The Journey of Electrical Energy


Who of us hasn’t left the TV on, even though
we are not watching? Who hasn’t left the lights on, even though
we are not in the room? Nowadays, electric power is regarded as a
common commodity. Just as the sun rises every day, we believe that electricity simply is
there. Electricity appears to be a straightforward
issue. You press a button and we have instant electricity. It’s as if it’s hidden in the
socket. But is this really how it is? Just one look out of the window reminds us
that Electric power comes from somewhere. It travels along the cables on the pylons
of the Hellenic Public Power Corporation. If we follow these cables, we might be able
to discover where it comes from. In Greece, the largest amount of electrical
power is generated in Western Macedonia. Six in ten houses get their electricity from the
electric power stations in this area. Western Macedonia is the heart of electrical energy
in our country. Let’s look then at how electrical energy that
we take for granted, is generated. In Western Macedonia, there is a large quantity
of coal known as lignite. With the use of large machines it is mined
from the ground. Some of the machines are taller than an eighteen-storey building and
weigh more than five thousand cars. After lignite is mined, it is taken to the
electricity generating power plants on conveyor belts. In all of Western Macedonia, there
are 270 km of conveyor belts. This is one and a half times the distance from Florina
to Thessaloniki! When the lignite arrives at the station, the
process of energy production begins. First, it goes into a furnace burner where
it is burnt. From the combustion, smoke is produced which escapes through the stacks
of the power station. The burner generates heat which heats up a
large water tank known as the boiler. The water that is heated in the boiler becomes
steam. The high pressure steam goes into a turbine.
The turbine has large bladed rotors, like the sails of a windmill which pushed by the
steam, rotate at a high speed. In turn, these bladed rotors activate a magnet
that generates the electric current. This magnet is part of a device known as an electric
generator. Lastly, the steam is separated: Some of the
steam is distributed to the surrounding cities and villages via a network of pipes to provide heating. This process is known as district heating. The remaining steam cools and condenses
into water and goes back to the boiler for reheating. Steam is used for chilling by spraying the pipes which convey it with water. The water evaporates and is released into the atmosphere through those characteristically large, thick cooling towers that appear to be forming clouds in the sky! Combustion, steam, turbine, electrical generator, electricity. Once electricity is generated in the power plant, it is distributed all over Greece through cables, which are found on the transmission line towers. It is through these that it arrives
in our houses. Highly-trained personnel are involved at every stage of the process of generating electrical power. When at some point a conveyor belt tears, the welders are called in. They join additional
pieces onto the conveyor belt to make it operate again. When a machine breaks down, the electrician fixes it. Thanks to them, the machines in
the plant operate like clockwork! The Rope Access Technicians work is very difficult.
They climb the electric power pylons to fix them. They change the destroyed cables and
join the cut ones. They undergo special training in order to climb the pylons safely. Apart from all the highly-trained personnel, there are also the machine-operators, the excavator drivers, and the technicians.
All of these people work hard so that the power plant operates non-stop the whole day. We saw that in order to have electrical power
in our homes, hard work is required by both people and machines. However, the generation
of electricity also affects the environment. When lignite is mined from the ground, the
natural landscape is destroyed. When lignite combusts, the air we breathe
is polluted. The towers that transmit electric power to
our homes are dangerous at close distances. Furthermore, at some time the lignite resources
will finish. We estimate that up to now half of the reserves in Western Macedonia have
been used up. This means that in a few years from now we will run out of lignite. We have
already started using other sources of energy such as, the sun, water, wind and waves. Definitely, the sun will be around for many years, rising daily without our help. In contrast, electric power generation, as we have seen, is a most demanding process. Each time we press a button, let’s not forget the long journey made by electric power to
our homes.

100 thoughts on “The Journey of Electrical Energy”

  1. Here is what you do, you buy gas from Russia and you redo your power plants to burn gas, cheaper, cleaner. Another thing you could do is build a nuclear power plant. Or build a dam, which is the best and cheapest power source. Wind, solar, and other stuff is crap, mostly. Hot springs and volcano is a lot better.

  2. what i love most about the video is the method used to convey the information. It felt like i was watching cartoon, but at the same time getting the information how nice hehe

  3. Hope you make more videos like this,,,

    Very educative for many people..
    This channel will grow as linear as you upload more..

  4. This video helped me to understand generation of current as well as awareness Thanks a lot

  5. Superb video.πŸ‘πŸ‘. From now I will definitely not forget to put off the switch when not in use… πŸ‘

  6. Very educational video but you didn't mention the advantages of alternating current in distribution and the transformation from high voltage to normal voltage.

  7. Plz explain each part after the water is being heated for example forced draft fan, primary fan, reheater

  8. Couldn't have explained it any better. But excuse me for my confused mind, the chart of the process of producing electricty used here, I did not understand the final step where the steam cools down and condenses to water then gets reahted in the boiler, but then you said that steam that is being condensed is also being used for chilling, but for what? What is the last thing thing on the right that is producing smoke?

  9. I will be very happy if someone will help me i completed my electrical engineering education and yet i forgot almost everything 😒anyone have a pdf or can help me by anyway 😒😭

  10. hi,:)
    the video was extraordinary. I love it brother. good job. can you please tell me
    which software you used to make this animation??

  11. When it says "cables from the hellenic public power corporation", replace that name with the name of your local power company no matter where you are in the world. Lol the methods of generation are done the same pretty much all over the world and is distributed pretty much the same way.

  12. Btw for a good look at a generator to see what it looks like and how it works, look up any video of the below -dam tour at the hoover dam. It is pretty amazing

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