27 January 2020

What is a thermal power plant? What are the types of thermal power plants?


What is a thermal power plant? What are the types of thermal power plants?

Thermal power plant is the name given to the facilities where electrical energy is produced. These plants, which generate electrical energy by processing fossil fuels, have a variety. Thermal power plants with steam turbines, gas turbines, diesel and nuclear types also differ in their operating principles. So, what is a thermal power plant and how does it work? Here is some information about thermal power plants.

Thermal power plants are those in which the chemical energy of fossil fuels in solid, liquid or gaseous form is converted into electrical energy. Solid, liquid, gaseous thermal source is burned under suitable conditions and in appropriate environment and the energy provided by the fuel and mechanical energy is obtained by making use of expansion. The plants that produce electrical energy with the help of alternators from these mechanical energy are called thermal power plants.

The unit cost of electrical energy produced in thermal power plants is much more expensive than the electricity produced in hydroelectric power plants. Today, there are many thermal power plants that use thermal resources such as coal, natural gas, geothermal energy, solar energy, petroleum products, biogas and nuclear fuel.

Thermal power plants, fuel and mechanical energy producing machine types are as follows:

• Steam turbine power plants

• Gas turbine power stations

• Diesel Power Plants

• Nuclear Power Plants


In thermal power plants, fuel and air mixture in steam boilers are burned under suitable conditions. In the meantime, high pressure high pressure steam is obtained from the water in the boiler. The obtained high pressure steam is sent to the steam turbine to obtain mechanical energy. The alternator coupled to the steam turbine converts this energy into electrical energy. Thermal power plants operating with this principle are called steam turbine power plants.

Lignite coal, fuel-oil, natural gas and waste from large cities are used as fuel in steam turbine power plants. Thermal power plants are installed near where the fuel is used in order not to increase the cost of the generated electrical energy any more. In principle, the operation of a steam turbine thermal power plant is as follows: Water from the feed water pump is sent to the boiler.

The water heated in the boiler first evaporates and then passes through the superheaters and dehumidified (dehumidified). The resulting superheated steam is sent to the steam turbine. The steam that hits the blades of the steam turbine rotates the turbine. The alternator connected to the steam turbine converts this mechanical mechanical energy into electrical energy. The output of the alternator is supplied to the power lines by an amplifier transformer.

The rotten steam, which is finished in the steam turbine, is turned into water by coming to the condensers called condenser and re-enters the boiler with the feed water pump. This process is carried out in a cycle and electrical energy is generated by thermal means.


In the electricity networks, the load changes vary around the clock. 24-hour load changes to the highest value of the load; called the peak load. This value is expressed as Pmax. After the darkness of the evening, between 18.00-21.00, the number of lamps burning in houses, stair automatics, kitchen, entree, hall number of burning lamps increases. At the same time street lights come into play. In order to meet the increasing energy demand at the time when the load is high, there is a need for power plants that can quickly enter and exit. This was met by gas turbine plants when hydraulic power plants were not much. Today, however, it is more economical to meet peak loads with hydraulic plants.

The gas turbine technology, which started to develop from the 1940s, was used to meet the peak power requirement in the 1970s, and by the end of the 1970s it had the opportunity to apply with combined cycle power plants. In gas turbine power plants, mostly diesel and natural gas are used.


Today, diesel power plants are used when power is cut off in important places such as factories, operations, Türk Telekom, TV stations, hospitals. It is also used in rolling mills, foundries, power-operated ladles and induction coils to prevent damage to the plant in power cuts.

Since diesel power plants are small, they take up little space. Can be carried on demand. It is widely used because of these features. However, since the unit cost in electrical power generation is very expensive, it is not appropriate to use it at the large power plant level.

For this reason, it is used to ensure the continuity of services at times of electrical power cut. Devices known as generators in applications, small-scale diesel power plant applications. Diesel power plants are also used in deserts and ships where electricity cannot be supplied.


Nuclear power plant; A very high degree of heat energy is produced by the controlled decomposition of atoms of materials such as uranium 233, uranium 235, plutonium 239 and thorium. From this heat energy, the water in the steam boiler is heated and steam is obtained at high temperature and pressure. The resulting steam is supplied to the turbine and converted into mechanical energy. Electrical energy is obtained by rotating the alternator connected to the shaft of the steam turbine. The first scientific studies on the production of energy from nuclear materials were initiated by scientists such as Rutherford, Hans, Strasman, Oppnheimer and Einstein under the leadership of the USA in the early 1900s. Experimentally, the first nuclear reactor, in other words, a controlled chain reaction for energy production, was carried out in 1942 by Enrico Fermi at the facility in the garden of the University of Chicago.

After the 1st Environmental Conference held in 1955, Turkey was one of the countries that started the work in the nuclear field immediately. In 1956, the Atomic Energy Commission under the Prime Ministry was established by law No. 6821, and in 1961, a 1 MW research reactor was opened for operation in the Kucuk Cekmece Nuclear Research and Training Center.

After the establishment of the Nuclear Power Plant Department in TEK in 1971, efforts for the establishment of the nuclear power plant continued intensively. In 1976, site location surveys were completed and a site license was obtained for Akkuyu.

The tender for a nuclear power plant was given to a Spanish company and the agreement was made in 1998. Although the work of the nuclear power plant started in 1956, our first nuclear power plant was planned to be put into service in 2006. Unlike hydroelectric and coal-fired plants, nuclear power plants can technically be installed everywhere. However, in order for the generated electricity to be economical, the location where the power plant is installed must have some features.

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