Any system or setup constructed to convert energy from one form to another is mostly referred to as energy conversion technology. And there are different forms in which energy comes, such as heat, work, and motion. In this article, we’ll consider the different energy conversion and storage technology and their role in generating/storing electricity.

Power Plant

The main aim of power plants is to convert the energy stored in a primary energy source or form, such as fuel, coal, gas, oil, uranium, etc., into electricity. For this reason, power plants are considered an energy conversion and storage technology. Sunly Power Station is a large power plant with industrial facilities that use many energy conversions to arrive at its final aim – electricity generation.

Several power plants use one or more generators converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. For instance, a turbine generator converts the turbine’s mechanical energy to electricity that goes through various transmission processes before getting to society. The hydroelectrical generator also converts mechanical energy to electrical energy.

Solar Thermal Power Plant

The solar thermal power plant, as the name implies, is a power plant that works on the principle of sunlight to convert and generate electricity. The solar thermal power plant is a technology that harnesses radiant light (solar energy) and concentrates the sunlight to produce temperature/heat, which is later used to generate electricity.

Battery

Batteries are another system that converts and stores energy using various technologies to create electricity. The battery provides various electrochemical storage solutions, including advanced chemistry batteries, capacitors, and battery flow.

Batteries work to convert the chemical energy stored in them to electrical energy (electricity). The very basics of this technology are combining two or more electrochemical cells that convert the chemical energy stored in them to electricity when connected to an electric circuit that allows the flow of electric current.

A wide range of different battery types and cell technology has been developed, all with the aim of generating electricity. A few of them are; zinc-carbon and alkaline batteries (use non-rechargeable technology), lithium ion-rechargeable batteries, etc.

Electric Heater

An electric heater is another setup/technology that converts stored energy into electricity. The electrical energy stored in the heater is converted via the heating effect/elements in the heater, that is, the electrical resistor that works using the principle of Joules heating.

The principle involves an electric current passing through the resistor and converting the electrical energy into heat energy. A common application of this principle includes; water heating, space heating, cooking, etc.

The electric heater technology is also useful in industries such as the food industry for baking and the textile industry for fixing coatings and dry paints. The major advantage is that they have low investment costs and high power density, giving rise to very compact installations with a high heating rate.

Hydropower Technology

Another mature and fairly simple technology for converting energy and generating electricity is Hydropower. The potential energy in a water source stored at a height to drive the turbine can be converted into kinetic energy (flowing water) and captured to generate electricity.

The emerging technology trend in Hydropower aims to increase flexibility, digitalization, storage, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. It is considered the most reliable, efficient, and superabundant renewable energy source.

As the largest source of renewable electricity in the United States, it produced about 6.3% of the country’s total electricity within the last decade and has the potential to increase through non-powered dams, pumped storage hydropower, etc.

Cars

There is two energy conversion that takes place in cars; chemical energy, which is converted to thermal energy, and then to mechanical energy that moves the car (kinetic energy). When the gasoline in the car burns, it generates heat which is then converted to mechanical energy, which moves the car.

Generators

Here’s another technology that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy (electricity). The device works based on the principle of electromagnetic induction, involving the creation of an electric current by moving an electric wire close to a magnet.

This principle was founded by a Scientist known as Michael Faraday in 1831 after a moving magnet placed next to a wire loop generated an electric current. However, for this principle to work effectively, there has to be a strong and consistent force moving the wire as fast as possible, and that is where mechanical energy plays its role.

Conclusion

To a large extent, we’ve been able to ascertain the roles technology plays in the conversion of various forms of energy that exist for electricity generation. This is one positive aspect where technology is useful and applicable to global impact.

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