Americans use electricity every day to heat their homes, charge their phones, and much more! Have you ever wondered how most of the electricity in the US is generated? Read this quick overview to find out.
Where Does America’s Electricity Come From?
The US is a vast and diverse country that creates and uses a lot of electricity every day. Where does all that electricity used by hundreds of millions of people come from? It may surprise you that most electricity comes from steam turbine engines.
These machines are located in factories all around the country and produce nearly 90 percent of the electricity used in the US every year, which is the main purpose of steam turbines. Let’s learn why steam is the best option for energy output.
Why Steam Has So Much Energy
One of the reasons steam is the best option for energy production is because it contains a significant amount of energy. You may not realize it, but steam is packed with power to harness!
When you boil water, you give it energy until there’s enough for the molecules to separate and turn into a gas. The gas molecules contain an incredible amount of power, which has to go somewhere! That’s where the steam turbine comes in.
How a Steam Turbine Works
A steam turbine works by heating water to produce steam, which turns the turbine’s blades and generates energy. The water in a steam turbine can be heated using coal, gas, nuclear, or solar sources.
Once heated, the steam flows through a series of blades in the turbine, using the energy from vaporization to turn the turbine’s blades. A generator harnesses the energy from the spinning blades, creating electricity. Engineers design the blades to control the steam’s direction, speed, and pressure; otherwise, the force could build too much and result in a malfunction or failure.
Now that you know how most of the electricity in the US is generated and the basics of how a steam turbine operates, you can better appreciate the energy you use every day.