A generating station essentially employs a prime mover coupled to an alternator for the production of electric power. The prime mover (e.g., steam turbine, water turbine etc.) converts energy from some other form into mechanical energy. The alternator converts mechanical energy of the prime mover into electrical energy. The electrical energy produced by the generating station is transmitted and distributed with the help of conductors to various consumers. It may be emphasised here that apart from prime mover-alternator combination, a modern generating station employs several auxiliary equipment and instruments to ensure cheap, reliable and continuous service.
Depending upon the form of energy converted into electrical energy, the generating stations are classified as under :