Home Uncategorized Thermal Power Plant- A Detailed Guide

Thermal Power Plant- A Detailed Guide


The thermal power plant also referred to as steam or coal power plant is a power generating house where electricity is generated by rotating the turbines at higher RPM.

As a result, this electricity which is generated is being sent to different local power stations and we all get the electricity to our house.

So we shall dig deep into this topic now, to understand more and in detail about this topic.

What’s in it for me?

  1. Theory of thermal power plant
  2. Overview of thermal power plant
  3. Advantages and disadvantages of thermal power plant.
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQs

Theory Of Thermal Power Plant:

The understanding of this power plant is very simple. Firstly, it consists of alternator which is connected to turbine. Upon rotation of which the alternator runs and electricity is generated. So to rotate the turbine high pressure is required so this high pressure is given by generating the steam and now to produce this steam we require the fuel upon burning this fuel we get the steam this steam generated is useful to run the turbines.

For instance, in India mainly bituminous coal, peat coal, and brown coal are used as fuel for the power plant. But to improve the efficiency of the power plant fuel is fed to the plant in powder form.

Brief Explanation About Working Of Power Plant:

Now, let’s understand the working of the power plant in detail, the coal powder is fed to the steam boiler and the fuel is burnt. Meanwhile, this will start generating the high-pressure steam this steam is sent to the superheater to generate superheated steam. Certainly, this superheated steam is sent to the turbine, and the blades of the turbine start rotating. On the other hand, this turbine is connected to the alternator which in turn starts rotating. Further, the steam enters the turbine blades the pressure of the steam falls down, and the volume of the steam increases.

However, after imparting energy to the turbine rotor the steam passes out of the blade to the condenser. In condenser in order to condense the steam the cold water is circulated with the help of a pump. This condenses the low-pressure wet steam the condensed water is then sent to low-pressure water supply heater where the low-pressure steam increases the temperature of this feed water and again this is then sent to increase to high pressure

Now lets Understand The Process Step By Step:

  • Firstly, the coal is burnt in the boiler to produce high-pressure steam
  • This steam is then sent to the superheater to convert this steam to superheated steam.
  • After that, this superheated steam enters the turbine with high speed
  • However, this steam will make the turbine rotate and convert the stored potential energy of the turbine to mechanical energy
  • After rotating the turbine blades the steam has lost its high pressure so it passes out the turbine blades to enter the condenser
  • Here in the condenser, the cold water is circulated so that the low-pressure steam is condensed to wet steam.
  • This condensed wet steam is then sent to a low-pressure water heater. Further, the low-pressure water increases its temperature of this feed water. It is then heated again in high-pressure heater where the high-pressure heater is used for heating

Overview Of Thermal Power Plant:

Above we have discussed the working process of the power plant now we will move further and understand the thermal power plant operation cycle.

Certainly, in steam boiler, the water is heated up in the boiler in the presence of air in the furnace. The function of the boiler is to give the dry superheated steam to the turbine at required temperature. The turbine is connected to the alternator which is a synchronous generator which generates electricity. Then the remaining low pressure steam is condensed and again it forms the water and is sent to the boiler for the next cycle.

After the process of dust filtration the ambient air enters into the boiler and also the flue gas which comes out of the boiler gets exhausted into the atmosphere. These constitute air and flue gas circuit. The flow of air and also the static pressure inside the steam boiler (called draught) is maintained by two fans called Forced Draught (FD) fan and Induced Draught (ID) fan.

The Schematic Diagram Of The Entire Plant Is Shown Below:

In the above-shown figure, it is shown that the boiler has several other compartments like the economizer and superheater. About the superheater we have already discussed in the above paragraphs, so now let’s see what is economizer. In Economizer the feed water is heated to a considerable amount by the remaining heat of flue gas.

Now coming to the efficiency of the plant. Here efficiency is decided as the ratio of heat equivalent to the electricity output we get. This depends on the size of the plant and how much coal it is consuming and in return how much electricity we are getting. This all depends on the size of the plant. Generally we get up to 26% to 30% efficiency from the coal plants.

Advantages And Disadvantages:


  • This plant is economical compared to other plants such as nuclear power plant or hydro power plant. The output which we get here is also not that bad.
  • The space required to build up this plant is less compared to hydro power plant.
  • Not only just the initial cost but also the operating cost of the plant is less because here in this plant we use the coal as the main fuel which is far cheaper than other fuels such as petrol or diesel so this ultimately brings down the operating cost and this is why it is preferred more for generating energy in India
  • Maintenance of this plant is much easier than other complicated plants
  • This plant can be set up at any location where there is good availability of water.


  • In this plant as we know that more steam is generated and this is the main component required to run the turbine and this steam is generated by burning of fuel so this will lead to air pollution, and this will ultimately lead to global warming.
  • The heated water is sent to the water bodies this will cause harm to the aquatic animals cause an unbalance in the ecosystem.
  • Overall efficiency of the plant is less somewhere around 30% so if the company has good budget then they can opt for other plants such as hydro thermal plant and nuclear plant where the output is comparatively good.


So in this article we got to know how the thermal power plant works, how much energy we can generate using this plant and which are the other plants where we can generate good electricity compared to this plant.

We got to know the efficiency of this plant, Rankine cycle, its advantages and disadvantages so this data will provide us the basic knowledge about what is this thermal power plant, in the next blogs we will look onto some more interesting technologies.  

You can do check out our other blogs to get to know more about recent emerging technologies such as 3d printing, additive manufacturing, industry 4.0, 3d printing in construction.  


1.What are the components of thermal power plant?

Main components are the boiler, turbine, alternator and condenser detailed structure can be seen in the diagram provided in the above article.

2.What is the use of thermal power plant?

It is used to generate electricity.

3.How many types of thermal power plants are there?

Dry steam power plant, flash steam power plant and binary cycle power plant are the three different types of steam plants but all of this uses the turbine to generate the electricity.

4.How many Thermal power plant in India?

There are 10 thermal power plants in India.

5.Largest thermal power plant in the world?

Taichung thermal power plant

6.Largest thermal power plant in India?

Vindyachal power plant in Madhya Pradesh

7.How many thermal power plant in tamilnadu?

There are total 7 thermal power plant in tamilnadu

8.Which is the first thermal power plant in India?

Hussain sagar thermal power plant in Hyderabad, Telangana

9.Which state is called the power house of India?

Jharsuguda district of Odisha is called the power house of India



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