The generation of electricity is based upon principles espoused and experiments performed by Michael Faraday (1791 1867) which can be stated as follows; an electromotive force (EMF) is induced in a conductor (copper for example) whenever it cuts through magnetic lines of force. In this regard large electrical generators having field windings which surround a rotor or armature having windings. Rotation of the rotor within the field produces an electric current. All substantial forms of alternating current of the type used in homes and businesses are generated by application of this principle.
There are three primary systems in existence today that are used for rotating armatures and commercially generating electricity. These primary systems comprise:
(1) Water Dams Hydroelectric.
(2) Coal, Oil or Natural Gases.
(3) Nuclear Fission
In a basic hydroelectric system, energy from stored water, which is confined in a large reservoir is channeled through a control gate that adjusts the flow rate. The flowing water passes through blades and control vanes of a reaction type turbine, which turns a shaft, which in turn is connected to a rotor inside a generator housing. Rotation of the armature then causes electrical energy to be generated (Click here)
In a fossil fuel system, the fossil fuel is burned and the heat from the combustion process is concentrated around a boiler where circulating water is converted into steam. The high pressure steam is used to rotate a turbine which is connected to a shaft. This shaft is connected directly to rotor inside an electric generator and provides the necessary mechanical energy to rotate the rotor (or field).(Click here)
Nuclear fission power systems contain nuclear reactors which "burn" nuclear material whose atoms are split, causing the release of heat. The heat from the fission process is used to change circulating water into steam.
The cartoon (Click here) illustrates the overall concept. First falling water causes a turbine to rotate, that is connected to a shaft that rotates, which in turn is connected to a wire loop inside a magnetic field which produces current that generates electricity to light the bulb. In a real utility plant the wire loop is referred to as a rotor or armature.
It important to note that it is necessary to rotate something inside a magnetic field to generate current. To illustrate this principle, Faraday built a machine (Click here) that consisted of a 12 inch copper plate between the poles of a magnet. When the disk was rotated through the magnetic field an electric current was generated and fed through the connecting wire. Another generator was devised by Hippalyte Pixii, a French instrument maker (Click here) A magnet was set on end like a U beneath two coils of wire. A shaft connected to the magnet to geared wheels and to a hand crank which spun the magnet on its axis.
The disk in Faraday's machine and horseshoe in Pixii's machine have been replaced by a rotor or armature in today's generators and it is the rotation of this rotor or armature that generates electricity (in some cases the field rotates around the rotor or armature) and analogous to Faraday's machine and Pixxi's machine it is the THRUST concept that uses air breathing engines to rotate the rotor or armature.
Notice the "hand crank" in both Faradayâs machine and Pixiiâs machine that were used to rotate the magnets.
The individual most recognized for the promotion of Alternating Current is NikolaTesla (Click Here)
For photos of Tesla (Click Here)
To see the straight forward similarity and the benefits of the Thrust Architecture (Click Here).
In 1888, Sir Charles A Parsons developed the first a.c. generator. Although slow speed generators had been built for some time previously, it was not long before the high-speed generator made its impact. Development continued until in 1922 at which increased use of solid forging and improved techniques permitted an increase in generator rating to 20 MW and 60 MW. Also 3000 rev/minute units were constructed during the years immediately following the war. The changes in design at this period were relatively small.
Rotation is the key to generating alternating current.
A conventional or traditional steam plant compared to the THRUST concept can be seen for comparison purposes.