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Lecture No 3


Introduction to steam power plant

A thermal power station is a power plant
in which the prime mover is steam driven.
Water is heated, turns into steam and
spins a steam turbine which drives an
electrical generator.
After it passes through the turbine, the
steam is condensed in a condenser and
recycled to where it was heated; this is
known as a Rankine cycle.
The greatest variation in the design of
thermal power stations is due to the
different fuel sources.

Main parts and working of steam

power station

The main parts of a steam station are the

boiler or steam generator, the steam turbine,
and the electric generator which is coupled to
the fuel is burned and the heat in the fuel is
used in the boiler to convert water into steam
at the required pressure and temperature.
the steam is supplied to the turbine, where its
expansion produces mechanical power at the
turbine shaft.
This power is drive the generator, which in
turn produces electric power.


Steam/Thermal Power station

A steam/thermal power station uses heat energy generated from
burning coal to produce electrical energy. This type of power station is
widely used around the world.
This power station uses theRankine cycle.
This is the cycle of the steam produced in the boiler, then taken to
theSteam turbine(prime mover).
From the turbine the steam is cooled back to water in theCondenser,
the resulting water is fed back into the boiler to repeat the cycle.
Because of the abundance of fuel (coal), this kind of power station
can be used to produce large amounts of electrical energy.
In most countries these power stations are used asbase loadpower
stations. This is because steam power stations are slow to start and
can not be used to cater for peak loads that generally occur for a
short duration.
These power stations (together with nuclear power stations) are kept
running very close to full efficiency for 24 hours a day (unless they
are being maintained).
They have typical life of 30 to 40 years (although most governments
have reduced this number to 35 years).

Under ground Coal Gasification

Underground coal gasification (UCG) is a

technique that is used in those areas
where we cannot get coal by mining.
Those coal reserves having a water layer
cannot be extracted by mining easily.
So this technique is used where we
convert coal in to gas called syngas.
This is an atmosphere clean process
where we reduce 90% sulpher and carbon
dioxide in the air called green technology.
Thar has worlds 2nd largest coal reserve of
175 billion ton.

UCG Production Processes

Underground coal gasification (UCG)

technique is only solution for those coal
reserves which are sandwiched between
water beds.
Before the invention of the underground
coal gasification technique the coal
reserves which were present below the
water ground level, was useless.
Because mining technique was failed
due to presence of water bed above the
coal seams.

Fig 2

In underground coal gasification process

vertically holes are being drilled up to the
coal seams with regular distances.
Then hot compressed air with steam is
being injected in to the hole(in case of
lignite coal steam can be avoided).
in the result of hot compressed air the
coal start burning in the bottom of hole
and due to injected pneumatic pressure a
channel is formed between two holes and
gas starts coming out from next hole. This
processes as shown in Figure 2

General lay out diagram of SPP

Figure shows a schematic arrangement of

equipment of a steam power station.
Coal received in coal storage yard of power station
is transferred in the furnace by coal handling unit.
Heat produced due to burning of coal is utilized in
converting water contained in boiler drum into
steam at suitable pressure and temperature.
The steam generated is passed through the super
heater. Superheated steam then flows through the
turbine. After doing work in the turbine the
pressure of steam is reduced.
Steam leaving the turbine passes through the
condenser which is maintained the low pressure of
steam at the exhaust of turbine.

Steam pressure in the condenser depends

upon flow rate and temperature of cooling
water and on effectiveness of air removal
Water circulating through the condenser may
be taken from the various sources such as
river, lake or sea.
If sufficient quantity of water is not available
the hot water coming out of the condenser
may be cooled in cooling towers and
circulated again through the condenser.
steam taken from the turbine at suitable
extraction points is sent to low pressure and
high pressure water heaters.

Air taken from the atmosphere is

first passed through the air preheater, where it is heated by flue
The hot air then passes through
the furnace, The flue gases after
passing over boiler and super
heater tubes, flow through the
dust collector and then through
economizer, air pre-heater and
finally they are exhausted to the

The boiler is device for producing steam under

generally water tube boiler are used for electric
power station.
a number of different types of boilers are
working at different steam pressure and
the boiler consists of a drum and a set of tubes
connected to it, in which water provided by the
feed system is converted into steam(pressure
17 kg/cm2 to 167.5 kg /cm2) And temperature
from 315c to 575c.
the steam is superheated in super heater before
passing from the boiler to the prime mover.

Types of Boilers
The boilers can be classified according to flow of
water and hot gases :
(a) Water tube
(b) Fire tube.
(a) In water tube boilers, water circulates through the
tubes and hot products of combustion flow over
these tubes.
(b) In fire tube boiler the hot products of combustion
pass through the tubes, which are surrounded, by
water. Fire tube boilers have low initial cost, and are
more compacts.
But they are more likely to explosion, water volume
is large and due to poor circulation they cannot
meet quickly the change in steam demand.

For the same output the outer shell of fire tube

boilers is much larger than the shell of watertube boiler.
Water tube boilers require less weight of metal
for a given size, are less liable to explosion,
produce higher pressure, are accessible and
can respond quickly to change in steam
Tubes and drums of water-tube boilers are
smaller than that of fire-tube boilers and due to
smaller size of drum higher pressure can be
used easily.
Water-tube boilers require lesser floor space.
The efficiency of water-tube boilers is more.

Classification of Water tube

1. Horizontal Straight Tube
(a) Longitudinal drum
(b) Cross-drum.
2. Bent Tube Boilers
(a) Two drum
(b) Three drum
(c) Low head three drum
(d) Four drum.
3. Cyclone Fired Boilers
Various advantages of water tube boilers are as follows :
(a) High pressure can be obtained.
(b) Heating surface is large. Therefore steam can be generated
(c) Large heating surface can be obtained by use of large number
of tubes.
(d) Because of high movement of water in the tubes the rate of
heat transfer becomes large resulting into a greater efficiency

Classification of Fire tube

1. External Furnace boilers:
(a) Horizontal return tubular
(b) Short fire box
(c) Compact.
2. Internal Furnace
Horizontal Tubular

(a) Short firebox

(b) Locomotive
(c) Compact
(d) Scotch.
Vertical Tubular

(a) Straight vertical shell, vertical tube

(b) Cochran (vertical shell) horizontal tube.
Various advantages of fire tube boilers are as follows :
(a) Low cost
(b) Fluctuations of steam demand can be met easily
(c) It is compact in size.

to improve the efficiency of the steam plant by
using thermal energy, i.e. preheating the feed
water before it passes into the boiler.
water is heated under pressure to remove dissolved
air and vapors to minimize internal boiler corrosion
The economizer is a feed water heater, deriving
heat from the flue gases.
The justifiable cost of the economizer depends on
the total gain in efficiency.
In turn this depends on the flue gas temperature
leaving the boiler and the feed water inlet
A typical return bend type economizer is shown.

Basically, Economizer is located in

between exit of boiler and entry of air pre
when the flue gases are coming out from
boiler they take away a lot of heat.
Economizer utilizes this heat from flue
gases, and these heat is used to heat the
feed water which is going to feed the
Hence by using economizer the coal
consumption required to heat the feed
water is reduced hence cost reduced.

The use of a condenser in a power plant is
to improve the efficiency of the power
plant by decreasing the exhaust pressure
of the steam below atmosphere.
Another advantage of the condenser is
that the steam condensed may be
recovered to provide a source of good
pure feed water to the boiler and reduce
the water softening capacity to a
considerable extent.
A condenser is one of the essential
components of a power plant

Cooling Tower
The importance of the cooling tower is
felt when the cooling water from the
condenser has to be cooled.
The cooling water after condensing the
steam becomes hot and it has to be
cooled as it belongs to a closed system.
The Cooling towers do the job of
decreasing the temperature of the
cooling water after condensing the
steam in the condenser.

Super heater
The super heater consists of a super
heater header and super heater elements.
Steam from the main steam pipe arrives
at the saturated steam chamber of the
super heater header and is fed into the
super heater elements.
Superheated steam arrives back at the
superheated steam chamber of the super
heater header and is fed into the steam
pipe to the cylinders.
Superheated steam is more expansive.

turbine is a mechanical device that
extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam,
and converts it into rotary motion.
It has almost completely replaced the reciprocating
piston steam engine primarily because of its
greater thermal efficiency and higher power-toweight ratio. Because the turbine generates rotary
motion, it is particularly suited to be used to drive
an electrical generator about 80% of all electricity
generation in the world is by use of steam turbines.
The steam turbine is a form of heat engine that
derives much of its improvement in thermodynamic
efficiency through the use of multiple stages in the
expansion of the steam, which results in a closer
approach to the ideal reversible process.

Steam turbines are made in a variety of
sizes ranging from small 0.75 kW , used as
mechanical drives for pumps, compressors
and other shaft driven equipment, to
1,500,000 kW turbines used to generate
classifications for modern steam turbines.
Turbine Classification
Steam Turbines have been classified as:
(i) impulse
(ii) reaction

Impulse Turbines

An impulse turbine has fixed nozzles that orient the steam

flow into high speed jets.
These jets contain significant kinetic energy, which the
rotor blades, shaped like buckets, convert into shaft
rotation as the steam jet changes direction.
A pressure drop occurs across only the stationary blades,
with a net increase in steam velocity across the stage.
As the steam flows through the nozzle its pressure falls
from inlet pressure to the exit pressure (atmospheric
pressure, or more usually, the condenser vacuum).
Due to this higher ratio of expansion of steam in the nozzle
the steam leaves the nozzle with a very high velocity.
The steam leaving the moving blades is a large portion of
the maximum velocity of the steam when leaving the
The loss of energy due to this higher exit velocity is
commonly called the carry over velocity or leaving loss.

Reaction Turbines

In the reaction turbine, the rotor blades themselves

are arranged to form convergent nozzles.
This type of turbine makes use of the reaction force
produced as the steam accelerates through the
nozzles formed by the rotor.
Steam is directed onto the rotor by the fixed vanes of
the stator,It leaves the stator as a jet that fills the
entire circumference of the rotor.
The steam then changes direction and increases its
speed relative to the speed of the blades.
A pressure drop occurs across both the stator and the
rotor, with steam accelerating through the stator and
decelerating through the rotor, with no net change in
steam velocity across the stage but with a decrease in
both pressure and temperature, reflecting the work
performed in the driving of the rotor.


(i) The fuel (i.e., coal) used is quite cheap.

(ii) Less initial cost as compared to other
generating stations.
(iii) It can be installed at any place
irrespective of the existence of coal. The
coal can be transported
to the site of the plant by rail or road.
(iv) It requires less space as compared to
the hydroelectric power station.
(v) The cost of generation is lesser than
that of the diesel power station.

(i) It pollutes the atmosphere due to
the production of large amount of
smoke and fumes.
(ii) It is costlier in running cost as
compared to hydroelectric plant.

Efficiency of Steam Power Station

The overall efficiency of a steam power station is
quite low (about 29%) due mainly to two reasons.
Firstly, a huge amount of heat is lost in the
condenser and secondly heat losses occur at various
stages of the plant, The heat lost in the condenser
cannot be avoided.
It is because heat energy cannot be converted into
mechanical energy without temperature difference.
The greater the temperature difference, the greater
is the heat energy converted into mechanical
This necessitates to keep the steam in the
condenser at the lowest temperature.
But we know that greater the temperature
difference, greater is the amount of heat lost.



A thermal station has the following

data :
Max. demand = 20,000 kW ; Load
factor = 40%
Boiler efficiency = 85% ; Turbine
efficiency = 90%
Coal consumption = 09 kg/kWh ;
Cost of 1 ton of coal = Rs. 300
(i) thermal efficiency and
(ii) coal bill per annum.

Thank you