• Adharit

How does a Thermal Power Plant works?

Thermal power plants mostly use coal or other fossil fuels for boiling the working fluid (water) to create steam. The steam produced is used to power turbines which converts the mass of steam into energy. The rotation of the shaft is then used to produce electricity by using alternators.


Components used in a steam power plant


There are four major components of a steam power plant, namely


  1. Boiler

  2. Turbine

  3. Condenser

  4. Pump

Let's talk about how they work


  • A boiler consists of long copper tubes containing water which is then heated at very high temperature to produce super heated steam. The steam at high pressure then enters the Turbine.

  • The turbine consists of a set of blades which is attached to a rotor. The rotor spins when super heated steam at high pressure enters the turbine and exits as low pressure and low temperature steam.

  • The steam is then allowed to go into a condenser which saturates the steam to wet liquid in condenser towers.

  • The wet steam/ subcooled liquid is then pumped back into the boiler with the help of a pump which also gets its power from the turbine.

It is the working principle of a simple steam power plant. There are different ways to improve the thermal efficiency which we will talk about in next blog.

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