Uninterruptible Power Supply | UPS
Fermi Dirac Distribution Function
Fault of Electric Cable
Energy Bands in Crystals
Gallium Arsenide Semiconductor
Atomic Energy Levels
Electric Power Generation
Power Plants and Types of Power Plant
Thermal Power Generation Plant or Thermal Power Station
Hydro Power Plant | Construction Working and History of Hydro power plant
Nuclear Power Station or Nuclear Power Plant
Diesel Power Station
Why Supply Frequency is 50 Hz or 60 Hz?
Economiser in Thermal Power Plant | Economiser
MHD Generation or Magneto Hydro Dynamic Power Generation
Cogeneration | Combined Heat and Power
Thermoelectric Power Generators or Seebeck Power Generation
Cost of Electrical Energy
Gas Turbine Power Plant
Steam Boiler | Working principle and Types of Boiler
Methods of Firing Steam Boiler
Fire Tube Boiler | Operation and Types of Fire Tube Boiler
Water Tube Boiler | Operation and Types of Water Tube Boiler
Steam Boiler Furnace Grate Firebox Combustion Chamber of Furnace
Feed Water and Steam Circuit of Boiler
Boiler Feed Water Treatment Demineralization Reverse Osmosis Plant Deaerator
Coal Combustion Theory
Fluidized Bed Combustion | Types and Advantages of Fluidized Bed Combustion
Steam Condenser of Turbine
Jet Condenser | Low Level High Level Ejector Jet Condenser
Surface Steam Condenser
Economics of Power Generation
Cooling Tower Useful Terms and Cooling Tower Performance
Cooling Tower Material and Main Components
Power Plant Fire Protection System
Hydrant System for Power Plant Fire Protection
Medium Velocity Water Spray or MVWS System for Fire Protection
Foam Fire Protection System
Fire Detection and Alarm System
Gas Extinguishing System
Solar Energy Solar Electricity
Solar Energy System | History of Solar Energy
Types of Solar Power Station
Components of a Solar Electric Generating System
What is photovoltaic effect?
Staebler Wronski Effect
Working Principle of Photovoltaic Cell or Solar Cell
Characteristics of a Solar Cell and Parameters of a Solar Cell
Solar Cell Manufacturing Technology
What is a Solar PV Module?
What is Standalone Solar Electric System?
Steam Dryness Fraction
Superheated Steam and Steam Phase Diagram
Vapour Properties Mollier Chart Heat Capacities
What is Steam Flashing?
How to Calculate Steam Consumption During Plant Start Up
Effective Steam Distribution System
What is Water Hammer?
Engineering Thermodynamics Part 1
Science of Engineering Thermodynamics Part 2
Basic Law of Conservation and First Law of Thermodynamics
Carnot Cycle and Reversed Carnot Cycle
Enthalpy Entropy and Second Law of Thermodynamics
Rankine Cycle and Regenerative Feed Heating
Rankine Cycle for Closed Feed Water Heaters and Rankine Cycle Cogeneration
Ideal Verses Actual Rankine Cycle
Rankine Cycle Efficiency Improvement Techniques
Basic Wind Energy
Wind Turbine | Working Types and History of Wind Turbine
Theory of Wind Turbine
Power Plants and Types of Power Plant
What is Power Plant?A power plant or a power generating station, is basically an industrial location that is utilized for the generation and distribution of electric power in mass scale, usually in the order of several 1000 Watts. These are generally located at the sub-urban regions or several kilometers away from the cities or the load centers, because of its requisites like huge land and water demand, along with several operating constraints like the waste disposal etc. For this reason, a power generating station has to not only take care of efficient generation but also the fact that the power is transmitted efficiently over the entire distance. And that’s why, the transformer switch yard to regulate transmission voltage also becomes an integral part of the power plant.
At the center of it, however, nearly all power generating stations has an AC generator or an alternator, which is basically a rotating machine that is equipped to convert energy from the mechanical domain (rotating turbine) into electrical domain by creating relative motion between a magnetic field and the conductors. The energy source harnessed to turn the generator shaft varies widely, and is chiefly dependent on the type of fuel used.
Types of Power StationA power plant can be of several types depending mainly on the type of fuel used. Since for the purpose of bulk power generation, only thermal, nuclear and hydro power comes handy, therefore a power generating station can be broadly classified in the 3 above mentioned types. Let us have a look in these types of power stations in details.
Thermal Power StationA thermal power station or a coal fired thermal power plant is by far, the most conventional method of generating electric power with reasonably high efficiency. It uses coal as the primary fuel to boil the water available to superheated steam for driving the steam turbine. The steam turbine is then mechanically coupled to an alternator rotor, the rotation of which results in the generation of electric power. Generally in India, bituminous coal or brown coal are used as fuel of boiler which has volatile content ranging from 8 to 33 % and ash content 5 to 16 %. To enhance the thermal efficiency of the plant, the coal is used in the boiler in its pulverized form. In coal fired thermal power plant, steam is obtained in very high pressure inside the steam boiler by burning the pulverized coal. This steam is then super heated in the super heater to extreme high temperature. This super heated steam is then allowed to enter into the turbine, as the turbine blades are rotated by the pressure of the steam. The turbine is mechanically coupled with alternator in a way that its rotor will rotate with the rotation of turbine blades. After entering into the turbine, the steam pressure suddenly falls leading to corresponding increase in the steam volume. After having imparted energy into the turbine rotors, the steam is made to pass out of the turbine blades into the steam condenser of turbine. In the condenser, cold water at ambient temperature is circulated with the help of pump which leads to the condensation of the low pressure wet steam. Then this condensed water is further supplied to low pressure water heater where the low pressure steam increases the temperature of this feed water, it is again heated in high pressure. This outlines the basic working methodology of a thermal power plant.
Advantages of Thermal Power Plants
- Fuel used i.e coal is quite cheaper.
- Initial cost is less as compared to other generating stations.
- It requires less space as compared to hydro-electric power stations.
Disadvantages of Thermal Power Plants
- It pollutes atmosphere due to production of smoke & fumes.
- Running cost of the power plant is more than hydro electric plant.
Nuclear Power StationThe nuclear power generating stations are similar to the thermal stations in more ways than one. How ever, the exception here is that, radioactive elements like uranium and thorium are used as the primary fuel in place of coal. Also in a Nuclear station the furnace and the boiler are replaced by the nuclear reactor and the heat exchanger tubes. For the process of nuclear power generation, the radioactive fuels are made to undergo fission reaction within the nuclear reactors. The fission reaction, propagates like a controlled chain reaction and is accompanied by unprecedented amount of energy produced, which is manifested in the form of heat. This heat is then transferred to the water present in the heat exchanger tubes. As a result, super heated steam at very high temperature is produced. Once the process of steam formation is accomplished, the remaining process is exactly similar to a thermal power plant, as this steam will further drive the turbine blades to generate electricity.
Hydro-Electric Power StationIn Hydro-electric plants the energy of the falling water is utilized to drive the turbine which in turn runs the generator to produce electricity. Rain falling upon the earth’s surface has potential energy relative to the oceans towards which it flows. This energy is converted to shaft work where the water falls through an appreciable vertical distance. The hydraulic power is therefore a naturally available renewable energy given by the eqn: P = gρ QH Where, g = acceleration due to gravity = 9.81 m/sec 2 ρ = density of water = 1000 kg/m 3 H = height of fall of water. This power is utilized for rotating the alternator shaft, to convert it to equivalent electrical energy. An important point to be noted is that, the hydro-electric plants are of much lower capacity compared to their thermal or nuclear counterpart. For this reason hydro plants are generally used in scheduling with thermal stations, to serve the load during peak hours. They in a way assist the thermal or the nuclear plant to deliver power efficiently during periods of peak hours.
Advantages of Hydro Electric Power Station
- It requires no fuel , water is used for generation of electrical energy.
- It is neat and clean energy generation.
- Construction is simple , less maintenance is required.
- It helps in irrigation and flood control also.
Disadvantages Hydro Electric Power Station
- It involves high capital cost due to dam construction.
- Availability of water depends upon weather conditions.
- It requires high transmission cost as the plant is located in hilly areas.
Types of Power GenerationAs mentioned above, depending on the type of fuel used, the power generating stations as well as the types of power generation are classified. Therefore the 3 major classifications for power production in reasonably large scale are :-
- Thermal power generation.
- Nuclear power generation.
- Hydro-electric power generation.
- Solar power generation. (making use of the available solar energy)
- Geo-thermal power generation. (Energy available in the Earth’s crust)
- Tidal power generation.
- Wind power generation ( energy available from the wind turbines)