Introduction and Types Of Thermal Power Plant


Thermal power plant or steam power plant is a generating station which converts heat energy of fossile fuels into electrical energy.Generally bituminous,brown or peat type coal are used as the fuel of coal basesd thermal power plant.

In a thermal power palnt, coal is burnt in a big boiler which produces steam at high pressure and temperature. This steam is passed through a steam turbine which converts steam's heat energy into mechanical energy. The steam turbine acts as a prime mover and it is coupled to an alternator.Now alternator collects the mechanical energy from the steam turbine and convert into electrical energy.In this power plant,steam turbine sometimes acts as an auxiliary equipments like pumps,strokes etc.This is very basic introduction of coal based thermal power plant.

  • Read thermal power plan operation in details.

  • Though thermal efficiency and overall efficiency of thermal power plant is comperatively less than other power plant like nuclear power plant but still it is very popular.The only reason behind that,is coal.It is very cheap and easily available as well. Still, now maximum energy is supplied by the coal-based thermal power plant.


    1. Condensing Type Thermal Power Plant:-

    In Condensing type thermal power plant, discharges exhaust steam is coming to a condenser which creates suction at very low pressure and it allows the expansion of steam in the turbine to a very low pressure. As a result, turbine's efficiency increases. This type of thermal power plant plays an important role where there is a question of availability of pure water. Because condensed steam water in the condenser can be re-circulated to the boiler with the help of pumps. This plant extracts more energy from per kg of steam and develops the greater amount of power according to the size of turbine. Condensing type plants are used to supply electrical energy all type's of consumers (domestic, industrial and commercial). Since this type of plant is very economical, so it is used both hydro power plant and thermal power plants for economical power supply all the time. The condensing type system is also used in central power plant.

    2. Non-Condensing Type Thermal Power Plant:-

    In non-condensing type thermal power plant, exhaust steam is coming from turbine and steam pressure greater the atmospheric pressure. This type of thermal power plant, a continuous supply of fresh feed water is required. Industrial and Captive power plants are the non-condensing types. In industries, steam is used for process purpose and it is also used in the steam turbine for generation of electrical energy. This types of thermal power plant is basically small capacity power plants (nearly 10 MW).


    These are the following advantages of thermal power plant:

    1. The fuel (i.e. coal) is used is quite cheap.

    2. Less initial cost as compared to the other generating stations of the same capacity.

    3. It requires less space as compared to the hydro-electric power station.

    4. The cost of generation is lesser than the Diesel power station.

    5. According to the demand, the load can be changed frequently without any difficulty.

    6. Thermal Power plant can be installed anywhere irrespective of the availability of fuels. Fuel can be transferred to the site of the plant by rail, road etc.

    7. This type of plants is installed near load centre.

    8. Thermal Power plant can be run with overload condition (around 25%).


    The disadvantages of thermal power plant are:

    1. It pollutes the atmosphere due to the production of a large amount of smoke.

    2. Maintenance cost and operating cost is high.

    3. A Huge amount of water is required.

    4. Running cost is high as compared to the diesel power plant.

    5. Coal handling and ash disposal is quite difficult.

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