Energy Resources: Switzerland

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Energy Resources: Switzerland Electricity production: Hydropower and nuclear energy account for 95% of Switzerland’s electricity production with 56% of electricity production coming from hydropower and 39% from nuclear power. Hydropower, obtained from the energy produced by moving water, is widely used in Switzerland due to the country’s topography and high levels of rainfall. There are 556 hydropower plants in Switzerland with the majority of hydroelectricity production coming from mountainous cantons such as, Grisons and Uri. The principal component of a hydropower plant is a dam, which holds back the water, creating a reservoir. The water in the reservoir has potential energy, which turns into kinetic energy as it flows through the intake and penstock. The water then hits the turbine, turning its blades, which are attached to the generator, where a series of magnets begin rotating past copper coils, producing alternating currents through induced electron movement. The current is then converted into a higher voltage one by transformers, after which it flows through power lines. Nuclear power involves the use of exothermic nuclear procedures to create electricity. Switzerland has a total of 4 nuclear power plants with 5 operational reactors. Nuclear power plants generate electricity through nuclear fission with Uranium-235 atoms. The process involves a free neutron hitting a U-235 atom; rendering it unstable and making it split into two nuclei, which also emit neutrons that hit other nuclei creating a chain reaction. This releases heat that warms up the water, turning it into pressurised steam, which turns a turbine generator that creates electricity. To maintain this chain reaction, moderators (wat... ... middle of paper ... ... Works Cited • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
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