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WHAT IS A SIMPLE STEAM POWER PLANT?

Steam power plants use water as working fluid. Nuclear and coal based
power plants fall under this category. The way energy from fuel gets
transformed into electricity forms the working of a power plant. In a thermal
power plant a steam turbine is rotated with help of high pressure and high
temperature steam and this rotation is transferred to a generator to produce
electricity.

HOW DOES ENERGY GET FROM POWER PLANT TO YOUR


HOME?

A power station is really a machine that extracts energy from a fuel. Some power
stations burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil, or gas. Nuclear power stations produce
energy by splitting apart atoms of heavy materials such as uranium and plutonium.
The heat produced is used to convert water into steam at high pressure. This steam
turns a windmill-like device called a turbine connected to an electricity generator.
Extracting heat from a fuel takes place over a number of stages and some energy is
wasted at each stage. That means power plants are not very efficient: in a typical plant
running on coal, oil, or gas, only about 3040 percent of the energy locked inside the
fuel is converted to electricity and the rest is wasted.

1. Fuel: The energy that finds its way into your TV, computer, or toaster starts off as
fuel loaded into a power plant. Some power plants run on coal, while others use
oil, natural gas, or methane gas from decomposing rubbish.
2. Furnace: The fuel is burned in a giant furnace to release heat energy.
3. Boiler: In the boiler, heat from the furnace flows around pipes full of cold water.
The heat boils the water and turns it into steam.
4. Turbine: The steam flows at high-pressure around a wheel that's a bit like a
windmill made of tightly packed metal blades. The blades start turning as the
steam flows past. Known as asteam turbine, this device is designed to convert
the steam's energy into kinetic energy (the energy of something moving). For the
turbine to work efficiently, heat must enter it at a really high temperature and
pressure and leave at as low a temperature and pressure as possible.
5. Cooling tower: The giant, jug-shaped cooling towers you see at old power
plants make the turbine more efficient. Boiling hot water from the steam turbine is
cooled in a heat exchangercalled a condenser. Then it's sprayed into the giant
cooling towers and pumped back for reuse. Most of the water condenses on the
walls of the towers and drips back down again. Only a small amount of the water
used escapes as steam from the towers themselves, but huge amounts of heat
and energy are lost.
6. Generator: The turbine is linked by an axle to a generator, so the generator
spins around with the turbine blades. As it spins, the generator uses the kinetic
energy from the turbine to make electricity.
7. Electricity cables: The electricity travels out of the generator to
a transformer nearby.

8. Step-up transformer: Electricity loses some of its energy as it travels down wire
cables, but high-voltage electricity loses less energy than low-voltage electricity.
So the electricity generated in the plant is stepped-up (boosted) to a very high
voltage as it leaves the power plant.
9. Pylons: Hugh metal towers carry electricity at extremely high voltages, along
overhead cables, to wherever it is needed.
10. Step-down transformer: Once the electricity reaches its destination, another
transformer converts the electricity back to a lower voltage safe for homes to use.
11. Homes: Electricity flows into homes through underground cables.
12. Appliances: Electricity flows all round your home to outlets on the wall. When
you plug in a television or other appliance, it could be making a very indirect
connection to a piece of coal hundreds of miles away!
THE 3 STAGES OF THE CONVERSION FROM COAL TO
ELECTRICITY
Stage 1
The first conversion of energy takes place in the boiler. Coal is burnt in the boiler
furnace to produce heat. Carbon in the coal and Oxygen in the air combine to produce
Carbon Dioxide and heat.
Stage 2
The second stage is the thermodynamic process.
1. The heat from combustion of the coal boils water in the boiler to produce steam. In
modern power plant, boilers produce steam at a high pressure and temperature.
2. The steam is then piped to a turbine.
3. The high pressure steam impinges and expands across a number of sets of blades
in the turbine.
4. The impulse and the thrust created rotates the turbine.
5. The steam is then condensed and pumped back into the boiler to repeat the cycle.
Stage 3
In the third stage, rotation of the turbine rotates the generator rotor to produce electricity
based of Faradays Principle of electromagnetic induction.

PERFORMANCE,HEAT BALANCE AND EFFICIENCY OF THE


SIMPLE STEAM POWER PLANT USING RANKINE CYCLE AND
CARNOT CYCLE
1-2: Isentropic expansion in the engine, s=C

2-3: Constant pressure rejection of heat in the condenser, p=C

3.4: Adiabatic pumping, s=C

4-1: Constant pressure addition of heat in the steam generator, p=C

NOTE:

The first law, also known as Law of Conservation of Energy, states that energy cannot
be created or destroyed in an isolated system.

Isolated system is a thermodynamic system enclosed by rigid immovable walls through


which neither matter nor energy can pass.

RANKINE CYCLE FORMULAS cycle analysis.

A. Heat added, Qa (STEAM GENERATOR, BOILER)


Ein=Eout

+ 4 = 1

= 1 4
B. Heat Rejected, Qr (CONDENSER)

Ein=Eout
+ 3 = 2

= 2 3

C. Engine Work, W

Ein=Eout
+ 2 = 1

= 1 2

D. Pump Work, Wp

For exact Wp
Ein=Eout
+ 3 = 4

= 4 3

For approximate Wp
a. Water is practically incompressible liquid Therefore, v3=v4.
b. The change in internal energy is negligible, Ub=U3

Ein=Eout
U3+Wf3+Wp=Ub+Wfb

Wp=Wfb-Wf3

Wp= PbVb-P3V3

Wp=V3(Pb-P3)
E. Net Cycle Work, Wnet

Wnet= Gross work-Pump work

Wnet=W-Wp

Wnet=h1-h2-Wp

Or you can use

Wnet=Qa-Qr

F. Thermal Efficiency,
=Wnet/Qa

G. Steam Rate, m

m=3600/W inkg/kwh

H. Engine Thermal Efficiency,

= Wturbine/Ec

Ec is energy chageable or the enthalpy of the steam entering the turbine


subtracted to the enthalpy of the saturated liquid at condensing temperature.

=h1-h2/h1-hf3

I. Engine efficiencies Mother formula

For example in brake engine Efficiency


nb= Wb/W
Carnot Cycle

The most efficient heat engine cycle is the Carnot cycle, consisting of two
isothermal processes and two adiabatic processes. The Carnot cycle can be thought of
as the most efficient heat engine cycle allowed by physical laws. When the second law
of thermodynamics states that not all the supplied heat in a heat engine can be used to
do work, the Carnot efficiency sets the limiting value on the fraction of the heat which
can be so used.

In order to approach the Carnot efficiency, the processes involved in the heat
engine cycle must be reversible and involve no change in entropy. This means that the
Carnot cycle is an idealization, since no real engine processes are reversible and all
real physical processes involve some increase in entropy.