Why does creating electricity always involve spinning a turbine?
The majority of power plants—whether coal, natural gas, nuclear or even wind—rely on a turbine to spin the generator and produce vast quantities of electricity.
The basic principle behind most power generation is heating water into steam to spin a turbine.
The steam pours through pipes and around a turbine—a 200-metric-ton, 30-meter-long steel shaft outfitted with blades and vanes to help it spin as the steam expands and cools.
That mechanical spinning in turn rotates copper-filled tubes in a magnetic field.
This induces current in the copper, which then courses through the modern electricity grid —a giant circuit—to your house.