of power plant. Read on to discover the different types of power plants in the U.S.
Nuclear Power Plants
Nuclear power plants produce significant energy for people across the United States to use daily. The plant converts nuclear power into electricity for homes and businesses to turn on lights, make coffee, and wash clothes.
Nuclear fission powers the process. The reactor creates heat to convert water into pressurized steam, which turns turbines connected to a generator. Turbines have a rich history of generating electricity, and it’s fascinating!
These power plants have low carbon footprints since they don’t need to burn anything to create energy. Still, they are expensive to build and create nuclear waste.
Hydroelectric Power Plants
If you want to know an eco-friendly and effective power plant type, it’s the hydroelectric power plant. These beasts use the power of water to fuel electrical grids. Water falls from a specific height onto a turbine, which causes the armature to spin. This process powers up the generator. In short, the generator produces electricity when the turbine turns.
The Three Gorges Dam in China uses a whopping 34 generators to produce 22,500 megawatts of power. It’s also the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant. The largest hydroelectric plant in America is the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington. It produces 6,809 megawatts of power. That’s a significant difference!
Green Energy Power Plants
Nuclear, hydroelectric, and thermal power plants are all examples of non-conventional plants. The energy industry has made advancements that don’t exacerbate the carbon footprint, providing greener options for us and the planet. Let’s learn about other green energy power plants than those mentioned above.
Wind Power Plants
Wind power plants are fairly straightforward. Electrical energy comes from wind power moving large turbines. A wind farm refers to a collection of windmills in a specific area, and the largest one in America is the Alta Wind Energy Center in California.
Solar Power Plants
Have you ever driven down the road and seen a large collection of solar panels in an open space? This area is a solar power plant. Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity using photovoltaic cells.
We’ve come a long way with electricity since that fateful day in the 1700s when Benjamin Franklin tied a key to a kite. The different types of power plants in the US provide us with the electricity we need every day. As advancements are made, future societies could build other types of power plants.