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Alhomaid 1Ahmed Alhomaid EE444 Professor Basher 10/26/2015 Project Report #1: Electric Power Generation Introduction: Power sources have been possessed since ancient mankind. It is assumed that Egyptian pyramids produced energy wirelessly. It is said that the relatively modern large-scale power distribution started on August 26, 1895. This is associated with the water flowing over Niagara falls that was directed through high speed turbines that were combined into two power generators. Power since then have faced tremendous advancements. Today, there is a big variety of electric power generation resources. In the United States, there are some power generation sources that are more used than others. Figure 1 (page 2) shows the percentages of power generation resources use in the US for 2014. As seen the most dominant source of power generation is the fossil fuel and nuclear. With the advancements in the power industry, we have become very dependent on electricity today that if it suddenly disappears our lives would completely changed and most of our activities and life necessities would not exist any more. However, there are still many challenges and issues in the power industry. Some of these challenges are environmental, economical, and technological. This paper discusses the different power generation resources background and some of the issues regarding them. Coal: Coal is considered a fossil fuel that is the remaining of dead plants that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. For all these years, the plants have been absorbing energy from the sun, and this is the energy we use from coal. Coal was used by the cave man for heating. Hopi Indians
Alhomaid 2Figure 1: Percentage of power generation resources in the US. in North America used coal in the 1300’s for heating, cooking, and baking pottery the made by clay. It was also used in the 1800’s to fuel the boilers of steamships and steam-powered railroads which were the main types of transportation. In the civil war, weapons factories started using coal. By 1880, the burning of coal was first used for electricity generation for homes and factories. In 1973 OPEC focuses attention on energy crisis which resulted in the increase of coal use in the US. Today, 39% of electricity generation in the US is from coal (as shown in Figure 1). Coal energy economically is one of the best power supply, and this is one reason of why it is heavily used. It is one of the cheapest power source such that it is cheaper than natural gas, nuclear, or oil. Unlike some of the other resources, coal power helps the economy by providing many jobs, such as coal mining, transporting, burning, and disposing of coal ash. Coal is the abundant since there is a large number of coal available for use located in over 70 countries. The abundance of coal makes its price cheap and stable. It is not only abundant, but also easy to
Alhomaid 3transport to many areas around the world. Coal is also easy to burn since it has high calorific