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New ways to generate electricity ?

  1. Dec 2, 2004 #1
    In this modern era, there are many type of power plant, from hydro electric power plant to nuclear fission power plant or even nuclear fussion(still in research). However, besides solar power plant, most power plant require movement of turbin to generate electricity. I think, that the speed of turbin will be reduced by many factors such as friction. Are there any other ways to generate electricity without relying on turbin and magnet?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2004 #2


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    There are several ways to generate electricity without turbines and magnets such as solar power and photovoltaics. Off in the (hopefully not too distant) future, electricity may be generated commercially with stationary magnets through the use of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). That would rely on the Hall Effect with a plasma flowing through a magnetized channel.
  4. Dec 3, 2004 #3


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    Fuel cells are another possibility for generating power without moving parts, but turbines are really very good as far as efficiency goes, and are "currently" (heh-heh) a lot more practical
  5. Dec 3, 2004 #4
    That's interesting. Can you explain more about magnetohydrodynamics if you don't mind?
  6. Dec 3, 2004 #5


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    The essential features of an MHD generator include a channel bounded on opposite sides by magnets (usually permanent magnets) through which an ionized hot gas flows:


    The magnetic field causes electrons to drift perpendicularly to both the flow direction and the direction of the magnetic field (Lorentz force) while ions tend to drift in the opposite direction thereby generating a potential difference between the front and back of the device as sketched in my figure above. The gas can be heated by chemical reaction (such as from a rocket motor) and seeded with metal vapor.
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