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Thermal Power Plant

October 17, 2012

Thermal Power Plant (ST):

Steam is an important medium of producing mechanical energy. Steam has the advantages that it can be

raised from water which is available in abundance it does not react much with the materials of the

equipment of the power plant and is suitable at the temperature required in the plant. Steam is used to

drive steam engines, steam turbine etc. Thermal electrical power generation is one of the major methods.

For a thermal power plant the range of pressure may vary from 10 kg/cm 2 critical pressure and the range

of temperature may be from 2500C to6500C.

Figure: Steam Power Plant

Main parts of a steam power plant:

1. Boiler (Babcock and Wilcox)

2. Steam turbines (LPT, IPT and HPT)

3. Super heater

4. Heaters (LPH and HPH)

5. Condenser

6. Air Compressor

7. Pumps

8. Economizer

9. Generator

Figure: Overall water and steam cycle of steam turbine units.

Working principle:

1. At first water is feed into the boiler and heated by the furnace heat. A boiler contains 9 furnace where

each furnace having about 12000C.

2. In boiler the separation line separates the steam from water. Water evaporates through natural

circulation with down comer.

3. Then steam is super-heated and passed through the high pressure turbine (HPT).

4. After discharging from HPT the temperature and pressure decreases and again reheated to get proper


5. Then it passes through the intermediate and low pressure turbine. It rotates the turbine at a high speed.

6. The shaft of the turbines is coupled with the shaft of generator. Since the turbine rotates, the generator

shaft also rotates and produces electricity.

7. Then the steam is condensed at condenser by river water. After condensing the steam turns into water.

Then the water is pumped to the low pressure heater (LPH).

8. Then the water is pumped into deareator and removed oxide particle and Oxygen gas.

9. Then the water is pumped into Feed Water Tank (FWT) and passes through the High Pressure Heater


10. Finally the water is feed into boiler drum and the process circulated in cyclic order

11. All the units are controlled by manually except the unit-5. It follows DCS (Digital Control System).
Figure: Digital Control System

Combine Cycle Power Plant (CCPP):

Combine cycle power plant is modernly emerged power plant which uses the heat from flue gas

exhausted by gas turbine to produce steam to operate the steam turbine as well. In another way CCPP

may be defined as a combine cycle power plant including both GT and ST.

There are actually two separate units under CCPP.

1. GT-1 (Combine cycle mode)

2. GT-2 (Open cycle mode)

Figure: Gas Turbine

Gas Turbine Unit:

In gas turbine unit both GT-1 and GT-2 is same except that the flue gas of GT-1 is used to produce steam

in combine cycle. The flow diagram of gas turbine units is shown in below.
Figure: Flow diagram of gas turbine unit

Starting Sequence:

Condition: Situation:

0 rpm Gas turbine starts

750 rpm Ignition starts
1800 rpm Diesel engine off.
2300 rpm Excitation on
3000 rpm No load running
After synchronizing Breaker on

Diesel engine:
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine. It is also known ascompression ignition

engine. It consists of 16 chambers and its power is about 1870 HP. The engine shaft is coupled with the

turbine shaft. Since it rotates at certain speed hence the turbine also rotates and electricity is produce by

generator. Actually it is used as initial power source.

Condition for running:

1. Shaft coupling will be connected until engine rpm is greater than turbine rpm.

2. Shaft coupling will be disconnected until engine rpm is less than turbine rpm.


A dc supply is always connected with the generator for excitation and to produce magnetic field. If

there is no excitation no flux will produce. Hence no electricity will generate. So a dc exciter is very

necessary for excitation.

Air filter:

A particular air filter is a device composed of fibrous materials which removes solid particles

such as dust, pollen, mold and bacteria from the air. The filter pad absorbs the small particles by viscous

fluids and the metallic filter removes the large particles. The combustion air filter prevents abrasive

particles from entering the engines cylinders, where it would cause mechanical wear and oil

contamination known as Engine air induction system.

So this air must be dust free for efficient operation. Hence air filter is used.

Three types of filters are used:

1. Turbine filter

2. Generator cooling filter

3. Ventilation filter

Figure: Air Filter


Here multistage type rotary compressor is used to compress the air at high pressure and

supply to combustor. This compressed air is used to ignite the fuel. But its major amount is used to cool

the generator.


A combustor is a component or area of a gas turbine, ramjet, or scramjet engine where

combustion takes place. It is also known as a burner or flame can. A combustion chamber has ten

burners. In a gas turbine engine, the main combustor or combustion chamber is fed high pressure air by

the compression system and feeds the hot, high pressure exhaust into the turbine components of the

engine. Combustors are designed to contain and control the combustion of the fuel-air mixture. The

combustor consists of several major components such as:

Figure: Combustor


The case is the outer shell of the combustor, and is a fairly simple structure. The casing generally

requires little maintenance. The case is protected from thermal loads by the air flowing in it, so thermal

performance is of limited concern. However, the casing serves as a pressure vessel that must withstand

the difference between the high pressures inside the combustor and the lower pressure outside.


The purpose of the diffuser is to slow the high speed, highly compressed, air from the compressor to a

velocity optimal for the combustor. Reducing the velocity results in an unavoidable loss in total pressure,

so one of the design challenges is to limit the loss of pressure as much as possible. Furthermore, the

diffuser must be designed to limit the flow distortion as much as possible by avoiding flow effects like
boundary layer separation. Like most other gas turbine engine components, the diffuser is designed to be

as short and light as possible.


The liner contains the combustion process and introduces the various airflows (intermediate, dilution, and

cooling air) into the combustion zone. The liner must be designed and built to withstand extended high

temperature cycles. Furthermore, even though high performance alloys are used, the liners must be

cooled with air flow. Some combustors also make use of thermal barrier coatings. However, air cooling is

still required. In general, there are two main types of liner cooling; film cooling and transpiration cooling.

Film cooling works by injecting (by one of several methods) cool air from outside of the liner to just inside

of the liner. This creates a thin film of cool air that protects the liner, reducing the temperature at the liner

from around 1800 K to around 830 K, for example. The other type of liner cooling, transpiration cooling, is

a more modern approach that uses a porous material for the liner. The porous liner allows a small amount

of cooling air to pass through it, providing cooling benefits similar to film cooling.


The snout is an extension of the dome that acts as an air splitter, separating the primary air from the

secondary air flows (intermediate, dilution, and cooling air).

Dome or swirler:

The dome and swirler are the part of the combustor that the primary air flows through as it enters the

combustion zone. Their role is to generate turbulence in the flow to rapidly mix the air with fuel. Early

combustors tended to use bluff body domes (rather than swirler), which used a simple plate to create

wake turbulence to mix the fuel and air. The swirler establishes a local low pressure zone that forces

some of the combustion products to re-circulate, creating the high turbulence. However, the higher the

turbulence, the higher the pressure loss will be for the combustor, so the dome and swirler must be

carefully designed so as not to generate more turbulence than is needed to sufficiently mix the fuel and


Fuel injector:
The fuel injector is responsible for introducing fuel to the combustion zone and, along with the swirler, is

responsible for mixing the fuel and air. There are four primary types of fuel injectors:

1. pressure-atomizing

2. air blast

3. vaporizing

4. premixing injectors

Pressure atomizing fuel injectors rely on high fuel pressures. This type of fuel injector has the advantage

of being very simple, but it has several disadvantages. The fuel system must be robust enough to

withstand such high pressures, and the fuel tends to be heterogeneously atomized, resulting in

incomplete or uneven combustion which has more pollutants and smoke.

The second type of fuel injector is the air blast injector. This injector "blasts" a sheet of fuel with a stream

of air, atomizing the fuel into homogeneous droplets. This type of fuel injector led to the first smokeless


The vaporizing fuel injector, the third type, is similar to the air blast injector in that primary air is mixed with

the fuel as it is injected into the combustion zone. Heat from the combustion zone is transferred to the

fuel-air mixture, vaporizing some of the fuel (mixing it better) before it is combusted. This method allows

the fuel to be combusted with less thermal radiation, which helps protect the liner

The premixing injectors work by mixing or vaporizing the fuel before it reaches the combustion zone. This

method allows the fuel to be very uniformly mixed with the air, reducing emissions from the engine. One

disadvantage of this method is that fuel may auto-ignite. If this happens the combustor can be seriously



Most igniters in gas turbine applications are electrical spark igniters, similar to automotive spark plugs.

The igniter needs to be in the combustion zone where the fuel and air are already mixed, but it needs to

be far enough upstream so that it is not damaged by the combustion itself. Once the combustion is

initially started by the igniter, it is self sustaining and the igniter is no longer used.
Waste Heat Recovery Unit (WHRU):

After combustion some flue gases are produced having temperature about 500 0C which exits

through the chimney. This will be great loss if the flue gases are not used properly. For this a combine

cycle plant is introduced which use the flue gas as working fluid. Here damper is used to recover the

waste heat.

Damper blocks the chimney and passes the flue gas to boiler and produce steam. This steam is used to

generate electricity at steam turbine. Since both of steam and gas turbines are used it is called combine

cycle power plant (CCPP).

Figure: Waste Heat Recovery

Benefits of Waste Heat Recovery:

Benefits of waste heat recovery can be broadly classified in two categories:

Direct Benefits:

Recovery of waste heat has a direct effect on the efficiency of the process. This is reflected by reduction

in the utility consumption & costs, and process cost.

Indirect Benefits:

a) Reduction in pollution: A number of toxic combustible wastes such as carbon monoxide gas, sour gas,

carbon black off gases, oil sludge and other plastic chemicals etc, releasing to atmosphere when burnt in

the incinerators serves dual purpose i.e. recovers heat and reduces the environmental pollution levels.

b) Reduction in equipment sizes: Waste heat recovery reduces the fuel consumption, which leads to

reduction in the flue gas produced. This results in reduction in equipment sizes of all flue gas handling

equipments such as fans, stacks, ducts, burners, etc.

c) Reduction in auxiliary energy consumption: Reduction in equipment sizes gives additional benefits in

the form of reduction in auxiliary energy consumption like electricity for fans, pumps etc.

Utilization of waste heat:

This waste heat of flue gases is used to produce steam at steam boiler of CCPP. The water and steam

flow diagram is shown in below:

Figure: Water and steam flow diagram

Boiler function:

There are many tubes of the boiler. The tubes are named as shown in figure due to there

position and rate of heat contact. In super heater side the temperature is very high and its gradually

decrease to upward direction.

LP Evaporator:
It works like a economizer. It increases the water temperature slightly.

HP evaporator:

Water inters into the evaporator from HP drum at 2200C. Here water is converted into

saturated steam by reducing its latent heat. When water out from evaporator its temperature lies at


Super heater:

Super heater makes the saturated steam into super heated steam. This super heated

steam is used to rotate the turbine. Hence the electricity is produced by the rotation of turbine.

Here some chemicals are added to purify the water. The process of mixing additives with water is known

as dosing.

1. NH3 is added in deareator to increase the pH level and dissolve O 2.

2. N2H4 is used to remove dissolved O2 which may occur oxide with copper and iron as such:

4Cu + 2O2 = 4CuO

4Fe + 3O2 = 2Fe2O3

3. PO4 is added to remove sand particles.

Overall working principle of CCPP:

At first air is extracted from the atmosphere & then filtered by the air filters. The filtered air is then sent to

the air compressor in order to compress at high pressure. After that compressed air and gas are sent to

the combustion chamber which is ignited by the spark plug. Due to this combustion of the gas high

temperature is produced in the combustion chamber and lies between 800 0C to 8500C. The hot flue gas
produced in combustion chamber then passes through the turbine blades of 2 stages. The produced hot

flue gas first enters into the static blade of turbine which acts as a nozzle to increase the velocity of the

flue gas. This hot flue gas having high velocity strikes the rotating blade of turbine which in turn rotates

the shaft connecting to the rotating blade. This shaft is also connected with the compressor as well as

generator. Hence it is called single shaftturbine unit. Due to the rotation of the shaft, magnet existing in

the rotor of generator rotates and produces magnetic flux. This magnetic flux cuts the conductor situated

in the stator which eventually produces electricity. This turbine has two sections. One is called HP (High

Pressure) turbine and other is called LP (Low Pressure) turbine. While passing through the HP turbine,

the temperature & pressure of the flue gas drops to some extent. The flue gas then passes through the

LP turbine and temperature reduces to 5000C. Consequently the flue gas goes to the damper as exhaust

& is released to the atmosphere through stock.

In case of GT-1, this exhaust gas is passed through a waste heat recovery unit (WHRU) where a boiler

which uses heat from flue gases to produce steam. WHRU consists of a column of evaporator through

which water is circulated to produce steam. It also consists of an Hp drum, deareator and some

centrifugal pumps. At first, water is pumped into the deareator to remove all kind of dissolved gases such

as O2, CO2 etc. From deareator water is pumped by LP pump to LP evaporator to take some heat from

exhaust gas and then again sent to the deareator. Next water is pumped to the forced flow section by

feed pump to take more heat from exhaust gas and sent to the HP steam drum. In HP steam drum there

resides actually a mixture of steam and water. This saturated steam from HP steam drum is then sent to

the HP evaporator by HP pump to pressurize it. This high pressure steam is then sent to the super heater

to become superheated steam. This superheated steam is then sent to turbine by an arrangement of pipe

system through CIES valve. The thermal energy contained in the steam rotates the steam turbine blades.

The shaft connected to the turbine blades also rotates the magnet of generator. Due to the rotation of

electromagnet, magnetic flux cuts on the generator winding. In this way, a voltage is induced in the

conductor and electricity is produced. When steam is passed through the HP turbine section the

pressure and temperature of the steam becomes very high and then gradually decreases while passing
through the LP turbine. The exhaust low pressure steam came out from the LP turbine is condensed in

the condenser by the help of river water. This condensed steam is termed as condensate. This

condensate is then again passed to the deareator by condensate pumps. If there is any shortage in

condensate then some make up water is pumped by makeup pump to compensate the loss.

Production report: