Other Free Encyclopedias » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Eilat to ERA

Electric power

plants electricity energy nuclear

Electric power, electric energy used for work, measured in units called watts. Electric power plants create mechanical energy that is converted via a generator into electricity. Fossil-fueled steam electric power plants produce electricity by burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), and hydroelectric power plants use the energy of falling water. Nuclear power plants use heat produced by nuclear fission (splitting nuclei of atoms of uranium or other heavy elements in a nuclear reactor). While fission is a highly efficient form of power, it yields dangerous radioactive wastes. Other sources of power valued for being nonpolluting and for not depleting natural resources include geothermal power, using heat from the earth, and plants using wind and solar energy. Electricity is distributed to consumers using a system of transmission lines to carry current and transformers to change voltage. Electric utilities are the organizations generating, transmitting, or distributing electric power.

See also: Electricity.

Electric railroad [next] [back] Electric motor

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or