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Thermal power station

Power plant that generates electricity from heat energy / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A thermal power station is a type of power station in which heat energy is converted to electrical energy. In a steam-generating cycle heat is used to boil water in a large pressure vessel to produce high-pressure steam, which drives a steam turbine connected to an electrical generator. The low-pressure exhaust from the turbine enters a steam condenser where it is cooled to produce hot condensate which is recycled to the heating process to generate more high pressure steam. This is known as a Rankine cycle.

Nantong Power Station, a coal-fired power station in Nantong, China
Rooiwal Power Station in South Africa
Geothermal power station in Iceland
Drax Power Station, the world's largest biomass power station, in England
PS10 solar power plant, concentrated solar thermal power station in Andalusia, Spain

The design of thermal power stations depends on the intended energy source: fossil fuel, nuclear and geothermal power, solar energy, biofuels, and waste incineration are all used. Certain thermal power stations are also designed to produce heat for industrial purposes; for district heating; or desalination of water, in addition to generating electrical power.

Fuels such as natural gas or oil can also be burnt directly in gas turbines (internal combustion). These plants can be of the open cycle or the more efficient combined cycle type.