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These are photographs of TVA power generation sites (jpgf files, approx. 5 mb).
These diagrams illustrate how TVA power plants work (these are compressed files that need to be uncompressed).
The turbine burns either natural gas or oil. Fuel is mixed with compressed air in the combustion chamber and burned. High-pressure combustion gases spin the turbine, which drives the generator.
Water from the reservoir rushes through the penstock into the powerhouse. The water spins the turbine, which drives the generator. Inside the generator is a large electromagnet that spins within a coil of wire, producing electricity.
Pumped storage plant
During periods of low power demand, the pump-turbine pumps water up into the mountaintop reservoir. During periods of high demand water from the reservoir flows down through the mountain to the power plant, generating electricity.
Nuclear reactor: boiling water type
Water is heated through the controlled splitting of uranium atoms in the reactor core and turns to steam. Pumps force the water through the reactor at top speed, maximizing steam production. Steam drives the turbines that turn the generator that makes electricity. Cooling water from the river condenses the steam back into water. The river water is either discharged directly back to the river or cooled in the cooling towers and reused in the plant.
Nuclear reactor: pressurized water type
Water is heated through the splitting of uranium atoms in the reactor core. The water, held under high pressure to keep it from boiling, produces steam by transferring heat to a secondary source of water. The steam is used to generate electricity. Cooling water from the river condenses the steam back into water. The river water is either discharged directly back to the river or cooled in the towers and reused in the plant.
Coal burned in the boiler heats water to produce steam. The steam spins the turbine, which drives the generator.
Solar photovoltaic system
Photovoltaic (PV) systems use semiconductor cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity. Direct current from the PV cells, which are arrayed in flat panels, flows to inverters that change it to alternating current.
A turbine and gear box are mounted in a casing called a nacelle, and rotor blades are attached to the turbine. The turbine localizes the energy of the turning rotor blades in a single rotating shaft that generates electricity.
Methane gas facility
Pipes collect methane gas produced by decaying waste, and the gas is burned to generate electricity.