Types of Power Plants for Energy Generation

ElectronElectronics & ElectricalDigital Electronics

Power Plant or Power Station

A power plant or power station or generating station is an industrial facility for the generation of electrical power.

A typical generating station or power plant consists of a prime mover (ex. steam turbine, water turbine, etc.) which is coupled to an alternator. The prime mover converts the energy from some source (ex. coal, water, radioactive materials, etc.) into mechanical energy. The alternator converts mechanical energy of the prime mover into electrical energy. The electrical energy produced by the alternator is transmitted and distributed with the help of conductors to the consumers.

Apart from the prime mover and alternator, a modern power plant has several equipment to ensure cheap, reliable and continuous power supply.

Types of Power Plants

Based on the form of energy converted into electrical energy, the power plants are classified into following categories −

Thermal Power Plant

A thermal power plant or steam turbine power station is a type of generating station which converts energy of coal combustion into electrical energy.

In the thermal power plants, the steam is produced in the boiler by utilising the heat of coal combustion. This steam is fed to a steam turbine; the steam turbine drives an alternator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Hydroelectric Power Plant

A hydroelectric power plant is a type of generating station which utilises the potential energy of water at a high level for the generation of electrical energy.

In the hydroelectric power plants, water head is created by constructing a dam across a river. From the dam, water is led to a water turbine. The water turbine converts the hydraulic energy of the falling water into mechanical energy. The turbine drives an alternator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Diesel Engine Power Plant

A power plant or generating station in which the diesel engine is used as the prime mover for driving the alternator to generate electrical energy is known as diesel engine power plant.

In the diesel engine power plant, the diesel engine is used as the prime mover. The diesel (fuel oil) burns inside the engine and the chemical energy of the diesel is converted into mechanical energy. The diesel engine drives an alternator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Gas Turbine Power Plant

The gas turbine power plant is type of generating station in which gas turbine is used as the prime mover for the generation of electrical energy.

In the gas turbine power plant, air or gas is used as the working fluid. The air is compressed with help of a compressor and led to the combustion chamber, where heat is added to air, hence raising its temperature. This hot and compressed air then passed to the gas turbine where it expands and does the mechanical work. The gas turbine drives an alternator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Nuclear Power Plant

The nuclear power plant is the type of generating station in which the nuclear energy is converted into electrical energy.

In the nuclear power plant, the heavy elements like uranium or thorium are subjected to nuclear fission in a nuclear reactor. The heat energy of the fission is utilised in raising steam at high temperature and pressure. This steam used to run a steam turbine which converts the steam energy into mechanical energy. The steam turbine drives the generator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

raja
Updated on 09-Feb-2022 10:41:12

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