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• A Thermal Power Plant converts the heat energy of coal into

electrical energy.
• A thermal power station basically work on the rankine cycle.
• Coal is burnt in a boiler which converts water into steam.
• The expansion of steam in turbine produces mechanical power
which drives the alternator coupled to the turbine.
• In thermal generating stations coal, oil, natural gas etc. are
employed as primary sources of energy.
• Thermal Power Plants contribute maximum to the generation of
Power for any country
Thermal power plant in India
• In India 65% of total power is generated by the Thermal Power
Stations .
• Thermal Power Plants constitute 75.43% of the total installed
captive and non-captive power generation in India.
Diagram of a typical coal
fired thermal power station
• The fuel used is quite cheap.
• Less initial cost as compared to other generating plants.
• It can be installed at any place irrespective of the existence of
• The coal can be easily transported to the site
• It require less space as compared to Hydro power plants.
• Cost of generation is less than that of diesel power plants.
• It pollutes the atmosphere due to production of large amount of
smoke and fumes.
• It is costlier in running cost as compared to Hydro electric plants.
• Maintenance cost is more
Major components in Thermal Power
• Steam generating equipment
• Turbine
• Condenser
• Cooling towers
• Electrical equipments
Steam generating equipment
• Boiler
• Boiler furnace
• Preheater
• Superheater
• Economiser
• A boiler or steam generator is a closed
vessel in which water under pressure, is
converted into steam.
• It is one of the major components of a
thermal power plant
• Always designed to absorb maximum
amount of heat released in the process of
Boilers are of two types-
1. Fire tube boiler
2. Water tube boiler
Super heater

•Superheater is a device consists of tubes which get the heat from the product of
combustion to add additional heat into steam, so the temperature of the steam passing
through the tubes raise higher than its saturation temperature.
•The superheater can help steam boiler increase its capacity by helping turbine
generator get its required steam both in terms pressure and temperature.
•It can be classified based on heat transfer as
1.Convection Superheater: The convection superheater is located somewhere in the flue
gas flow, where it absorbs heat transfer by convection.
2.Radiant Superheater: Radiant superheater is located in or near furnace of steam
boiler and receives heat transfer from combustion process by radiation.
•Reheater section containing
tubes heated by hot flue gases
outside the tubes. The main
purpose of reheater is to avoid
excess moisture in steam at the
end of expansion to protect the
•The steam after reheating is
used to rotate the second steam
turbine where the heat is
converted to mechanical energy.
• This mechanical energy is used
to run the alternator, which is
coupled to turbine , there by
generating electrical energy.
•An economizer extracts a part
of this heat from flue gases and
uses it for heating feed water.

Advantages of using
1. There is an increase in
efficiency of the steam power
2.Condensation loss in the pipes
is reduced.
Steam turbine
A steam turbine converts heat
energy of steam into mechanical
energy and drives the generator. It
uses the principle that steam
when issuing from a small
opening attains a high velocity.
This velocity attained during
expansion depends on the initial
and final heat content of the
steam. This difference b/w initial
and final heat content represents
the heat energy converted into
kinetic energy.
• It condenses steam at exhaust steam from the turbine
for its re-use in the cycle and maximise thermal

• The condensed steam can be used as feed water to the

Cooling towers
•A cooling tower is a heat rejection set-up, which extracts waste heat to
the atmosphere though the cooling of a water stream to a lower

•Most plants use a closed cooling system where warm water coming
from condenser is cooled and reused.

•Cooling tower is a steel or concrete hyperbolic structure having a

reservoir at the base for storage of cooled water
Working Process
Operation Mechanism
• The coal is brought and crushed to powder. This is feed to Boiler
for producing heat
• In Boiler the water is converted to steam.
• In Super heater the moisture content is removed from the steam
and that steam is called super heated steam
• The superheated steam rotates the shaft of the High pressure
• The Exhausted steam is sent to preheater and the steam then
rotates the Intermediate pressure(IP) Turbine
• The steam from the IP turbine is then feed to low pressure
• The turbine shaft is connected to the Generator, which produces
Electric Power.
• The power generated is then Transmitted.
Working principle
Working Flow chart
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