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#### Echosolace

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So, one of my classmates had a fundamental question of where electricity comes from. The best anyone could answer was that it came from a generator, but we were looking for a more in depth discussion. I understand that a turbine spins a turbogenerator, spinning a set of wires past magnetic poles, but with that in mind, all I could see happening would be a back and forth motion of electrons, and no electrons actually being created and pushed down the wire. I'm sure there's a big hole in my understanding, and I was wondering if anyone would like to fill me in on the reality.

#### JW Splicer

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Well, that all depends on the method you are using to generate electricity. You can use heat, light, pressure, induction, and chemical reactions. I'm assuming you want to know more about induction as it is the most commonly used to generate large amounts of power through either nuclear, coal, or hydro plants?

#### Echosolace

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Right, I'm talking about steam-turbine generation used from coal, nuclear, and natural gas power sources.

#### JW Splicer

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Turbines work by use of induction. You need 3 things to create induction, a magnetic field, a conductor, and motion. Three phase power is generated by spinning a conductor within a magnetic field. The leads are 120* apart, creating three phases. 360/120=3. Most places use water or steam to turn the turbines. The voltage is generally generated at about 13.8 KV and is then stepped up via transformers to a usable transmission voltage. Generally 115kv, 230kv, 345kv and 500kv here in the states.

#### Echosolace

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I think I understand the 3 phase situation in a generator. Are electrons actually being produced through turbogeneration? Or are electrons being shifted back and forth? If they're being shifted back and forth, it seems like a zero sum game to me.

#### JW Splicer

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AC works by use of back and forth electrons, the work is being done by the current. Look in your books and get a better understanding of volts, amps, joules, watts and coulombs. Think of ac electrons in a tube from LA to NY. It's filled with tennis balls. You push one in from LA, one pops out in NY. You push it back in in NY and one comes out in LA.

#### macmikeman

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I think I understand the 3 phase situation in a generator. Are electrons actually being produced through turbogeneration? Or are electrons being shifted back and forth? If they're being shifted back and forth, it seems like a zero sum game to me.
Electrons exist in matter. The process of generation of electricity does not ''create'' electrons, it moves them. *

* or moves their holes, depending on your sect in the world of physics.

#### Echosolace

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Thanks for the analogy. That's a good one.

#### samgregger

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The wire is made of copper atoms, which have protons and electrons.
When you connect a generator to the wire, you do not create electrons, you create current flow and cause movement of those particles.

#### hardworkingstiff

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* or moves their holes, depending on your sect in the world of physics.
Which does the work, the hole movement or the electron movement?

#### macmikeman

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Which does the work, the hole movement or the electron movement?
I don't really know, I am too busy banging romex staples all the time to do any serious inquiry into the matter of matter......

#### Jhellwig

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What kind the turbin is does not matter to the question. Your question is about a generator. Any generator.

Electrons are not created. They are moved from one atom to another by magnetic force.

Moving 6241000000000000000 electrons in a second is equal to 1 amp per second or 1 coulomb.

#### dmxtothemax

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Which does the work, the hole movement or the electron movement?
I don't think there really is such a thing as a "hole"
at least not physically !
it's really a deficiency of electrons !
Hole is a concept to help less technical people
get there head around a complex theory.

Are you confused yet ?
Now you know why we sparkies are all quite mad !

#### hardworkingstiff

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I don't think there really is such a thing as a "hole"
at least not physically !
it's really a deficiency of electrons !
Hole is a concept to help less technical people
get there head around a complex theory.

Are you confused yet ?
Now you know why we sparkies are all quite mad !
I had some basic physics and electrical theory but when I went to electronics school in the Air Force, they kept telling me that the flow of the signal was from positive to negative. I kept arguing with them that the flow of electricity was from negative to positive. :blink:

#### wildleg

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I don't think there really is such a thing as a "hole"
at least not physically !
it's really a deficiency of electrons !
Hole is a concept to help less technical people
get there head around a complex theory.

Are you confused yet ?
Now you know why we sparkies are all quite mad !
holes are real. if you think it's less complex to quantify hole flow, take a 1st yr engineering course in electronics. hole flow and electron flow are tedious calculations for semiconductor doping in pn and np doped semiconductors.

http://www-inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ee105/fa07/handouts/EE105notes.pdf

#### amigi968

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See Tesla work on oscillating transmitters if you really want your mind blown on how electricity works....

#### mcclary's electrical

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I had some basic physics and electrical theory but when I went to electronics school in the Air Force, they kept telling me that the flow of the signal was from positive to negative. I kept arguing with them that the flow of electricity was from negative to positive. :blink:
The flow of electricity is from negative to positive, the flow of electrons is from positive to negative.

#### hardworkingstiff

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The flow of electricity is from negative to positive, the flow of electrons is from positive to negative.
A negatively charged post on a battery has an excess of electrons where the positive post has a deficit. When a circuit is connected the excess electrons want to go over to where there is a deficit.

I believe your statement of electrons flowing from positive to negative is incorrect.

I need you to explain what the "flow of electricity" means as I always thought the flow of electricity was the movement of electrons.

#### Cl906um

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The flow of electricity is from negative to positive, the flow of electrons is from positive to negative.
In theory. Lightning can go up or down from negatively charged objects. I was taught it was just theory.

#### Cl906um

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Gift from the gods. The smartest people I know are on t.v. Sitcom the Big Bang theory:laughing: electricians are just taught theory. The invention of, nah. Movement crossing lines of flux and a conductor? Who thinks this up? Answers are probably in government storage in Nevada.

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