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Coal Power Plant

More than half of the electricity generated in the world is by using coal as the primary fuel. The function of
the coal fired thermal power plant is to convert the energy available in the coal to Electricity. Coal power
plants work by using several steps to convert stored energy in coal to usable electricity.

How Coal Power Plants Produce Electricity


The conversion from coal to electricity takes place in three stages.

Stage 1
The first conversion of energy takes place in the boiler. Coal is burnt in the boiler furnace to produce heat.
Carbon in the coal and Oxygen in the air combine to produce Carbon Dioxide and heat.
Stage 2

The second stage is the thermodynamic process.

1. The heat from combustion of the coal boils water in the boiler to produce steam. In modern power
plant, boilers produce steam at a high pressure and temperature.
2. The steam is then piped to a turbine.
3. The high pressure steam impinges and expands across a number of sets of blades in the
turbine.
4. The impulse and the thrust created rotates the turbine.
5. The steam is then condensed and pumped back into the boiler to repeat the cycle.
Stage 3
In the third stage, rotation of the turbine rotates the generator rotor to produce electricity based of
Faradays Principle of electromagnetic induction.

Advantages of using Coal to produce electricity


Coal is an inexpensive form of energy.
There is lots of coal available in mines around the world, which helps to make the supply of coal
stable.
Coal is also reliable to produce because it is such an established industry.
Large amounts of electricity can be produced using coal, so it is able to meet increasing energy
demands.
The transport infrastructure to move coal around the world is well-established and reliable.
Coal power stations are relatively easy to build, and they can be built almost anywhere.

The disadvantages of using coal:

Coal produces large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, when
burned in power stations.
The processes of mining and transporting coal produce even more greenhouse gas emissions.
A lot of water is used in coal production.
Water discharges from coal power plants pollute water sources.
Other waste is produced, including solid waste in the form of ash.
Finally, while there is lots of coal, it is a finite resource, so is regarded as a non-renewable form of
energy.