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Electric Power Generation

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Before Michael Faraday had discovered his famous law of electromagnetic induction,
battery were the only source of electric power. After that, DC generator was
developed, but it could produce only a few hundred volts of electric power and
naturally this low voltage power could not transmitted efficiently to a large distance.
In the latter half of eighteen centuries, AC electric power generation, transmission
and distribution came into the picture. In an AC system, it became possible to step up
voltage of electric power to desire level for efficient transmission to a long distance.
After that 3-phase induction motor was developed which was much simpler in
construction. Generation, transmission and distribution of AC power were much easier
than DC power; hence very fast AC power system became the most popular means of
electric power.
Electric Power Generation
The AC power is generated in 3 phase system as 3-phase AC electric power
generation is most economical. 3 phase AC generator is commonly known as the
alternator. An alternator has balanced three phase winding on its stator and an
electromagnetic field is rotated inside the stator.
Due to this system, rotating magnetic field cuts the stator winding’s conductor and as
a result, electricity is induced in the stator windings. From terminals of the stator
three phase power is obtained. In an alternator, rotating electromagnet is energized
by the DC source. The rotor is driven by some external means with the help of
thermal, hydel, wind or other forms of energy. For example, in thermal power plant,
the rotor of the alternator is rotated by means of a turbine shaft and the turbine is
driven by means of high temperature and pressure steam. The steam is produced in a
boiler by burning coal in the furnace.
As the stator winding is perfectly balanced, the three phase power produced in an
alternator is also balanced that means phase difference between two conjugative
phases is 120 degrees (electrical).
Frequency, Voltage and Interconnected System
If p is the number of poless and N is the RPM of an alternator, frequency of the
generated voltage will be Np/120. In India the frequency of generated power or
simply power frequency is 50 Hz. In USA it is 60 Hz. In modern power plants there
are generally more than one number of alternators run in parallel. Not only in a single
plant, may alternators, of other plants also be interconnected to run parallel. This
arrangement improves flexibility and efficiency of the power system. When the power
stations of different locations are interconnected by means of transmission lines, the
total network is referred as a grid. In other word grid is a system by which alternators
of all power plants connected to that grid run in parallel. If any of the alternators
becomes out of service, still power can be fed by other alternators without affecting
availability of the system. As many numbers of alternators are connected and run in
parallel, the frequency and voltage of the system becomes much stable irrespective of
degree of loading present in the system. The main drawback of the grid system is,
when an alternator is connected to the grid, its frequency, voltage and phase
sequence must match with that of the grid, and the process of matching the said
parameters of alternator with the grid is not a simple task and the process is called
synchronizing.
Conventional Source of Electric Power Generation
There are mainly three conventional source of electric power generation, and they are
thermal hydel, and nuclear energy.
Thermal Power Generation

Water head can be naturally available or it can be created. In comparing to a thermal power plant. it can be created by constructing dams across suitable rivers. Hydel Power Generation Here the water head is used to rotate the rotor shaft of an alternator. In plain land. This rotation produces electric power. In hilly region water head can be naturally available in the hill top natural lakes. Although .In thermal power plant coal or diesel is burnt to produce sufficient heat. hydel plants are more echo-friendly as they are free from fuel combustion. This heat energy is utilized to produce high temperature and high pressure steam in the boiler. Also the running cost of hydel plant is much cheaper than that of thermal plants as there is no need of fuel to be burnt. This steam is then passed through the turbine blades and the turbine shaft rotates due to this steam pressure. The rotor of an alternator is mechanically coupled with the turbine shaft and hence it also rotates.

a nuclear reaction is a chain reaction and hence it should be allowed to be occurred in a controlled manner. The coolant is circulated between heat exchanger and the reactor. The heat generated during fission is taken out from the reactor by means of coolant consisting of liquid sodium or some gaseous fluids. This steam then drives a turbine and exhausts into a condenser where it is condensed into water and cooled down for re. The number of pole in a hydel alternator may be up to 20 or more. It takes heat from the reactor and gives the heat to the water in the heat exchanger. The fission process is commutative in nature.feeding to the heater changes again via a feed water . Uranium 235 is subjected to nuclear fission. Thus the water in the heat exchanger is converted to high pressure and high temperature steam. Although this process is not manual. In fission process. Moderators are used to reduce the velocity of neutrons and control rods are used to absorb neutrons for maintaining. The speed of the nuclear reaction can be controlled by inserting control rods up to a desire deep into the reaction chamber. required number of neutrons for the process. Moderators are made of heavy water or pure carbon and control rods are made of cadmium or boron steel. Water turbine generally runs at a low speed. During fission process the nucleus of U 235 is divided into two parts. it is controlled by the automatic feedback control system. the output of the nuclear generating plant is controlled. but initial constructional cost of this plant is quite high as compared to thermal power plant. These newly created neutrons are called fission neutrons which again hit by other U235 nuclear and create mare heat energy and other fission neutrons. Nuclear Power Generation It is estimated that. There is huge involvement of money in construction of dams and other necessary civil buildings. By pushing down and pulling up the control rods. The collision of neutrons with the nucleus of U 235 creates huge heat energy along with other neutrons.running cost of a hydel power plant is quite low. The solution of this situation is a nuclear power plant as thought. the coal reserve of our country will be exhausted within next 40 years if the coal is continued to be consumed in present rate. In a nuclear power station. U 235 is bombarded by a beam of neutrons. That is why. hence number of poles in the generator is higher to achieve fixed 50 Hz power frequency. The moderates and control rods are used to control this chain reaction.

boimass. For this reason.5 kg of Uranium to be consumed daily for getting same output. as because its disposals are not free from radioactivity. it has always a chance of radiation hazard because of leakage in reactor chamber. but still there are many other non conventional sources of power available. MHD generation. is basically an industrial location that is utilized for the generation and distribution of electric power in mass scale. like wind power. These are generally located at the suburban regions or several kilometers away from the cities or the load centers. These non conventional sources. usually in the order of several 1000 Watts.pump. The main advantage of nuclear power plant is its minimum fuel consumption. solar power. whereas in a nuclear power plant only 2. It has been observed that for running a 1000 MW thermal power plant. are becoming the promising alternative sources for electric power generation. a power generating station . nearly 6 × 106 kg of coal to be burnt every day. and nuclear power plants. But the initial investment of nuclear power plant is quite high. fuel cell. because of its requisites like huge land and water demand. hydel. It produces electricity without causing any air pollution. Non Conventional Source of Electrical Power Generation Although the main sources of electric power generation are thermal. along with several operating constraints like the waste disposal etc. etc. Another major disadvantage of this plant is its disposals. Power Plants and Types of Power Plant « Previous Next » What is Power Plant? A power plant or a power generating station. but.

has to not only take care of efficient generation but also the fact that the power is transmitted efficiently over the entire distance. only thermal. nuclear and hydro power comes handy. In the condenser. In coal fired thermal power plant. .  Initial cost is less as compared to other generating stations. At the center of it. Let us have a look in these types of power stations in details. however. And that’s why. and is chiefly dependent on the type of fuel used. Then this condensed water is further supplied to low pressure water heater where the low pressure steam increases the temperature of this feed water. To enhance the thermal efficiency of the plant. Generally in India. nearly all power generating stations has an AC generator or an alternator. Since for the purpose of bulk power generation. it is again heated in high pressure. the rotation of which results in the generation of electric power. This outlines the basic working methodology of a thermal power plant. cold water at ambient temperature is circulated with the help of pump which leads to the condensation of the low pressure wet steam. The energy source harnessed to turn the generator shaft varies widely. 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 %. Thermal Power Station A thermal power station or a coal fired thermal power plant is by far.  It requires less space as compared to hydro-electric power stations. Advantages of Thermal Power Plants  Fuel used i. steam is obtained in very high pressure inside the steam boiler by burning the pulverized coal. After having imparted energy into the turbine rotors. The steam turbine is then mechanically coupled to an alternator rotor. the steam is made to pass out of the turbine blades into the steam condenser of turbine.e coal is quite cheaper. 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. It uses coal as the primary fuel to boil the water available to superheated steam for driving the steam turbine. Types of Power Station A power plant can be of several types depending mainly on the type of fuel used. the most conventional method of generating electric power with reasonably high efficiency. as the turbine blades are rotated by the pressure of the steam. 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 coal is used in the boiler in its pulverized form. This super heated steam is then allowed to enter into the turbine. the transformer switch yard to regulate transmission voltage also becomes an integral part of the power plant. the steam pressure suddenly falls leading to corresponding increase in the steam volume. This steam is then super heated in the super heater to extreme high temperature. therefore a power generating station can be broadly classified in the 3 above mentioned types.

Once the process of steam formation is accomplished. depending on the type of fuel used. How ever. g = acceleration due to gravity = 9. the exception here is that.Disadvantages of Thermal Power Plants  It pollutes atmosphere due to production of smoke & fumes. An important point to be noted is that. to serve the load during peak hours. super heated steam at very high temperature is produced. For the process of nuclear power generation. Advantages of Hydro Electric Power Station  It requires no fuel . 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 :- . They in a way assist the thermal or the nuclear plant to deliver power efficiently during periods of peak hours. The fission reaction. Also in a Nuclear station the furnace and the boiler are replaced by the nuclear reactor and the heat exchanger tubes.  It is neat and clean energy generation.  Construction is simple . Nuclear Power Station The nuclear power generating stations are similar to the thermal stations in more ways than one.  Availability of water depends upon weather conditions. This heat is then transferred to the water present in the heat exchanger tubes. as this steam will further drive the turbine blades to generate electricity.81 m/sec 2 ρ = density of water = 1000 kg/m 3 H = height of fall of water.  Running cost of the power plant is more than hydro electric plant. the radioactive fuels are made to undergo fission reaction within the nuclear reactors. the remaining process is exactly similar to a thermal power plant. radioactive elements like uranium and thorium are used as the primary fuel in place of coal. to convert it to equivalent electrical energy. This energy is converted to shaft work where the water falls through an appreciable vertical distance. For this reason hydro plants are generally used in scheduling with thermal stations. As a result. Disadvantages Hydro Electric Power Station  It involves high capital cost due to dam construction. which is manifested in the form of heat.  It helps in irrigation and flood control also. the hydro-electric plants are of much lower capacity compared to their thermal or nuclear counterpart. Rain falling upon the earth’s surface has potential energy relative to the oceans towards which it flows. less maintenance is required.  It requires high transmission cost as the plant is located in hilly areas. propagates like a controlled chain reaction and is accompanied by unprecedented amount of energy produced. water is used for generation of electrical energy. The hydraulic power is therefore a naturally available renewable energy given by the eqn: P = gρ QH Where. Types of Power Generation As mentioned above. Hydro-Electric Power Station In Hydro-electric plants the energy of the falling water is utilized to drive the turbine which in turn runs the generator to produce electricity. This power is utilized for rotating the alternator shaft.

where it further heated up. Wind power generation ( energy available from the wind turbines) These alternative sources of generation has been given due importance in the last few decades owing to the depleting amount of the natural fuels available to us. Nuclear power generation. 3. Theory of Thermal Power Station The theory of thermal power station or working of thermal power station is very simple. In the condenser the cold water is circulated with the help of pump which condenses the low pressure wet steam. it is again heated in high pressure. 4. To increase the thermal efficiency. a stage might be reached when several countries across the globe would run out of their entire reserve for fossil fuels. This supper heated steam then enters into the turbine and rotates the turbine blades. Thermal power plant is also referred as coal thermal power plant and steam turbine power plant. bituminous coal. Solar power generation. 1. This supper heated steam is then entered into a turbine at high speed. After imparting energy to the turbine rotor the steam passes out of the turbine blades into the condenser. Before going into detail of this topic.1. brown coal and peat are used as fuel of boiler. For better understanding we furnish every step of function of a thermal power station as follows. the steam is produced in high pressure in the steam boiler due to burning of fuel (pulverized coal) in boiler furnaces. Geo-thermal power generation. This condensed water is further supplied to low pressure water heater where the low pressure steam increases the temperature of this feed water. we will try to understand the line diagram of electric power generation plant. Thermal power generation. 4. These are often referred to as the alternative methods or non conventional energy of power generation and can be classified as :1. The steam is obtained from high pressure boilers. First the pulverized coal is burnt into the furnace of steam boiler. Tidal power generation. A power generation plant mainly consists of alternator runs with help of steam turbine. This steam is further supper heated in a super heater. Apart from these major types of power generations. This steam is then passed through the super heater. (Energy available in the Earth’s crust) 3. the coal is used in the boiler in powder form. The turbine is mechanically so coupled with alternator that its rotor will rotate with the rotation of turbine blades. After entering in turbine the steam pressure suddenly falls and corresponding volume of the steam increases. High pressure steam is produced in the boiler. (making use of the available solar energy) 2. we can resort to small scale generation techniques as well. 3. The only way forward would then lie in the mercy of these alternative sources of energy which might play an instrumental role in shaping the energy supplies of the future. . Thermal Power Generation Plant or Thermal Power Station « Previous Next » Thermal power generation plant or thermal power station is the most conventional source of electric power. In coal thermal power plant. Generally in India. 2. to serve the discrete demands. In the centuries to come. Hydro-electric power generation. For this reason these might rightfully be referred as the energy of the future. 2. The bituminous coal is used as boiler fuel has volatile matter from 8 to 33 % and ash content 5 to 16 %.

8. The working fluid is water and steam. which generates electrical energy. After rotating the turbine blades. which creates suction at very low pressure and allows the expansion of the steam in the turbine to a very low pressure. the steam has lost its high pressure. The steam so produced is used in driving the steam Turbines. This is called feed water and steam cycle. passes out of turbine blades and enters into a condenser. Line Diagram of Power Plant 6. The exhaust steam from the turbine is allowed to condense into water in steam condenser of turbine. 7. The principle . In steam boiler the water is heated up by burning the fuel in air in the furnace & the function of the boiler is to give dry super heated steam at required temperature. Overview of Thermal Power Plant A typical Thermal Power Station Operates on a Cycle which is shown below.5. The turbine in thermal power station acts as a prime mover of the alternator. This condensed water is then further supplied to low pressure water heater where the low pressure steam increases the temperature of this feed water. This turbine is coupled to synchronous generator (usually three phase synchronous alternator). it is then again heated in a high pressure heater where the high pressure of steam is used for heating. In turbine this steam force rotates the turbine blades that means here in the turbine the stored potential energy of the high pressured steam is converted into mechanical energy. The ideal Thermodynamic Cycle to which the operation of a Thermal Power Station closely resembles is the RANKINE CYCLE. In the condenser the cold water is circulated with help of pump which condenses the low pressure wet steam. 9.

Inside the boiler there are various heat exchangers. Economiser. There is also Super Heater which also takes heat from flue gas and raises the temperature of steam as per requirement. The Boiler Drum actually maintains a head for natural circulation of two phase mixture (steam + water) through the water tubes. The ambient air is allowed to enter in the boiler after dust filtration. The total scheme of a typical thermal power station along with different circuits is illustrated below. The overall efficiency of a thermal power station or plant varies from 20% to 26% and it depends upon plant capacity. i. These constitute air and flue gas circuit. air preheater are also present). The condensate along with some fresh make up feed water is again fed into the boiler by pump (called the boiler feed pump). Cooling water recycles through cooling tower. The flow of air and also the static pressure inside the steam boiler (called draught) is maintained by two fans called Forced Draught (FD) fan and Induced Draught(ID) fan. viz. it is basically the water tubes. In condenser the steam is condensed by cooling water. In Economiser the feed water is heated to considerable amount by the remaining heat of flue gas.e. downcomer riser circuit). This constitutes cooling water circuit. nstalled plant capacity Average overall thermal efficiency pto 1MW 4% MW to 10MW 12% 0MW to 50MW 16% 0MW to 100MW 24% bove 100MW 27% Thermal Power Plant Location .advantages of condensing operation are the increased amount of energy extracted per kg of steam and thereby increasing efficiency and the condensate which is fed into the boiler again reduces the amount of fresh feed water. Super Heater (sometimes Reheater. Efficiency of Thermal Power Station or Plant Overall efficiency of steam power plant is defined as the ratio of heat equivalent of electrical output to the heat of combustion of coal. Evaporator (not shown in the fig above. Also the flue gas comes out of the boiler and exhausted into atmosphere through stacks.

4. Q2(x2. A large quantity of cooling water is required for the condensers etc of thermal power generation plant. 8. y1). say. location of power plant can be determined by graphical method as described below. water vapors etc. 7. The soil should be such that it should provide good and firm foundation of plant and buildings. The most economical . The plant should be established on plane land. The most economical and ideal power plant location is the center of gravity of the load because for such a power generation plant the length of the power transmission network will be minimum. So other points are to be considered to decide the best optimized location of the power plant. Since normally CG point of the load may be at the heart of the city. yn) are n numbers of load centers. The land should be such that the acquisition of private property must be minimum. Let’s explain the graphical method. From the above graph we get. The electric power generation plant must be constructed at such a place where the cost of land is quite reasonable. Q3(x3. 2. 5. the coordinates of the center of gravity of the load. There must be ample scope of development of future demand. y) where Obviously the location of thermal power station is best at the center of gravity of the load. X and Y be two reference axes. 6.………………………………………. thus the capital cost to the system is reduced.and Qn(xn. The thermal power plant location should not be very nearer to dense locality as there are smoke. Q4(x4. the location of the station is much important factor. Power generation plant location plays an optimizing part in the economy of the station. y4). but many times it is not possible to establish a thermal power plant at the CG of the load. Q(x. hence the plant should preferably situated beside big source of natural water source such as big river. 1.A thermal power station or thermal power plant has ultimate target to make business profit. Availability of huge amount of fuel at reasonable cost is one of the major criterion for choosing plant location. Hence for optimizing the profit. noise steam. 3. y3). y2). . Let’s Q1(x1.

A generating station which utilizes the potential energy of water at a high level for the generation of electrical energy is known as hydro-electric power station. Maintenance is easier. The running cost for a thermal power station is comparatively high due to fuel. Land required less than hydro power plant. so here the source is hydro that’s why we called it hydro power plant. Advantages and Disadvantages of Thermal Power Station Advantages: 1. 3. Place for ash handling plant for thermal power station should also be available very near by. because the generated electricity in hydro power station is the use of water which is renewable source of energy and available in lots of amount without any cost. 2. 10. In hydro power plant we use gravitational force of fluid water to run the turbine which is coupled with electric generator to produce electricity. Very tall chimney of power station should not obstruct the traffics of air ships. transmission and distribution. Thermal power plant can be installed in any location where transportation & bulk of water are available. Disadvantages: 1. 2. The heated water that comes from thermal power plant has an adverse effect on the aquatic lives in the water and disturbs the ecology.maintenance etc. Since coal is main fuel and its cost is quite cheap than petrol/diesel so generation cost is economical. This power plant plays an important role to protect our fossil fuel which is limited. As we know that the power plant is defined as the place where power is generated from a given source. Economical for low initial cost other than any generating plant. Large amount of smoke causes air pollution. 4. 5.9. Overall efficiency of thermal power plant is low like less 30%.The thermal power station is responsible for Global warming. Hydro Power Plant | Construction Working and History of Hydro power plant « Previous Next » Power system mainly contains three parts namely generation. Generation means how to generate electricity from the available source and there are various methods to generate electricity but in this article we only focused on generation of electricity by the means of hydro or water (hydro power plant). 3. . 4.

when water comes through the penstock with high kinetic energy and falls on turbine blades. After that we transmit the electric power to the load center. As we know that the turbine is an engine that transfers energy of fluid into mechanical energy which is coupled with generator and generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy which we utilize at the end. To control the pressure of water means increase or decrease water pressure whenever required.J. The control equipments consists control circuits. After that we employ turbine and generator. The main function of dam is to stop the flow of water and reserve the water in reservoir.The big advantage of hydro power is the water which the main stuff to produce electricity in hydro power plant is free. we use step up transformer to enlarge the level of voltage (generally 132 KV. Penstock 5. The rapid growth of hydro power comes in 1900’s when hydraulic reaction turbine comes in picture as a result in 1900’s hydro power plants fulfill the requirement of 40% of total United States' electricity. In the 1700's. it not contain any type of pollution and after generated electricity the price of electricity is average not too much high. In hydro power plant we also add switchgears and protections which control and protect the whole process inside the plant. After generating electricity at low voltage. Penstock. In between 1905-1911 largest hydro power station (Roosevelt Dam) is built by the united state and its generated capacity is increased from 4500 kW to 36. Turbines and generators 7. Mainly dam is situated at a good height to increase the force of water. Storage tank 6. Area 2. we use a valve. Dam 3. Storage tank comes in picture when the some reason the pressure of water in reservoir is decreases then we use storage tank it is directly connected to penstock and use only in emergency condition. control devices. Reservoir 4. We start to generate electricity from hydro power in 1882 when United States (U S) establishes a first hydro power station which generate 12. instrumentation etc and connect to main control board. 1922 the first time a hydroelectric plant was built specifically for crest power. In 1914 S. In 1933 . 220 KV. Reservoir hold lots of water which is employed to generate power by means of turbines. Zowski developed the high specific speed reaction (Francis) turbine runner for low head applications. warning. Construction and Working of Hydro Power Plant Fundamental parts of hydro power plant are 1. the pipe which is connected between dam and turbine blades and most important purpose of the penstock is to enlarge the kinetic energy of water that’s why this pipe is made up of extremely well-built material which carry on the pressure of water. Switchgear and protection For construction of hydro power plant first we choose the area where the water is sufficient to reserve and no crisis of water and suitable to build a dam.000 kW. This is the whole process of generating electricity by the means of hydro (hydro power plant) and then transmitting and distributing electricity. hydropower was generally used for pumping irrigation (non-natural use of water on the way to the land) water. and then we step down the voltage for industrial and large consumer and then again we step down the voltage to distribute electricity at domestic level which we used at home. Turbine is the main stuff. turbine rotates at high speed. History of Hydro Power Plant First hydro power is used by the Greeks to spin water wheels for crushing wheat into flour before more than 2000 years ago. 400 KV and above) as per our requirement.5 kilowatts (KW) of power.

first hydro power station.Hoover Dam. Now a day in India the leading hydro power plant is located of river Naptha Jhakri hydro project of 1500MW in Himachal Pradesh. capacity of 130kW establishes in Asia at mounts of Darjeeling in 1898 and after that in 1902 Shimsh (Shivanasamudra) is established and both located in India. If we compare the countries on the basis of generated electricity by the means of hydro power. This is a general idea about hydro power plant. Canada on the top after that United State then Brazil then Russia then China then Norway and at 7th number India is present. In 1940 over 1500 hydro power plants generate about one third of the United States electrical energy. India fulfills the 3.5 % power to the total world power through hydro power plants. . Arizona generated electricity first time. In India scope of hydro power is very good. In India main boost come in the field of hydro power in august 1998 when the Government of India publicized a plan on ‘Hydro Power Development’ after that in November 2008 once again Indian government announced this plan and as a result India become leading country list to produce hydro power.