UKPCS Science: Electrical/power grid #24

Oracle IAS, the best coaching institute for UPSC/IAS/PCS preparation in Dehradun brings to you UKPCS Science (paper #6).

An electrical/power grid is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers. It consists of generating stations that produce electrical power, high voltage transmission lines that carry power from distant sources to demand centers, and distribution lines that connect individual customers.

A power station, also referred to as a power plant or powerhouse and sometimes generating station or generating plant, is an industrial facility for the generation of electric power. Most power stations contain one or more generators, a rotating machine that converts mechanical power into electrical power.

The energy source harnessed to turn the generator varies widely. Most power stations in the world burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas to generate electricity. Others use nuclear power, but there is an increasing use of cleaner renewable sources such as solar, wind, wave and hydroelectric.

Electric power transmission is the bulk movement of electrical energy from a generating site, such as a power plant, to an electrical substation. The interconnected lines which facilitate this movement are known as a transmission network.

A recent shift in the economics of the distribution grid is the rise of distributed generation. Traditionally, we think of electricity being generated at a large power plant and sent over high-voltage transmission lines. This model—centralized generation—is the standard of electricity generation around the world.

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