Thermoelectric energy meaning

What is thermoelectric energy:

Thermoelectric energy is the internal energy of the particles of a body and can be detected in the gain or loss of heat.

Thermoelectric energy, also called thermal energy, is the energy that is generated from heat. A conventional thermoelectric plant generates electrical energy from the heat generated by the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.

See also Thermal energy.

Thermoelectric energy is used to generate electrical energy through the construction of thermoelectric plants. Conventional or classical thermoelectric plants work using the heat that is released from a thermodynamic water-steam cycle created by boilers.

The boilers rise to high temperatures to the fossil fuels used creating combustion generating gases. Contact with liquid water causes gases to turn into steam.

The steam circulates and activates an alternator in the turbine that rotates the shaft that runs through the plant that is connected to the generator. The alternator is a system of pressures and temperatures that drives the turbine.

Finally, the generator collects the mechanical energy produced and transforms it into three-phase and alternating electrical current.

See also Energy.

Types of thermoelectric power plants

Thermoelectric energy is used by humans to generate energy thanks to the construction of thermoelectric plants. There are several types of exchanges, the most common being those described below:

  • Thermoelectric or conventional thermal power plant: they use fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas. They use exothermic reactions through the combustion of fuels to generate the heat necessary to produce energy.
  • Thermoelectric or nuclear thermal power plant: they use nuclear energy within the nuclei of atoms to generate a nuclear reaction capable of generating energy, such as uranium nuclear fission plants.
  • Combined cycle thermoelectric or thermal power plant: uses a combination of steam and water turbines to process natural gas, achieving up to 50% more efficiency and energy.
  • Thermoelectric or solar thermal plant: these plants use thermal energy from the sun or nature, therefore, they do not require burning fuel, being a type of sustainable development plant.

See also Nuclear fission.

Advantages and disadvantages

Thermoelectric or thermal energy has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to being used by men to generate electricity.

The advantages of the construction of thermoelectric plants for the generation of electrical energy are centered in that their costs are much cheaper in relation to the generation of energy in massive form. In addition, thanks to new technologies such as natural gas combined cycle thermoelectric plants, it is possible to achieve 50% more efficiency than a conventional plant.

The disadvantages of using thermoelectric energy generally lie in the environmental pollution it produces. Some of its effects are:

  • Gas emissions that create greenhouse effect and acid rain into the atmosphere
  • Thermal and steam emissions that can alter the local microclimate
  • Open cycle thermal power plants affect river ecosystems if they directly discharge hot water as waste from the power plant.
  • The energy source can be depleted as it is finite and unsustainable.
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