Firstly we should consider electricity, which mostly needs our modern world because of our dependence on electricity The ever-increasing use of electric power for domestic, commercial, and industrial purposes necessitates providing bulk electric power economically. This is achieved with the help of suitable power-producing units, known as Power plants or Electric power-generating stations.
power plants :
power plants are also called generating stations. The bulk electric power that can be produced by special plants is known as power plants or generating stations.
A generating station essentially employs a prime mover coupled with an alternator for the production of electric power. The prime mover (e.g., steam turbine, water turbine, etc.) converts energy from some other form into mechanical energy. The alternator converts the mechanical energy of the prime mover into electrical energy. The electrical energy produced by the generating station is transmitted and distributed with the help of conductors to various consumers.
Depending upon the form of energy converted into electrical energy, the generating stations are classified are,
(i) Steam power stations (ii) Hydroelectric power stations
(iii) Diesel power stations (iv) Nuclear power stations
A thermal station that converts the heat energy of coal combustion into electrical energy is known as a steam power station. A steam power station basically works on the Rankine cycle.
Steam is produced in the boiler by utilizing the heat of coal combustion. The steam is then expanded in the prime mover (i.e., steam turbine) and is condensed in a condenser to be fed into the boiler again. The steam turbine drives the alternator which converts the mechanical energy of the turbine into electrical energy. This type of power station is suitable where coal and water are available in abundance and a large amount of electric power is to be generated.
- The fuel used is coal, which is cheap.
- The initial cost is less compared to other power stations.
- The fuel is easily available.
- The fuel can be easily transported to the site and hence can be anywhere and not always near the coal mines.
- It requires less floor space area compared to the hydroelectric power station.
- due to smoke and fume, polluting the surrounding atmosphere.
- running cost is higher.
Hydroelectric power station:
A power generating station that uses the potential or the kinetic energy of water for the generating of electrical energy is called a Hydroelectric power station.
Hydroelectric power stations are generally located in hilly areas where dams can be built conveniently and large water reservoirs can be obtained. In a hydroelectric power station, a water head is
created by constructing a dam across a river or lake. From the dam, water is led to a water turbine. The water turbine captures the energy in the falling water and changes the hydraulic energy (i.e.,
product of head and flow of water) into mechanical energy at the turbine shaft. The turbine drives the alternator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Hydroelectric power stations are becoming very popular because the reserves of fuels (i.e., coal and oil) are depleting day by day. They have the added importance for flood control, storage of water for irrigation, and water for drinking purposes.
- requires no fuel as water is used.
- It doesn’t pollute the atmosphere.
- The operating cost is very low as a free water supply is available.
- It gives high efficiency and improves overall efficiency. It is comparatively simple in construction and requires less maintenance.
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