Producing electricity is a complicated process. And this is what a power plant or power station does! But what makes sure that a power station runs smoothly is a generator. But which generator do the power plants use? Do all of the generators work with the power plant process?
No, you cannot use any generator for the generating stations. Power plants, often known as Plants, require only electric generators for completing their job. But which AC generator are you planning to get? This is why we are here! We will discuss different types of generators used in power plants and why are they the top favorite!
Types of Generators in Electrical Engineering
If you discuss the very basics of electrical engineering and generators, we will find out two different kinds of generators available in the market.
- Alternating Current or AC
- Direct Current or DC
The first one is alternating current or AC generators. And the next one is DC or Direct Current generators. The use or application of the generators is different but the method of generating electricity is the same for both of these.
We all know what a Power Plant is. The generating station or power stations are the places where electrical power is produced. Well, the amount of electric power generated here is high or large scale. And to generate power, a power plant required the help of generators. In most cases, there are one or more generators added to a power station.
And whenever you ask which type of generator does a power plant use, the easy answer is an electric generator. These generators can easily work on the mechanical energy and use it as an input. And eventually, it brings out electrical energy as an output. In short, the electric generators are here for generating AC electric power.
These are also called alternators. A little information for you, now you can power your house with an alternator! Check out the details! Well, let’s come to the point again! You can see several energy sources that are used so that power stations can produce electrical power. However, to generate electricity, the power stations mostly use oil, natural gas, or coal.
On the other hand, these also rely on hydropower and nuclear power. Another very major source is renewable energy. Generators generate electricity; it is not the same as electric motors. Have a look at how does electric motor and generator work to know more about it.
Turbine Driven Generators
Most power plants these days use turbine-driven electric generators. In this process, there will be blades mounted on the rotor shaft. Then, any moving fluid will push the blades. The moving fluid can be steam, combustion gases, water, or air.
As there will be pressure on the blades, they will spin. And eventually, it will rotate the rotor shaft. So here, the mechanical or kinetic energy will turn into electrical energy. Let’s learn about some turbine-driven generators.
- Steam Turbine Generator
- Combustion Gas Turbine Generator
- Wind Turbine Generator
- Hydroelectric Turbine Generator
- CHP Generators
- Geothermal Generator
As there are turbine-driven generators, you can also see non-turbine generators. Yes, some of the electricity generators have no connection to turbines when it comes to generating electricity in power plants. We have made a list of some common generators that are not turbine-driven.
- Solar Photovoltaic Cells
- Internal Combustion Engines
When it comes to power plants, you can always hear the name of diesel generators. In this generator, the electric generator and the diesel engine work together. And as an outcome, we can see the production of electricity. These generators are amazing for hospitals and airports along with industries where there is a chance of power outage.
On the other hand, it can also be used as a continuous power supply appliance. If there is no power grid in any place, a diesel generator is a savior. In thermal and nuclear power stations, diesel generators are very popular. This is mostly used for emergency power backup.
No matter whether you are dealing with fans, battery chargers, hydraulic units, or cooling pumps, this generator will not fail. In the case of nuclear power plants, you need to provide continuous power to the cooling pump. And this is where diesel generators come on.
As we told you before, it is also very famous in hydropower plants too. If you know about the spillway gates of the hydropower plants, you already know that it’s necessary to stop the water. Otherwise, the water will flow from the top part of the dam and will flood the area! And diesel generators can be super active here. Even in the switchyards, this one is used.
Whenever the name of power plants and generators comes in the name of alternator comes with it. You can also create an alternator with the help of a generator! Check out how to wire an alternator with a generator and built your generator.
A very commonly used generator for power plants is the Synchronous generator. It is mostly used for the application of wind turbines of variable speed. The reason behind picking this one up is the low rotational synchronous speeds.
With this, it can easily generate a voltage at grid frequency. The best part is, with this one, the pitch control mechanism is completely unnecessary. With these, you can easily control the power factor. On the other hand, you can keep the rotational speed of the machine consistent. Yes, that too regardless of what the applied load is!
There are several generators that you can use for a power plant. Until it is an AC generator or electric generator, you can easily use it. All you need is to make sure that it is capable of powering and fulfilling the requirements of the power station. There are incredible brands for power station generators; check them out!
I’m James. The author of Electricalaffairs.com. It’s been my passion to deal with power tools and gears. This website is mainly to talk about electrical wirings, lighting, various power source tools and accessories. I want to explore tackles and help people to grow their basic knowledge about electrical things. I would also like to help people to pick the right power tool for their daily needs.