2 The power grid is the system of producers and consumers of electricity The power grid is the system of producers and consumers of electricity. It includespower generatorsthe users of electricityswitches that control the electricitythe system of substationspower linestransformers that deliver the electricity.
3 Electrical power starts at the power plant Electrical power starts at the power plant. In almost all cases, the power plant consists of a spinning electrical generator. Something has to spin that generator -- it might be a water wheel in a hydroelectric dam, a large diesel engine or agas turbine. But in most cases, the thing spinning the generator is a steam turbine. The steam might be created by burning coal, oil or natural gas. Or the steam may come from a nuclear reactor.
4 Sources of Electricity 1. Coal Nuclear Power2. Natural gas Wind3. Hydropower
5 The electricity leaves the generator and enters the power station The electricity leaves the generator and enters the power station. It uses step-up transformers so the electricity can travel large distances. (Maximum distance is about 300 miles.)
6 The electricity then goes to a power substation The electricity then goes to a power substation. The electricity flows through step-down transformers before it flows out to homes or businesses.
7 Transformers on poles will further step-down the electricity for the home or business to use. Each home or business has a meter that records the amount of electricity used.
8 If there are times when the demand in a community for energy is too great for the generator it buys electricity from another source. At other times, the generator may be making more electricity than the community is using, so it can sell it.