Power Generation

The United States is the world’s leading producer of electricity, generating more than 4,000 billion kilowatt hours a year. Most of that is produced by the nation’s more traditional electric power plants, with a small percentage generated at combined heat and power facilities in commercial and industrial settings.

Energy consumption is tracked in four broad sectors: industrial, transportation, residential and commercial. The industrial sector uses the most electricity (33 percent of production), followed by transportation (28 percent), residential (21 percent) and commercial (17 percent).

Seventy percent of the electricity generated in the United States is based on fossil fuels – coal and natural gas. Twenty percent comes from nuclear generation, 7 percent from hydropower and 3 percent from other sources such as oil, wind and solar energy.

Designs for power plants vary and depend on a number of factors. But in a typical setting, large volumes of water are needed to generate electricity. Water is brought into the plant and converted to steam, which in turn powers a turbine. Water is converted to steam either by burning coal, natural gas or other materials. When the steam leaves the turbine, it is piped to a condenser where it’s converted back to water and used again.

AMERICAN’s product line includes every kind of piping material used in modern power plants: ductile iron pipe for make-up and blow-down lines, water and sewer lines, gate valves, indicator posts, fire protection systems, and penstocks. AMERICAN spiral-welded steel pipe in diameters through 144 inches is available for circulating water lines and penstocks. AMERICAN electric-resistance welded steel pipe is available for natural gas lines, and we also furnish a complete line of ductile iron and steel fittings.

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