Power Generation

What is an Electrical Power System?

For the first thing, modern electrical power system details with practices are pretty much difficult by writing but we are trying how much we can. However, the electrical power system is a bunch network of electrical components engaged in the supply and transfer, and use of electrical energy. An example of an electrical power system is an electric grid that provides power to homes and industries in an extended area. It uses energy forms (coal, nuclear, diesel, etc.) and converts it into electrical energy.

Most people think that what is the unit of power. Electrical power is the rate at which electrical energy is transferred by an electric circuit. Basically, electric power is generated by the electric generator or alternator. Electric power can be supplied by some sources such as electric batteries. The electrical power is denoted by (P). Thus, power (P) is equal to work (W) and divided by time (t). The electrical power equation is (P = W/t). Whereas W is the SI unit of power ‘’watt’’ which is an honor of inventor James Watt (born in 1736 and died in 1819).   

What are the Main Components of Power System?

The electrical power plant generates the electrical power and the voltage level can be changed by the transformer. Transformers are widely used in the power plant to step up the voltage level. Most of the time the electrical transformer is widely used to step down the voltage level whenever desired. But the power plant transformer is used to step up the voltage level. The electrical power systems consist of a bunch of networks including some comprehensive devices connected to the system, such as

 What is Electrical Power Plant?

An electrical power plant or electric power plant is an important thing for the generation of electricity. Where bulk electric power is generated by a special plant, which is called an electrical power plant or electricity generation station. There are different types of power plants in the world, and nowadays electrical power is generated using renewable power sources.

A power station or generating station is a large space where a large amount of electricity is produced. A power plant has one or more electric generators that convert mechanical energy into electricity. Electric generators or alternators are used in power plants to generate AC electrical power.

What are the Types of Electrical Power Plants?

There are different types of power plants but there are some popular power plants that are highly responsible to generate bulk electricity to meet the load demand. There are different types of energy sources that are used to generate electrical energy. Most power plants use fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas to generate electricity. Today, most electrical power is generated from several kinds of power plants, such as

Operation of Thermal Power Plants

A thermal power plant is a conventional power plant. In these power plants, fossil fuels like coal are burned for heating. This heat is then used to boil water and convert it into superhit steam. The superhit steam is transferred to the steam turbine with high pressure. The blades of the steam turbine rotate due to the high pressure of steam. Steam turbines run to an alternator that is mechanically combined with each other. The steam turbine converts steam energy into mechanical energy and the alternator takes mechanical energy from the turbine and generated electricity.


These plants are sometimes called steam power plants. The efficiency of thermal power plants is about 30%. The main disadvantage of a thermal power plant is that it pollutes the environment because of large amounts of smoke and ash.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Thermal Power Plant

Most of the power plants in the electrical power system are thermal power plants like coal power plants, gas power plants, nuclear power plants, etc. Thermal power plants are widely used to generate a large amount of electricity. It is highly responsive to meet the large-scale electric power demands. The thermal power plant is the most famous power plant. The advantage and disadvantages of a thermal power plant are below:


  • It has less prior cost as compared to nuclear power stations.
  • It requires small land than some other power plants.
  • The fuel (i.e. coal) cost is cheaper.
  • The power generation cost is lower than that of diesel power stations.


  • Such power plants are highly responsible to pollutes the atmosphere due to the production of huge fumes and smoke. This is one of the causes of global warming. 
  • The thermal power station’s overall efficiency is lesser than 30%.

What are the Main Components of Thermal Power Plants?

The electrical power system is a broad discussion, and the large number of equipments are installed for different purposes. Coal-fired thermal power plants are transferred from coal mines to generating stations. Usually, bituminous coal or brown coal is used as fuel. Coal is stored in ‘Dead Storage’ or ‘Live Storage’. Dead storage is typically 40 days of backup coal storage is used when there is no available coal supply.

Live storage is used as running coal in a boiler. The coal is cleaned with a magnetic cleaner to filter out if the coals have any iron particles present that could cause wear and tear in the equipment. Coal obtained from live storage is first to cut into small pieces and destroy to be made into powder coal form.

Finely powdered coal is fully combusted, and thus improves the efficiency of the coal boiler. The ash is produced after burning of coal, and burning coal is taken out of the boiler furnace and the ash is removed from the boiler furnace periodically for proper combustion. Thermal power plants consist of a lot of important components:

  • Boiler
  • Superheater
  • Economizer
  • Air preheater
  • Steam turbine
  • Condenser
  • Alternator

It is important to note that Electrical power plants have a lot of important components without the above components. The mixture of crushed coal and air (usually preheated air) is taken to the boiler and then burned in the combustion zone. During fuel ignition (coal), a large fireball is discovered in the center of the boiler, and a large amount of steam or heat energy is radiated.

This heat energy is used to convert water to vapor at high temperatures and pressures. Steel tubes are driven along the boiler walls where water is converted to steam. Flue gases from boilers pass through superheaters, economizers, and air presenters and eventually exhaust the atmosphere from the chimney.


What is Super Heater?

A super-heater is a device, it is used to convert saturated steam or wet steam into superheated steam or dry steam. Superhot steam is used in steam turbines in processes like power generation, steam engines, and steam reform. The superheater tubes are hung in the warmest part of the boiler. The saturated steam produced in the boiler tubes is almost 500 degrees centigrade in the superheater. The superheated high-pressure steam is then sent to the steam turbine.

What is Economizer?

The economizer is a mechanical device. An economizer is an essential device for thermal or steam power plants. An economizer is used to heat the fluid of the power plant. It is used in the power plant to reduce energy consumption. An economizer is to heat the feedwater that heats the water before supplying it to the boiler again.

What is Air Preheater?

The primary air fan of the thermal power plant takes air from the atmosphere and it is then heated in the air preheater. Pre-heated air is injected with coal into the boiler. The advantage of pre-heating the air is that the air preheater improves the combustion of coal.

What is Steam Turbine?

The steam turbine is widely used in steam power plants instead of steam engines due to its comprehensive features. All thermal or steam power plants must require steam turbines to convert some other forms of energy into mechanical energy. The turbine is a rotating mechanical device. It is widely used in the electrical power generating station. There are two types of turbine such as

  • Steam turbine
  • Water turbine

High-pressure superheated steam flow to the turbines is fed to the turbine blades to rotate. The energy of steam is converted into mechanical energy through a turbine which acts as a prime mover. The pressure and temperature of the steam fall at a lower value and it expands in volume as it passes through the turbine. The expanded low-pressure vapor is exhausted in the condenser.

What is Condenser?

The exhausted vapor is condensed through the conduction of cold water into the condenser. Here, the steam loses its pressure along with the temperature and it is converted into the water again. Condensing is essential because a large amount of energy is required to compress a liquid in a gaseous state for the required energy. Thus, condensation increases the efficiency of the cycle.


The purpose of the condenser is to concentrate the steam by extracting it from the steam turbine to achieve maximum efficiency. And to convert the exhaust steam from the turbine into pure water so that it can be reused as feed water in steam generators or boilers.

What is an Alternator?

An alternator is an important machine and indispensable that is widely used in electrical power plants. Alter is also called the main source of energy. The alternator is a rotating mechanical device, the alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. The steam turbine is combined with an alternator. Electrical power is generated when the turbine rotates the alternator. It is generated electrical voltage is measured with the help of a transformer and then transmitted to where it is used.

What is the main Efficiency of Thermal Power Plants?

Efficiency is the major fact in the electrical power system. The efficiency of electrical power plants is not very high due to some problems. It is basically, energy loss. In thermal power plants, heat losses occur at various stages. A large amount of heat is lost in various stages of the thermal power plant. The major part of the heat is lost in the condenser. For this reason, the efficiency of thermal power plants is quite low. Basically, the main efficiency of thermal power plants is between 35% to 49%, but it can fluctuate.

What is Thermal Efficiency?

Efficiency is the major consideration in the electricity supply system. The ratio of heat equivalent to the mechanical energy of the turbine transmitted from the turbine shaft to the heat energy of coal combustion n is called thermal efficiency.

Thermal efficiency = equivalent of mechanical energy of the turbine transmitted from the turbine shaft

 The heat is produced by the coal combustion

The thermal efficiency of modern thermal electrical power plants is about 30%. This means that if 100 calories of thermal coal are burned, then the equivalent of 30 calories of mechanical power can be found in the turbine shaft.

What is Overall Efficiency?

Overall efficiency is a very important part of a power plant. The ratio of the heat of a coal-burning thermal power plant to the equivalent of electrical output heat which is called overall efficiency.

Overall Efficiency = heat equivalent of electrical output

   The heat is produced by coal combustion

What is the Importance of Electrical Energy?

Electrical energy is the greatest innovation for the entire universe. There are more advantages to using electrical energy in the modern electrical power system. We cannot end with the importance of electricity. Electrical energy is more beneficial than some other energy. It is easy to control, has clean lines, convenient energy forms, and cheapness. Electrical energy is superior to some other forms of energy. Electricity can be generated in different ways but it cannot store. Nowadays renewable energy source (sun, wind, geothermal energy, and others) is used to generate a bulk amount of electric energy.

What are the Main Sources of Generation of Electrical Energy?

 Basically, electrical energy can be generated in various ways. There are many energy sources in the world, such as solar energy, natural gas, wind energy, nuclear energy, water energy, etc. But there are three main sources that are widely used to generate electricity, such as coal or oil, nuclear fuel, and water. These electricity sources are most popular to generate bulk electrical energy. Nowadays coal storage is depleting rapidly. For this reason, renewable energy sources are being more popular, and solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, water energy, and nuclear energy will contribute ion the world economy.  

Why Overall Efficiency is Low in Steam Power Plants?

A steam power plant is a thermal power plant. It means heat energy is converted into mechanical energy, and mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy. There are three main reasons to become low overall efficiency. First of all, huge heat energy is lost in the condenser. Secondly, heat energy is lost at the many stages of the steam power plants or thermal power plants. Another reason is, that heat loss occurs in the condenser but cannot be avoided. Because without temperature difference, the heat energy cannot convert into mechanical energy.

Reason to Use a Condenser in Steam Power Plants

The condenser is a device that is a crucial component for steam power plants. Basically, the condenser is used to condense the exhaust steam of the turbine. Condenser works for two purposes. First of all, the condenser creates very low pressure at the exhaust of the turbine because this expansion steam goes to the steam turbine. Secondly, Condenser is used to condense the steam to use again in the boiler as feedwater.

Why Steam Turbine is used in Steam Power Plants but Why not Steam Engines?

Nowadays electricity is the most essential thing for our daily life. Electricity can be generated by using different kinds of energy sources (coal, oil, cosmic energy, nuclear energy, geothermal energy, and others). But most of the power plants are thermal power plants. Most of the steam power plants used steam turbines due to some comprehensive advantages, such as

  • The steam turbine is used due to its high efficiency.
  • Steam turbines offer high speeds than steam engines.
  • The steam turbine needs a small floor area compared to the steam engine.
  • It requires low maintenance cost because it offers a longer life.

How to Choose the Location of Thermal Power Plants?

A thermal power plant is the most crucial power plant where a big amount of electricity is generated by the special plant. It is highly responsible to generate bulk electricity at a low cost. Indeed thermal power plants are located near rivers, lakes, and some other areas where water is available. It is because water is needed to generate steam to rotate a turbine. Basically, the thermal power station depends on the water. For this reason, whereas a large amount of water (lake, canal, river, etc.) the thermal power station is placed in such place. On the other large amount of water is required to condense the exhaust steam to use it again as feed water.

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