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Seminar 3:

Electric Power Generation


Emergency Evacuation Procedure

If you hear an Emergency Warning System (whoop-whoop tone)

follow instructions from your Building Warden or Lecturer

evacuate by nearest safe EXIT and move to Assembly Area
Building Warden / Lecture close all doors in area when clear
Lecturer to call Security on 3333
do not re-enter the building until all-clear has been given by Building Warden

Suspicious Packages & Behaviour

do not approach
do not use mobile phones
Lecturer to call Security on 3333 and await further instructions

Fire or other Emergency

remove anyone from danger

close all doors in area
evacuate by nearest safe EXIT and move to Assembly Area
in case of earthquake move under desks, tables, evacuate on instruction only
raise the alarm, use RED break glass alarm (if available)
Lecturer to call Security on 3333
do not re-enter the building until all-clear has been given by Building Warden

Safety & Security with ECU

Your Responsibility as a Student
If the Lecturer does not arrive, inform school secretary as soon as possible.
ECU supports a NON-SMOKING environment.
Hazards should be reported to a staff member or by phoning 6304 5554.
Accidents, injuries and near miss incidents (this is an incident that could have
resulted in an injury) need to be reported to a university staff member as soon as
Be aware of your safety and that of others -If you see suspicious or anti-social
behaviour, observe or are involved in an incident, contact Security immediately call
6304 3333 (JO) 9370 3333 (ML) or use security phones located at various points
on each campus.

Emergency & Support Information

Note the location and use of the Security radio phones on campus.
Note the location of all emergency signage, break glass alarms & EXITs
Security Officers are trained in First Aid.
Note the location and availability of the campus Medical Suite.
24 hour Security Escort Service - call 6304 3333 (JO) 9370 3333 (ML) or use
security phone located at various points on campus
If attending the campus out of hours we encourage you to travel in pairs.

Supply-demand concepts must always apply.
Supply consisting of large companies and utilities.
Methods of generation:
Thermal (fossil fuels)


Fuel cell

Fossil Fuels
There are three major types of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas.
All three were formed millions of years ago and were made up of
decomposed plant and animal matter.
It took millions of years to form the hard, black coloured rock-like substance
known as coal, the thick liquid known as oil or petroleum, and natural gas.
These fuels are used to supply heat by means of chemical reactions to
support electrical power generation plants.
Oil is stored in large tanks and is made into different products such as
fertilisers for farming, plastic compounds, etc.
The oil refineries split the crude oil into various types of products which
include gasoline, diesel, home heating oil, oil for power plants to generate
electricity, oil for ships, kerosene and aviation fuel.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is mostly made up of a gas
called methane (CH4), a simple chemical
compound that is made up of carbon and
hydrogen atoms.
It is highly flammable and found near
petroleum underground.
The natural gas is pumped from below

Typical Natural Gas Pipelines

ground and sent to plants for processing

in large pipelines.
It usually has no odour, but before it is
sent through the grid of the pipelines, it is
mixed with a chemical to give it a strong
odour which makes it easy to smell if
there is a leak.

Oil Refinery

Fossil Fuel Handling, Storage and Process

Oil and gas are transported by rail, ships, and through pipelines as
liquefied gas.
Coal is transported by rail, and ships if the plant is close to a river or
The power plant requires reserves of fuel for several days.
Storage: Oil and gas are stored in large metal tanks, and coal is kept in
open yards. The temperature of the coal layer must be monitored to
avoid self ignition.
Process: Oil is pumped and gas is fed to the burners of the boiler. Coal
is pulverised in large mills, and the powder is mixed with air and
transported by air pressure, through pipes to the burners. The coal
transport from the yard to the mills requires automated transporter belts,
hoppers, and sometimes manually operated bulldozers.

Thermal Power Plants Principle of Operation

Work = Q1 - Q2
Thermal efficiency: 1

Rate of change
of entropy:
Carnot limit:



A heat machine working between a
hot reservoir (T1) and a cold reservoir (T2)

max 1


K = oC + 273.15

Typical Fossil Fuelled

Thermal Power Plant
Average efficiency about 30%.
10% losses during conversion
of chemical to thermal energy.
Turbine may have 90%
efficiency, generator even


30 273
1 1
600 273

Typical Fossil Fuelled

Thermal Power Plant
The furnace input air forced by
fan is preheated. This is done
using the furnace exhaust to
improve efficiency and of
course save energy.
Once combustion between the
air and fuel mixture occurs, an
induced draft fan forces the
combustion byproducts out of the exhaust stacks. This fan is necessary
because the air heater and precipitators (used to remove pollutants) constrict
the exhaust flow.
Quite large motors, such as 1800 hp ones need to drive the draft fans.

Steam Cycle
The steam cycle is a closed
loop operation except for the
water needed to make up the
lost one due to small leaks.
The water used is treated, i.e.
de-mineralized, to prevent
clogging the boiler tubes with
build ups. It is also de-aerated
to remove the oxygen from the
feedwater to reduce corrosion.
The cooling water passing through the condenser causes the spent steam
to become water. Since the condensed water uses less space than steam, a
vacuum at the turbine exhaust is created. The lower exhaust pressure
causes the temperature of the steam to be lower (keep in mind that the
temperature of the steam depends upon the pressure).
The temperature difference across the turbine is therefore increased by the
condenser and the energy extracted by the turbine is also increased. 12

Steam Cycle (cont.)

The output of the condenser is

fed to a series of feedwater
The feedwater heaters
preheat the water before going
to the boiler using heat
extracted from the turbine
near the exhaust.
The preheat process reduces
the amount of heat that would
be needed from the boiler, further reducing the mechanical stresses on the
The pre-heaters will take the steam from 30C, 4 psi to about 260C, 600 psi
The economiser uses combustion gases which have passed through the
boiler already to further preheat the incoming feedwater with no significant
extra cost involved.
The water then passes through the boiler where it is turned into steam at
about 2400 psi, 340C.

Steam Cycle (cont.)

Superheating steam
(increasing the temperature at
constant pressure) increases
the thermal energy to be
extracted from the steam. It
also reduces the possibility of
water droplet formation in the
steam as it passes through
the turbine which can corrode
the turbine blades.
Most high pressure turbines use input steam at about 565C at around 2400
psi. Once the steam has passed through the high pressure turbine, it is
reheated to about 535C at the same pressure as the high pressure turbine
exhaust (550 psi).
After passing through the low pressure turbine, the steam goes into the
condenser and the process is repeated.
Most modern plants use three-stage turbines (high pressure, intermediate
pressure, and low pressure) and two reheat cycles.

There are two types of boilers as follows:
Subcritical water tube drum type operating at 2500 psi which is under the
water critical pressure of 3802 psi.
Supercritical once through type which operates above the critical
pressure at around 3500 psi.
The superheated steam temperature is about 280 C.
The transfer of heat within a boiler utilises the three well known methods as
Convection: the movement of heat from a hot object and the surrounding
air. This can be either:
Forced: when the air flow is forced by a fan.
Radiation: the movement of heat from a hot area to a cooler one
depending upon the temperature and the ability of materials to absorb
Conduction: the movement of heat from a hot area to a cooler one when
the heat source has contact with the cooler substance/area. It relies on
the heat conductivity of the hot material.

Steam Generator
The steam generator consists of three parts as follows:
Air-flue gas
Fuel system: fuel is mixed with air and injected into the furnace through
burners. The temperature is about 1650 C.
Air-flue gas system: ambient air is driven by the forced-draft fan through the
air preheater which is heated by the high-temperature flue gases (315 C).
The air is mixed with fuel in the burners and enters into the furnace, where it
supports the fuel burning.
The hot combustion flue gas generates steam and flows through the boiler
to heat the superheater, reheaters, economiser, etc.


Steam Turbine Principle of Operation

The turbine converts the heat energy of
the steam into mechanical energy.
Both the rotor and stationary part of the
turbine have blades.
The length of the blades increases from
the steam entrance to the exhaust.
Steam enters through nozzles and flows
through the first set of moving rotor
blades. The stationary blades that follow
change the direction of the flow and direct
the steam into the next set of moving
The nozzles increase the steam speed
and reduce pressure.
The impact of the high speed steam,
generated by the change of direction and
speed in the moving blades, drives the

50-1200 MW

Up to 150 MW for combined

heat and power units

Steam Turbine and Governor System

The steam turbine used to generate electricity must rotate at a constant
If the speed of the turbine changes, the frequency of the AC voltage system
generated will also change.
A system of governors is used to regulate the speed of a steam turbine,
therefore maintaining the systems frequency constant, i.e. 50 Hz.
The governor system adjusts the speed of the turbine by compensating for
any changes in load demand.
As more load is demanded from the turbine, it starts to have higher
resistance to rotation. In this case, the input to the turbine must be increased
accordingly to maintain the constant speed requirement.
The governor system automatically adjusts the steam supply to the turbine
More on this important control aspect in Power Systems 2


Coal-Fired Generating Station & Ash Handling

Coal fired power plants generate significant amount of ash and its
disposition causes environmental problems that need to be dealt with.
Large ash particles are collected by a water-filled ash hopper located at the
bottom of the furnace.
Fly ash is removed by filters, then mixed with water.
Both methods produce sludge that is pumped to a clay-lined pond where
water evaporates and the ash fills disposal sites.
The clay-lining prevents intrusion of ground water into the pond.


Power Plant Stack

The stack is designed to disperse gases into the
atmosphere with minimum environmental damage
This requires sufficient stack height which assists the
fans in removing gases from the boiler though natural
Unfortunately, gases include solid parts as well as
harmful chemicals that need to be removed prior to
the gases entering the atmosphere.
Electrostatic precipitators or bag house filters are
used for this purpose. These are air cleaning devices
that electrically charge foreign particles in the air and
then collect them on positively charged plates.
Harmful sulphur dioxide is eliminated by scrubbers
based on lime/limestone scrubbing process.
40% of the cost of building a new coal plant is money
spent on pollution control.
They also use up about 5% of the power generated.



Steel Stack Nagoya

Coal-Fired Generators Registered in Australia



Percentage of total
registered capacity in
the state

Black coal

Brown coal



















Coal-Fired Power Plant

The maximum efficiency of a coal-fired power plant of today is
approximately 40% when using a powdered-coal spraying process.
The efficiency is calculated as follows:

Output Po wer Electrical Power Out


Input Pow er
Thermal Power In
This thermal efficiency is often expressed as a heat rate, which is
the thermal input required to deliver 1 kWh of electrical output:

1Btu/kWh 1.055 kJ/kWh

3600 kJ/kWh
Heat rate (kJ/kWh)

3412 Btu/kWh
Heat rate (Btu/kWh)


3600 kJ/kWh

3412 Btu/kWh
Heat rate (Btu/kWh)

Heat rate (kJ/kWh)


Gas Turbine
Natural gas (methane) is widely available and
has a competitive price.
The high temperature of the gas combustion
makes the efficiency of a gas turbine to be
comparable to the one of a steam turbine.
Power Range 67-265 MW
There is also an additional advantage that there is still sufficient heat in the gas
turbine exhaust to raise steam in a conventional boiler to drive a steam turbine
coupled to another electricity generator.
Combined efficiencies are in the range of 56 to 58%.
On the environmental side, gas firing plant produces about 55% of the carbon dioxide
emission compared with a similarly rated coal/oil fired plant.
Further advantages include:
Quick start up and shut down (2 to 3 minutes for the gas turbine, 20 minutes for
the steam turbine).
The station can be installed faster because of its modular nature.
Its ability to run on oil if the gas supply is interrupted.
Modern installations are fully automated and require only few operatives to
maintain continuous round the clock running or to supply peak loads when and
if needed.

Basic Gas Power Plant

More than half of the rotational energy created by the spinning turbine is
used to power the compressor.
Smaller industrial gas turbines are only about 20% efficient, but for turbines
over about 10 MW they tend to have efficiencies of around 30%.
Lightweight, compact aeroderivative turbines are easy to ship and install,
and are available from kilowatts up to about 50 MW, achieving efficiencies
exceeding 40%.


Steam-Injected Gas Turbines

More expensive (HRSG), feedwater must be purified.


Steam/Gas Power Station


Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

The thermal energy associated with an engine can be directly evacuated
or converted into:
Superheated or saturated steam
Cold/hot water
Hot/cold air
With combined heat and power nearly every type of primary energy
source can be used as follows:
Natural gas
Diesel fuel
Heavy fuel oil
Landfill gas, etc.

Gas Turbines and Cogeneration


Gas-Fired Generators Registered with AEMO in




Capacity (MW)

Percentage of total registered

capacity in the state



















WA (cont.):


Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear power grew 750% in the 1970s and 140% in the
1980s, but it increased only 8% in the 1990s.
By 1978, nuclear powered generating plants provided 7. 5%
of the worlds electricity.
By 2006, 442 nuclear reactor in 30 countries provided 16%
of the worlds electricity.
Nuclear power plants use controlled nuclear fission to heat
water and produce steam. Simply said, the method is a water
heating method.
Long term storage of spent nuclear fuel.
Decommissioning of old nuclear power plants.
Fears of another Chernobyl, Three Mile Island or

Uranium, World: 1962 kt,

Uranium, Australia: 716 kt (36.5%)
8 10 kt of enriched uranium is needed every year


Nuclear Power Plants (cont.)

There are two types of commercial
nuclear power plants:
Boiling water reactor: the
boiled water directly produces
steam which is piped to the
steam turbine.
Pressurize water reactor: the
heated water in the reactor is
used to produce steam outside
the reactor.


Hydro-Electric Power
Hydro-electric power: electricity produced by the movement of water
from rivers and lakes and specially made dams.
Gravity causes the water to flow and the difference in the kinetic energy can
be converted into mechanical energy.
The mechanical energy can then be converted into electrical one using a
hydro-electric power station.
Originally, hydro-electric power stations were of a small size and were set up
at waterfalls in the vicinity of towns because it was not possible to transmit
electrical energy over great distances in an economical way.
Large-scale hydro-electric power are economically viable these days as
electrical energy can be transmitted inexpensively over hundreds of
kilometres to where it is required. Hydro power systems can be of any range
from few hundred Watts to over 10GW.


Hydro-Electric Power Developments

Itaipu hydro-electric power in Brazil has
the generation capacity of 12600 MW
(almost two times NSW base load).
Manitoba Hydro in Canada has the
capacity of 5200 MW.
China has the biggest hydro resource of
680 GW. Exploitable hydro-power in SW
China accounts for 53% of Chinas total.

Western Australia:


Hydro-Electric Power Advantages

Conventional coal-fired power stations take hours to start-up. However,
hydro-electric power stations can begin generating electricity and be
connected on-line very quickly.
This is the most significant advantage from the management point of view,
and since they respond to sudden increases in demand for electricity by
customers, the hydro-electric power stations can be used for peak demand
Hydro-power stations need only a handful number of staff and in many
cases are operated remotely with no staff at all. Their maintenance does not
require a large number of staff either.
Price of fuel and associated changes for the cost of electricity generation is
not a problem and no fuel is needed.
They are also classified as part of the renewable energy systems, as the
energy source, being the water, is renewable and does not pollute the
environment while operating.
However, the initial construction of dams to enable hydro-electric generation
may cause significant damage to the environment and careful planning is
required further increasing the capital cost associated with such project. 37

Hydro Power Operation Principles

The amount of electrical energy that can be generated from a water source
depends primarily upon:
the distance the water falls from
the quantity of the water available
Hydro-electric power stations must be therefore located in places where the
catchments of water is relatively large and where they can take advantage
of the greatest fall of the water between the bottom of a deep and steep
sided valley or gorge or near the base of a dam.
Water is collected and stored in dam above the station for use when it is
There are two types of dams as follows:
Ones that create big reservoirs to store water by raising the levels of
rivers to increase their capacity.
Ones that simply arrest the flow of rivers and divert the water down to
the power station through pipelines.


Water Turbine - Operation Principles

Blades are attached to the shaft and when flowing water presses against the
blades, the shaft rotates. This is the same effect in the wind turbine, the only
difference there is that wind is pressing against the blades of the wind
The water exchanges energy with the turbine and once this happens, the
water is discharged through drainage pipes or channels called the tailrace of
the power station for irrigation or water supply purposes or in some cases
flows straight into the ocean.
In pumped storage applications the water is taken back to the upper
reservoir of course.

Hydroelectric Power Plant

Snowy Hydro Australia

Hydro Generating Unit Components

A hydro-electric generating unit is simple and consists of:

Water turbine to convert the energy of flowing water into mechanical
Electric generator to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
The amount of energy available from water depends on:
The quantity of the available water.
The waters pressure at the turbine. The pressure is referred to the head,
and is measured as the height that the surface of the water is above the
turbine. The greater the height (head) of the water above the turbine, the
more energy each cubic meter of water can impart to spin a turbine.
The greater the quantity of the water, the greater the number and size of
turbines that may be spun, and the greater the power output of the

Types of Water Turbines

In the case of a hydro-electric power station
turbine, the water can come from a specially
constructed dam set up high up in a
mountain range or simply from a river close
to ground level. Water sources therefore
vary, therefore water turbines have been
designed to suit the different locations.
The design used is determined largely by
head and quantity of water available at a
particular site.
There are three main types of water
Pelton wheels
Francis turbines
Kaplan or propeller type of turbines
All can be mounted either horizontally or
The Kaplan can be mounted almost at any
angle, although this is usually vertical or
horizontal as well.


Pelton Wheel
The Pelton wheel is used in the following case:
Small flow of water is available.
Large head.
It resembles the water wheels used at water mills in the past.
It has small buckets all around its rim.
Water is fed from the dam through nozzles at very high speed hitting the
buckets and pushing the wheel around.


Francis Turbine
The Francis turbine is used is the following case:
Large water flow;
High ( up to 500m) or medium head of water is involved.
The Francis turbine is also similar to a waterwheel in that it looks like a
spinning wheel with fixed blades in between two rims. This wheel is called
runner. A circle of guide vanes surround the runner and control the amount
of water driving it.
Water is fed to the runner from all sides by these vanes causing it to spin.


Kaplan and Propeller Type Turbines

Propeller type of turbines are designed to operate in the following cases:
A small head of water is involved (up to 60 meters).
Applied to river and bondage stations.
These turbines resemble ships propellers.
The only difference in the case of water turbine application is that the angle
(pitch) of the blades can be altered to suit the water flow.
The variable pitch feature permits the machine to operate efficiently over a
range of heads. This is important in applications were the water supply is not
constant, therefore seasonal variation of water levels in a dam can be dealt


Constraints of Large-scale Hydro

Power Systems
Hydro power systems have benefits in terms of carbon
dioxide emissions and air pollution.
They also have a significant negative environmental impact as hydro electric power
installations have a detrimental effect on river flows and water supplies.
Large scale hydro schemes result in flooding of large areas of land and often lead to
the displacement of people living in the area. They also have a negative impact on
the local fauna and flora.
Example: the 18.2GW Three Gorges dam project in China.
An estimated 250,000 workers involved in the project.
The Three Gorges Reservoir inundated 632 square kilometers (395 square miles) of
An estimated 1.2 million people resettled by the dam.
The project's 26 hydropower turbines produce 18.2 million kilowatts, up to one-ninth
of China's output.
The amount of concrete totals 26.43 million cubic meters, twice that of the Itaipu
project in Brazil, the world's previously largest hydroelectric dam.

Energy Conversion by Generators


Electromagnetic Induction
A conductor is placed within the
magnetic field of a horseshoe magnet so
that the left side of the magnet is the
North (N) pole and the right side of the
magnet is the South (S) pole.
Magnetic lines of force travel from N
pole to the S one.
The conductor is connected to a zerotype of current meter, which can have
either a positive or a negative deflection.
If the conductor is moved within the
magnetic field, the current will be nonzero. The direction of the move
determines the current being positive or
negative. This occurs as long as there is
relative motion between the conductor
and the magnetic field.
An induced current (closed circuit
required) causes also an induced
voltage across the ends of the


Voltage Development in a Generator

When a conductor is moved within a magnetic field, an induced
voltage is generated across the terminals.
The induced voltage can be changed by the following actions:
Modification of the strength of the magnetic field.
Change of the speed of the conductor movement within the
magnetic field.
If the strength of the magnetic field is increased so does the voltage.
If the conductor is moved faster, the voltage increases.
If more conductors are used, the voltage increases.


Generator Construction
Generators are used to convert mechanical energy into electrical one.
The mechanical energy is used to move electrical conductors within a
magnetic field.
A generator consists of a stationary (stator) and a rotating (rotor) part. It
also has magnetic field poles of north and south polarities.
The generator must have a method of producing a rotary motion, or a
prime mover connected to the generator shaft. The rotating conductors
must also be connected to an external circuit and special slip rings/brushes
are used for this purpose.
The stationary brushes are made of carbon and graphite. The slip rings are
made of copper. They are permanently mounted on the shaft of the
generator. The two slip rings connect to the ends of a conductor loop.
Electromagnetic induction can now take place and produce power.

Rotating Armature Method

In this method, the AC voltage is induced into the conductors of the rotating
part of the machine.
The electromagnetic field is generated by a set of stationary pole pieces.
The required relative motion between the conductors and the magnetic field
is provided by prime movers such as steam turbines, gas turbines, hydro
turbines, gas engines, diesel engines and others.
Only a small power rating can be used with this method.
The major drawback of this method is that the AC is extracted from a slip
ring/brush assembly. A high voltage could produce sparking or arc over the
brushes and the slip rings.
The maintenance involved is
expensive and time consuming.
The maintenance would include
replacing of brushes and repairing
of the slip rings commutator assembly.


Rotating Field Method


Advantages of Three-Phase AC Power

The power produced by a three-phase voltage source is less pulsating as
compared with the single-phase one.
This is very important in the case of motors as the three-phase system
produces a uniform torque in the motor. This factor is important in the case
of large motors.
Three-phase power is more economical than single-phase power to
distribute from plants to consumers that are located a considerable distance
Three separate single phase voltages can be derived from a three phase
transmission line, and fewer conductors are required to distribute the threephase voltage than three single phase ones.
The equipment that uses three-phase power is physically smaller in size
than similar single-phase one.


Delta- and Star-Connected AC Generators


AC Generators
AC generators can be classified into High speed and Low speed.
The type of generator used depends upon the prime mover available to
rotate the generator.
The stator of a three-phase AC generator can be connected as star or
delta configuration.
High-speed generators are usually driven by steam turbines.
The high-speed generator is:
smaller in diameter
longer in length
when compared to a low-speed generator.
The high-speed generator usually has two stator poles per phase. This
means it will rotate at 3000 rpm for a 50Hz AC system:
120 f 120 50

3000 rpm
Low-speed generators are:
Large in diameter (larger than high-speed counterparts)
Not as long as high speed ones
The number of stator poles could be eight or even twelve.
N (rpm)

Generator Frequency and Efficiency

The frequency of the sinusoidal voltage waveform produced by an
AC generator is either 50Hz or 60Hz.
One cycle of alternating current is generated when a conductor
makes one complete revolution past a set of North and South field
The frequency can be calculated from the following formula:

speed of rotation (rpm) number of poles per phase

The ratio of the output power to the input power is referred to as the
generator efficiency:

Output Pow er
Input Powe r


Synchronous Machines
The bulk of electricity is produced by 3-phase synchronous
Synchronous generators with power rating of several hundred MVA
are common; the biggest machines have a rating up to 1500MVA.
The two basic parts of the synchronous machine are the rotor &
The iron rotor is equipped with a DC-excited winding which acts as
an electromagnet.
When the rotor is rotating and excited, a time-varying
electromagnetic field is produced in the air gap.
The armature has 3-phase winding in which time-varying EMF is

Synchronous Machines (cont.)

Synchronous machines are built with two types of rotors: cylindrical and
Cylindrical rotors: are driven by steam turbines at 3000 to 3600 RPM.
In cylindrical rotors, the field winding is placed in slots, cut axially along the
rotor length. The diameter of the rotor is usually between 1 to 1.5 m. These
generators are named turbo generators and have one pair of poles.
Salient-pole rotors: are usually driven by low-speed hydro turbines. Salient
machines have usually more than one pair of poles. They can operate at
lower rotational speeds.

Cylindrical Rotor:

Salient Rotor:

Generator Cooling System

Air-cooled Generator

Power Range: 25-325 MVA

Power Range: Up to 600 MVA

Hydrogen-cooled Generator

Power Range: 450-2000 MVA

It is cooled by hydrogen produced by a hydrogen to water heat exchanger

mounted on the generator or installed in a closed loop cooling system.


Unit Connected Generator

Before a synchronous generator can be connected to the network, the generator voltage must:
have the same phase sequence as the grid voltage
have the same frequency as the grid
have the same amplitude at its terminals as the one of grid
be in phase with the grid voltage
The energy generated by the power plant is fed into the electrical system (power network)
through transmission lines.
The power plant uses approximately 10% to 15% of the power generated to operate auxiliary
systems such as mills, pumps, etc.
Small generators are connected directly in parallel using busbars.
Circuit breakers protect each generator.
The auxiliary power system of the plant is supplied from the same busbar.
Transformers are usually used to connect the transmission lines to the generators or in some
cases, the transmission lines are connected directly into the generator bus.
Large generators are unit connected. In this case, the generator is directly connected to the
main transformer without a circuit breaker.
The disconnect switches are located on both sides and are needed for maintenance

Phasor Model of a Synchronous Generator



Characteristics of Generation and Transmission of Power

There are three important characteristics of power generation and
transmission which strongly influence the way the power systems operate:
1. Electricity, unlike gas and water cannot be stored. Moreover, the supplier
has very small control over the load at any time.
2. The generation needs to be closer to the fuel available and this may not be
close to loads in most cases. However, today, this is challenged through
the concept of distributed generation, which will be explained later.
3. There is a continuous increase in demand for power.

10-year Total Exiting

(up to 2008) and
Projected (up to
2017) Demand in
NEM Regions

The law of demand: other things being equal, the higher the price of
a particular good or service, the lower the quantity is demanded.
Simply said, if the price of a good/service is decreased, the demand
for such good/service will increase, i.e. more buyers would like to
enter the market.
Change in demand can be influenced by:
Price of related goods/services
Income and purchasing power
Expected future prices

The law of supply: other things being equal, the higher the price of a
particular good or service, the higher the quantity is supplied.
Simply said, if the price of a good/service is increased, the supply for such
good will increase, i.e. more parties would like to enter the market, or more
units would be desired to be sold by one supplier as the increased price will
increase margins, therefore profit.
Change in supply can be influenced by:
Price of production costs,
i.e. labour, resources, etc.
Prices of related goods/services
Expected future prices
The number of suppliers


Supply and Demand Equilibrium


Electricity Demand and Supply

Storage is not usually available. Energy must be produced
when needed and should not when not needed (just in time
production) within a very narrow time margin and value of
generated capacity.
Historically, prices of electricity do not vary according to supply
and demand. However, this changed in many countries, and
nowadays there are tariffs for different times of day and seasons
as utilities try to manage demand and lower the cost of electricity
Question: What is the residential tariff in WA?


Load Profiles
The aim is to keep the output from the
generators equal to the connected load at
the specified voltage and frequency at all
This is quite a challenging task as the
load varies throughout the: Hour, Day,
Week, Month, Year, Season...
Diversity is the term used to refer to load
changes during a period of time.
The load varies during the day, because
people go to work, return back home in
the evening, use different amounts of
electricity throughout the day.
The same applies to the industrial use of
power which is also reflected on the
demand/load curves.


Diversity of Load

The load consists of a steady component known

as base load, plus a variable one known as
peaks that depend upon the time of day and
other factors such as weather conditions, time
of year, etc.
Note that base-load demand accounts for the
majority of electricity supplied. Large coal-fired
plants are expensive to build but relatively
cheap to operate, so they are run more or less continuously as base load
plants. The base-load for Victoria is about 5300 MW, and while total capacity must
allow for nearly double this, most of the difference is normally supplied by large
intermediate-load combined-cycle gas-fired plant, often run for most of the
daytime and then cycled as necessary to follow the evening load. The peak loads
are typically supplied by simple-cycle gas turbines, which are relatively
inexpensive to build but expensive to operate, so they are turned on only during
periods of highest demand.
In the Australian NEM, power stations bid into the market and compete for their
energy to be despatched by distribution companies, every 5 minutes. Thus the
sources of supply at any particular moment are determined by some balance
between plants which (once installed) can be run very cheaply, and that which while
costing less to build, uses more expensive fuel.

Reserve: the part of electrical utilitys available
generating capacity that is not producing electricity at any given time.
It is a good practice that an electric power company has sufficient excess capacity
that it can supply its largest normal load at the event that its largest generating plant
is out of service.
Spinning reserve: the generating capacity that is being driven at the proper speed to
provide proper voltage, but is not producing electricity.
Spinning reserve should be on-line and operate at less than maximum output, and be
ready to immediately serve load. In other words, the spinning reserve is the unloaded
synchronised generation that can ramp up in 10 minutes.
Spinning reserve can provide power to the system almost instantaneously if the
system load is increased or a generator must be taken out of service. It is a fastresponse capability held on partloaded synchronised generators.
Generally, spinning reserve response is classified into following categories:
Primary: available within 10 seconds.
Secondary: available within 30 seconds.
Spinning reserve should be sufficient to meet any sudden load changes anticipated
by the utility.


Other Types of Reserve

Stand-by reserve: the type of reserve that is non-synchronised and it has the
advantage of a fast start-up typically hydro or gas turbines. It is available
within few minutes, i.e. 5 minutes or less. Demand reduction controlled by
an operator can also be used using this type of reserve.
Replacement reserve: this involves a plant that can be brought on-line with a
longer time required in the event of a shortfall in the standing reserve.
Reactive power for voltage control: this serves the requirement for
generation at a specific power factor.
Black-start capability: a requirement that a generator can start one or more
units without external electrical supply within a given time. Storage systems
with batteries, or diesel generators are used to start-up the power station.


Screening Curves


Power Plant Load and Capacity Factors

There is a significant load variation, and the power plant generating capacity
utilisation changes all the time.
For this purpose, some of the generating capacity of the plant may be idle
during low demand times, which means some of the generating units of the
plant may not be in operation.
The load (demand) factor is defined as follows:

Average Load for a time period

Load (demand) Factor
Peak Load for a time period
The capacity factor is defined as follows:

Average Load for a time period

Capacity F actor
Output Capacity for a Power Pl ant
It would be ideal to maintain both these ratios as close to unity as possible,
in terms of energy conservation.

Power Plant Load and Capacity Factors (cont.)

A power plant has an average load of 200 MW and a peak load of
248 MW over a 24 Hours period. The total output capacity of the
plant is 280 MW.
The load factor is then:

200 MW
Load Factor
248 MW
The capacity factor is then:

200 MW
Capacity F actor
280 MW

Economic Dispatch and Load Diversity

Economic dispatch refers to serving the load at all times with as little excess
capacity as possible using the most efficient generating units possible.
Action: Properly sequencing the timing and size of generating units put in
and out of service.
Benefit: Very large cost savings while adequately serving the load.
More efficient units are used to serve the base loads.
Less efficient units are used to serve the peak loads.
A load-duration curve is simply the hour-by-hour load curve rearranged from
chronological order into an order based on magnitude:

Peak load served

with less efficient
units that can be
quickly brought on
Base load served
with most efficient
units that cannot be
quickly brought on


Load-Duration Curves


Factors Affecting Economic Dispatch

Since costs already incurred to build power plants must be paid no
matter what, it makes sense to dispatch plants in order of their
operating costs, from lowest to highest.
Renewables, with their intermittent operation but very low operating
costs, should be dispatched first whenever they are available; even
though their capacity factors may be low, they are part of the
Hydroelectric plants are especially useful as a dispatchable source
that may supplement baseload, intermittent, or peak loads,
especially when existing facilities are down for maintenance or
other reasons.
Economic dispatch is therefore affected by the following factors:
Generator efficiency
Losses in various lines
Fuel cost
Availability of capacity
Interconnection of capacity and associated cost


Central vs. Distributed Generation


Distributed, Alternative, Renewable Energy Generation

Diesel generators
Micro-Hydroelectric power
Geothermal power plants
Wind energy
Fuel cells
Tidal energy
Wave energy
You will study these technologies in Sustainability and
Renewable Energy!