The term Electric Power Generation refers to the conversion of energy available in different form of nature to electrical energy. Just like mechanical tools, devices, furniture, and other equipment around us, the electric power is also generated from various sources that are available in nature.

Electrical energy can be obtained from solar energy, water, wind coal, and oil. All types of energy sources are divided into two categories: Renewable or Non-renewable. The term renewable refers to energy sources that are naturally replenished after regular interval of time. While the term non-renewable refers to energy sources that continuously deplete with time are not naturally replenished with time. Let’s at first take an overview of different sources of energy that are available around us.

 

Energy Sources

 

Sun

Type: Renewable

Sun is the primary source of energy. Energy from sun can either be utilized via solar panels or can be radiated by using reflectors. 

Water

Type: Renewable

 Water is a renewable source of energy that be used in multiple ways for power generation. Most popular method is to store it in dams.

 

Nuclear Fuels

Type: Non-renewable

Nuclear fuel is used in nuclear power stations as where the heat generated from nuclear item is used to convert water to steam

Wind

Type: Renewable

Wind is a moving air that is caused by differences in air pressure within our atmosphere. It can be utilized by wind turbines.

Coal

Type: Non-renewable

Coal is used as fuel in coal fired power stations where the heat generated from coal converts water to steam

 

Oil and Gas

Type: Non-renewable

Oil & Gas are two non-renewable sources. Gas or oil can be used as fuel to obtain energy and convert to electrical power

 

Types of Electric Power Generation Plants

Hydroelectric

Type: Renewable

The power plant which utilizes potential energy of water for electric power generation

 

Nuclear Power Plant

Type: Non-renewable

The power plant in which heat from nuclear fuel is used to produce steam from water

Coal Power Plant

Type: Non-renewable

The power plant which utilizes heat energy of coal combustion for generation of electricity

 

Wind Farms

Type: Renewable

An array of wind turbines which utilizes the wind enery for generation of power

 

Solar Power Plant

Type: Renewable

An array of solar panels which utilizes energy from sun light to obtain electricity

 

Diesel Power Station

Type: Non-renewable

The power station in which diesel engine is used to drive prime mover

 

Branches of Electrical Power Engineering

Power Generation

Deals with design of power plants, and generation devices such as turbines, generators

Transmission/Distribution

Involves study of transmission lines and distribution components (poles, lines)

Protection

Involves study of protection devices such as fuses, circuit breakers

Analysis

Analysis of electrical power system buses, generators, and other equipment

Operations & Control

Deals with study of operation and control of electrical power systems

Smart Grids

Study of electrical grid and various interconnected systems

Renewable Energy

Deals with study of renewable systems such as solar panels, wind turbines

Economics

Study of economics of power generation such as tariff specs, economical feasibility

Design & Management

Study of design and management of grids, and power equipment