By A. R. Meetham
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Additional resources for Atmospheric Pollution. Its History, Origins and Prevention
Electricity generated in Britain million k Wh\year Steam Hydroelectric 1920 1930 1940 1950 1959 1967 1974 1977 4200 12 10,400 320 27,800 800 53,300 1035 102,900 2175 176,900 16,100 232,400 13,500 242,500 12,500 In mountainous countries, hydroelectric power stations are relatively more important than in Britain. g. aluminium, magnesium etc. Unlike steam, water does not contract appreciably under pressure, and it is more liable than steam to flow with a turbulent motion and thus to dissipate its energy.
As a result of research now in hand by the British Central Electricity Generating Board and other bodies there is a good hope not only that mist from cooling towers will be prevented but that their general efficiency will be improved. As a fourth alternative, a heat exchanger can be used in which the water is retained inside the heat exchanger and heat is lost to tha rising air current across a solid boundary by condution, with the air rising naturally or with the help of blowers. The design of the heat exchanger is critical and still the subject of much intensive research.
The steam engine is a "heat engine", deriving its energy from the difference in heat content between hot steam and boiling water. When the temperature difference is 100°C a maximum of about 30 per cent of the heat given to the steam is recoverable as power. The fraction of the fuel's energy which can be recovered from a reciprocating steam engine is seldom more than 15 per cent, and efficiencies of 3-12 per cent are more usual. There was no room in locomotive engines for condensers, and their over-all thermal efficiencies were consequently low, 3-6 per cent.
Atmospheric Pollution. Its History, Origins and Prevention by A. R. Meetham