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The Power Plant
Power plant is the place where power or energy is generated from a given source. Actually the term “generated” in the previous sentence is a misnomer since energy cannot be created or destroyed but merely changed from one form to the other.The type of energy converted depends on what type of power plant is being considered.
Thermal Power Plants
As the name suggests, these power plants convert heat energy into electrical energy. The working fluid of these plants is mostly steam. A steam power plant consists of a boiler which is used to generate the steam from water, a prime mover like a steam turbine to convert the enthalpy of the steam into rotary motion of the turbine which is linked to the alternator to produce electricity. The steam is again condensed in the condenser and fed to the boiler again.
Thermal power plants are classified by the type of fuel and the type of prime mover installed.
Nuclear power plants use a nuclear reactor's heat to operate a steam turbine
generator. About 20% of electric generation in the USA is produced by nuclear power plants.
• Waste heat from industrial processes is occasionally concentrated enough to use for power generation. although lowenergy-density fuel. Renewable energy plants or * Biomass Fuelled Power Plants may be fuelled by waste from sugar cane. usually in a steam boiler and turbine. Coal-fired thermal power plant More than half of the electricity generated in the world is by using coal as the primary fuel. A coal-fired power station produces electricity by burning coal to generate steam.Coal power plants work by using several steps to convert stored energy in coal to usable electricity that we find in our home that powers our lights. blast furnace exhaust gas is a low-cost.• Fossil fuelled power plants may also use a steam turbine generator or in the case of natural gas fired plants may use a combustion turbine. which turns the generator. • In integrated steel mills. back into heat for our homes. which is released from burning coal and contributes to global warming. and has the sideeffect of producing a large amount of carbon dioxide. computers. and sometimes. or other forms of biomass. • Solar thermal electric plants use sunlight to boil water. municipal solid waste. landfill methane. About 50% of electric generation in the USA is produced by coal fired power plants • • Geothermal power plants use steam extracted from hot underground rocks. .
The steam is then piped to a turbine.The heat from combustion of the coal boils water in the boiler to produce steam. rotation of the turbine rotates the generator rotor to produce electricity based of Faraday’s Principle of electromagnetic induction. Coal is burnt in the boiler furnace to produce heat. boilers produce steam at a high pressure and temperature. Around 2 million tons of coal will be required each year to produce the continuous power.000 tons per year. Stage 1 The first conversion of energy takes place in the boiler.How Coal Power Plants Produce Electricity The conversion from coal to electricity takes place in three stages. and nitrogen . Stage 2 The second stage is the thermodynamic process. Carbon in the coal and Oxygen in the air combine to produce Carbon Dioxide and heat. Pollutants from coal power plants like carbon dioxide. Stage 3 In the third stage.Around 1. The impulse and the thrust created rotates the turbine.6 million cubic meter of air in an hour is delivered by air fans into the furnace. sulphur dioxide. The high pressure steam impinges and expands across a number of sets of blades in the turbine. he ash produced from this combustion is around 200. In modern power plant. The steam is then condensed and pumped back into the boiler to repeat the cycle. Key Facts As an example consider these facts for typical coal fired power plant of capacity 500 MW.
Thermal power plants are the biggest producers of Carbon Dioxide. . solar radiation is concentrated by mirrors or lenses to obtain higher temperatures — a technique called Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). Solar thermal collectors are defined by the USA Energy Information Administration as low-. High temperature collectors concentrate sunlight using mirrors or lenses and are generally used for electric power production. medium-.000 megawatts of the more serious concentrating solar thermal (CST) projects being developed. another 400 megawatts is under construction and there are 14. To achieve this in solar thermal energy plants. flat-plate collectors of the nonconcentrating type are generally used.oxide can also affect the environment.The practical effect of high efficiencies is to reduce the plant's collector size and total land use per unit power generated. The fluid-filled pipes can reach temperatures of 150 to 220 degrees Celsius when the fluid is not circulating. STE is different from photovoltaics. or high-temperature collectors. This temperature is too low for efficient conversion to electricity. as for space heating. Where temperatures below about 95°C are sufficient. Solar thermal power plant Solar thermal energy (STE) is a technology for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy (heat). The efficiency of heat engines increases with the temperature of the heat source. which convert solar energy directly into electricity. reducing the environmental impacts of a power plant as well as its expense. While only 600 megawatts of solar thermal power is up and running worldwide in October 2009 according to Dr David Mills of Ausra.
steam turbines. Geothermal power plant Geothermal power (from the Greek roots geo. aesthetics. With reliability. about 10. from radioactive decay of minerals. different forms of conversion become practical. gas turbines can be more efficient. no pollution (so long as gas turbines aren't used) and no fuel costs.715 megawatts (MW) of geothermal power is online in 24 countries. and thermos.As the temperature increases. Worldwide. High temperatures also make heat storage more efficient. standard technology. the obstacles for large deployment for CSP are cost. still a large area must be covered with mirrors or lenses to obtain a significant amount of energy. Although only a small percentage of the desert is necessary to meet global electricity demand. land use and similar factors for the necessary connecting high tension lines. It has been used for bathing since Paleolithic times and for space heating since ancient Roman times. An important way to decrease cost is the use of a simple design. and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. but is now better known for generating electricity. This geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet. Up to 600°C. unused desert. using multi-stage turbine systems to achieve 50% or more thermal efficiencies. have an efficiency up to 41%. An additional 28 gigawatts of direct geothermal heating capacity . One proposal for very high temperatures is to use liquid fluoride salts operating between 700°C to 800°C. meaning heat) is power extracted from heat stored in the earth. Higher temperatures are problematic because different materials and techniques are needed. reducing the plant's water use — critical in the deserts where large solar plants are practical. Above this. meaning earth. The higher operating temperatures permit the plant to use higher-temperature dry heat exchangers for its thermal exhaust. because more watt-hours are stored per unit of fluid.
sustainable. energy prices.Forecasts for the future of geothermal power depend on assumptions about technology. operations and maintenance. cost of capital. As a result. geothermal power has the potential to help mitigate global warming if widely deployed in place of fossil fuels. Recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable resources. but these emissions are much lower per energy unit than those of fossil fuels. also called Levelized Cost Of Energy or LCOE) is a cost of generating energy (usually electricity) for a particular system. Drilling and exploration for deep resources is very expensive. Levelized energy cost(LEC) Levelized energy cost (LEC. It can be defined in a single formula as: . especially for applications such as home heating. Geothermal power is cost effective. spas. industrial processes. It is an economic assessment of the cost of the energy-generating system including all the costs over its lifetime: initial investment. desalination and agricultural applications. cost of fuel. but has historically been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries. and interest rates. reliable. opening a potential for widespread exploitation. the project's net present value becomes zero. This means that the LEC is the minimum price at which energy must be sold for an energy project to break even. and environmentally friendly. Geothermal wells release greenhouse gases trapped deep within the earth. subsidies. space heating. A net present value calculation is performed and solved in such a way that for the value of the LEC chosen.is installed for district heating.
3. 5. 2008-03-31. 2. ^ "It's solar power's time to shine". MSN Money. for example AUD/kWh or EUR/kWh or per megawatt-hour. Paddy (10 October 2009). Sydney Morning Herald. 4. and are given in the units of currency per kilowatt-hour. ^ Google's Goal: Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal November 27.where LEC = Average lifetime levelized electricity generation cost It = Investment expenditures in the year t Mt = Operations and maintenance expenditures in the year t Ft = Fuel expenditures in the year t Et = Electricity generation in the year t r = Discount rate n = Life of the system Typically LECs are calculated over 20 to 40 year lifetimes. ^ Manning. "With green power comes great responsibility". CNET News. Let’s save energy and use renewable resource for generation of electricity for better tomorrow.au/ . Retrieved 2009-10-12. Works cited: 1.edu. http://solar-thermal. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 2007 ^ ANU 'Big Dish'. Retrieved 2008-06-11.anu. ^ "BrightSource Energy signs whopper solar contract with PG&E".
Nuclear Power Plants Information. Elliott. McGraw-Hill Professional. Proceedings of the International Conference on National Development of Geothermal Energy Use. Bertani. Nuclear Energy Agency/International Energy Agency/Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Projected Costs of Generating Electricity (2005 Update) 7.6. 9. Slovakia 8. "Geothermal Energy: An Overview on Resources and Potential".). by International Atomic Energy Agency Thomas C. ISBN 0-07-019435-1. Ruggero (2009). . Robert Swanekamp (coauthors) (1997). Kao Chen. Standard Handbook of Powerplant Engineering (2nd edition ed.
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