BEST IELTS General Reading Test 449

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 449

IELTS General Reading Test
BEST IELTS General Reading Test 449


Many power plants today use fossil fuels as a heat source to boil water. The steam from the boiling water rotates a large turbine, which activates a generator that produces electricity. However, new generations of power plants, with concentrating solar power systems, use the sun as a heat source. There are three main types of concentrating solar power systems: parabolic-trough, dish/engine, and power tower.

Parabolic-trough systems concentrate the sun’s energy through long rectangular, curved (U-shaped) mirrors. These mirrors are tilted toward the sun, focusing sunlight on a pipe that runs down the centre of the trough. This heats the oil flowing through the pipe. The hot oil is then used to boil water in a conventional steam generator to produce electricity.

IELTS General Reading Test

A dish/engine system uses a mirrored dish (similar to a very large satellite dish). The dish-shaped sicrface collects and concentrates the sun’s heat onto a receiver, which absorbs the heat and transfers it to a fluid within the engine. The heat causes the fluid to expand against a piston or turbine to produce mechanical power. The mechanical power is then used to run a generator or alternator to produce electricity.

A power tower system uses a large field of mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto the top of a tower, where a receiver sits. This heats molten salt flowing through the receiver. Then, the salt’s heat is used to generate electricity through a conventional steam generator. Molten salt retains heat efficiently, so it can be stored for days before being converted into electricity. That means electricity can be produced on cloudy days or even several hours after sunset.

IELTS General Reading Test

Complete the following sentences using NOT MORE THAN ONE WORD from the text.

1. In many power plants, when water is boiled, the ………….. that emanates is used to move other equipment in a certain sequence to generate electricity.

2. In the generation of solar power, there are many ways of concentrating the power of the sun; this article discusses the ………….. most common ones.

3. When U shaped mirrors are used, the sun’s rays first heats ………….. running in a pipe.

4. When a contraption which looks something like a ………….. dish is used, the heat generated by the sun’s rays is concentrated on to a receptacle device.

5. If you see a lot of ………….. in a solar power generating system, the receiver of the sun-rays will be on top of a (6)………….. 

7. Unlike the other systems, if there is a large filed of mirrors in a solar power generating system, what is heated by the sun is ………….. in its liquid form.

IELTS General Reading Test


Here are 10 fascinating dolphin facts that will make you love them even more.

1. Nearly 40 species of dolphins swim the waters of the world. Most live in shallow areas of tropical and temperate oceans, and five species live in rivers.

2. Dolphins are carnivores. Fish, squid and crustaceans are included in their list of prey. A 260 pound dolphin eats about 33 pounds of fish a day.

IELTS General Reading Test

3. Known for their playful behaviour, dolphins are highly intelligent. They are as smart as apes, and the evolution of their larger brains is surprisingly similar to humans.

4. Dolphins are part of the family of whales that includes orcas and pilot whales. Killer whales are actually dolphins.

5. Dolphins are very social, living in groups that hunt and even play together. Large pods of dolphins can have 1,000 members or more.

6. Depending on the species, gestation takes nine to 17 months. After birth, dolphins are surprisingly maternal. They have been observed nestling and cuddling their young.

IELTS General Reading Test

7. A dolphin calf nurses for up to two years. Calves stay with the mothers anywhere from three to eight years.

8. Dolphins have acute eyesight both in and out of the water. They hear frequencies 10 times the upper limit of adult humans. Their sense of touch is well-developed, but they have no sense of smell.

9. Dolphins have few natural enemies. Humans are their main threat. Pollution, fishing and hunting mean some dolphin species have an uncertain future. In 2006, the Yangtze River dolphin was named functionally extinct.

IELTS General Reading Test

10. Because dolphins are mammals, they need to come to the surface of the water to breathe. Unlike land mammals that breathe and eat through their mouths, dolphins have separate holes for each task. Dolphins eat through their mouths and breathe through their blowholes. This prevents the dolphin from sucking up water into the lungs when hunting, reducing the risk of drowning.

Complete the following sentences using the most appropriate words given in the box below.

8. Most dolphins live in parts of the ocean which are not very ………….. .

9. In their eating habits, we find that dolphins do not eat …………..

10. Dolphins are another kind of whales; they are very smart and very ………….. by nature.

11. Dolphins love to interact with one another; they live in communities, ………….. and frolicking around.

12. A dolphin, once ………….., gives birth anywhere between 9 to17 months.

13. Dolphins have no sense of smell; as regards their ………….., it is very sharp.

14. Because of the threat from humans, it is not very sure how long some species of dolphins will …………..

IELTS General Reading Test

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 449

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