Thermal Power Station | Coal-fired Thermal Power Station

Thermal Power Station

A thermal power station is a power plant in which the prime mover is steam driven.

The operation of a thermal power station is such that the water is heated first, and turns into steam. This steam is used for rotating a steam turbine which drives an electrical generator. After passing through the turbine, the steam is condensed in a condenser; this is called as a Rankine cycle. The variation in the design of thermal power stations depends on the different fuel sources. Some countries prefer to use the term energy center in place of the power plant because such facilities convert forms of heat energy into electrical energy. The term power plant is the most common in the United States (US), while power station term is common in many Commonwealth countries and especially in the United Kingdom (UK).

Almost all coal, geothermal, nuclear, solar thermal electric, and waste incineration plants, as well as many natural gas power plants, are thermal.

Coal-fired thermal power station

Fig. 1 Typical diagram of a coal-fired thermal power station


1. Cooling tower 10. Steam control valve 19. Superheater
2. Cooling water pump 11. High-pressure steam turbine 20. Forced draught (draft) fan
3. Three-phase transmission line 12. De-aerator 21. Re-heater
4. Step-up transformer 13. Feed water heater 22. Combustion air intake
5. Electrical generator 14. Coal conveyor 23. Economizer
6. Low-pressure steam turbine 15. Coal hopper 24. Air pre-heater
7. Boiler feed water pump 16. Coal pulverize 25. Precipitator
8. Surface condenser 17. Boiler steam drum 26. Induced draught (draft) fan
9. Intermediate pressure steam turbine 18. Bottom ash hopper 27. Flue gas stack

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