Electric Journey



Getting electricity to your home, school, shopping centers, movie theater, and even your favorite ball park is called transmission and distribution.

Types of Power Plants

The first power plants used water power (hydro) or coal. Today there are a variety of energy power sources used like coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind generators, solar energy, geothermal, and even tidal wave power.

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1. Power Plant

Each of the power sources converts energy into electrical energy. Driven by wind, water, steam, or burning gas turns a machine called a turbine. The turbine spins a giant magnet inside a coil of wire. Heat energy changes to mechanical energy. The mechanical energy produced in the turbine is changed to electrical energy in the generator.






2. Transformers

From the power plant, the electricity flows through the wires to a step-up transformer. The transformer raises the pressure of the electricity so it can travel long distances. Voltage is raised up as high as 765,000 volts.






3. Transmission Lines

From the transformer, the current then travels through wires to the transmission lines. These high voltage lines can carry large amounts of electricity over long distances.






4. Substation Transformer

From the transmission lines the current now goes to a substation transformer . A substation lowers the pressure between 2,000 and 13,000 volts so the electricity can be used by the community.