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Sources of Electricity
Selvan and Selvi are twins. They are studying in sixth standard. They visited their grandparent’s village during summer vacation. At 6 O'clock in the evening Selvan's Grandfather switched on the light. The whole house was illuminated. Seeing this Selvan asked his grandfather "How do we get light by switching on the switch?" So, his grandfather took him to the nearest electricity board and enquired about the electricity.
Let us look in to the conversation given below.
Selvan: Sir, How do the electric bulb lighten up when we switch on the switch?
Engineer: Due to electricity.
Selvan: Oh! From where do we get this electricity?
Engineer: We get electricity from thermal power, hydel power, tidal power, wind power, solar power etc., as sources of electricity.
Selvan: Sir! Are these plants exist everywhere?
Engineer: No, these plants are constructed depending upon the natural resources available at that particular place. For example, we have thermal power plant in Neyveli, Tamilnadu as lignite is available there.
Selvan: Yes, I have seen wind mills near the hills of Tirunelveli District which has potential wind resource. Thank you sir, for your valuable information.
Grandfather: (while walking back to home) Do you think we get electricity only from the above mentioned sources.
Selvan: (while entering into the home, noticing the clock on the wall) Grandpa! look at that wall clock, How does it work?.
Grandfather: It needs electrical energy to work. Apart from the above mentioned sources, we get electricity from cells, and batteries.
Selvan: Yes, Grandpa , now I am going to discuss about all these with Selvi.
What do you infer from the above dialogue? Any device from which electricity is produced is called the source of electricity. We get electricity from different sources.
The Major Electric power stations in Tamilnadu are: Thermal stations (Neyveli in Cuddalore District, Ennore in Thiruvallur District), Hydel power stations (Mettur in Salem District, Papanasam in Tirunelveli District), Atomic power stations (Kalpakkam in Kanchipuram District, Koodankulam in Tirunelveli District), and Wind mills (Aralvaimozhi in Kanyakumari District Kayatharu in Tirunelveli District). Apart from these Solar panels which are prevalent in many places are used to produce electricity.
Let us discuss in shortly about working power stations.
1. Thermal Power stations
In thermal power stations, the thermal energy generated by burning coal, diesel or gas is used to produce steam. The steam thus produced is used to rotate the turbine. While the turbine rotates, the coil of wire kept between the electromagnet rotates.
Due to electro magnetic induction electricity is produced. Here heat energy is converted into electrical energy.
2. Hydel power stations
In hydel power stations, the turbine is made to rotate by the flow of water from dams to produce electricity. Here kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy. Hydel stations have long economic lives and low operating cost.
3. Atomic power stations
In atomic power stations, nuclear energy is used to boil water.
The steam thus produced is used to rotate the turbine. As a result, electricity is produced. Atomic power stations are also called as nuclear power stations. Here nuclear energy is converted into mechanical energy and then electrical energy.
4. Wind mills
In wind mills, wind energy is used to rotate the turbine to produce electricity. Here kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy.
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