General, Research, Technology

How TPP works

As it develops, humanity consumesmore and more energy. About 50 years ago, electricity was needed mainly for the operation of the refrigerator, TV and light bulb. Let now they began to consume much less, and incandescent bulbs were completely replaced by LEDs, but this does not mean that we defeated energy hunger. We have a lot of other consumers. Smartphones, computers, tablets, game consoles, and finally, electric cars ... All this not only requires energy, but also hints to us that it should become more and more. Her growth should go almost exponentially. Who will give us this energy? There are options.

Such landscapes look very large-scale.


  • 1 What are the sources of energy
  • 2 How is a TPP different from a TPP?
  • 3 How a thermal power plant works
  • 4 The most powerful power station in the world
  • 5 When did the first thermal power plant appear

What are the sources of energy

There are many sources of energy. The most interesting, probably, are the sun and the wind. Nothing seems to happen, but electricity is generated. The most technologically advanced production methods are undoubtedly nuclear energy and tokamaks, which are still under construction and it is too early to talk about their industrial launch.

There are more extravagant ways to getenergy. For example, the energy of the Earth, about which I spoke in detail earlier. There are even stations that generate energy from the tides. Also a peculiar, but sometimes effective way.

The combination of the above technologies allowsput a source of energy almost anywhere in the world. If anything, then you can even fit a floating nuclear power plant, which will provide energy to a small city for 60-100 thousand inhabitants.

The world's first floating nuclear power plant, Academician Lomonosov.

This is all good, but there are more proven ones.methods of generating energy that are low cost, but they need to provide a lot of fuel and they are not very environmentally friendly. They use fossil fuels to generate electricity, which, among other things, may end, but so far it is enough.

An analogue of the solar battery, or how to get energy from the shade

How TPP differs from TPP

First you need to understand the wording. Many do not understand how a TPP differs from a TPP, and why often the same object is called both of these abbreviations.

In fact, this is really about the same andalso. The combined heat and power plant (CHP) is a type of thermal power plant (TPP). Unlike the second, the first produces not only electricity, but also heat for heating nearby houses.

60% of the world's energy is produced due to thermal power plants. Including the one from which Tesla and other electric vehicles are charged. This is such environmental friendliness.

TPPs are more versatile, but when heated ineverything is normal in houses, simple thermal power plants are being built, but often they can be converted into thermal power plants by building a couple of additional units and laying infrastructure in the form of pipes.

How a thermal power plant works

The operation of a thermal power plant is based onsteam properties that it possesses. Water converted into steam carries a large amount of energy. It is this energy that is directed to the rotation of the turbines, which must generate electricity.

Typically in thermal power plants coal is used as fuel. The choice of this fuel is very logical, because there is still very, very much coal on our planet. Unlike oil and gas, which are still enough, but the prospect of depleting their reserves is already looming.

Kaliningrad TPP.

I said above that 60 percent of the world'senergy is generated by TPP. If we talk about stations that operate on coal, their share reaches about 25 percent. This once again confirms that we have a lot of coal.

To operate the station, it is ground beforehand. This can be done as part of the station complex, but it is easier to do it somewhere else.

Is it possible to get energy from the rain?

The crushed coal gets to the station atthe initial stage of energy production. When it is burned, the boiler heats up, into which water enters. The temperature of the boiler may vary, but its main task is to maximize the heating of steam. Steam itself is obtained from water, which also enters the station.

When the water is heated in the boiler, it in the form of steam falls on a separate generator block, where under high pressure spins the turbines. It is these turbines that generate energy.

The principle of operation of thermal power plants looks something like this.

It would seem that this should end,“Refuel” new coal into boilers and add water, but it’s not so simple. At the turbine stage, the lost and cooled steam has two ways. The first - to the cyclic reuse system, the second - to the heat supply line. Separate water for heating it makes no sense. It is much easier to take her after she took part in the generation of electricity. So it turns out much more efficient.

The cooled water enters the cooling tower, whereit is cooled and purified from impurities of sulfur and other substances with which it is saturated. Cooling may seem illogical, because it is recycled water and it will still need to be heated again, but technologically cooling is very justified, because some equipment simply can not work with hot water.

The principle of operation of the cooling tower.

Despite the operation of power plants in a closed cycle in terms of water movement, it is still supplied from the side. This is due to the fact that during cooling it leaves the cooling tower in the form of steam and its volume must be restored.

After that, water or passes through the systempreheating, or immediately enters the boilers. The scheme of operation of a thermal power plant looks something like this. Of course, there are subtleties like reservoirs, sumps, channels, coils and other equipment, but it varies from station to station and you should not dwell on it in detail. Such equipment does not affect the principle of operation of the power plant, which I described.

This is what a turbine looks like when it is open and in service.

There are other power plants that operate onfuel oil, gas and other types of combustible materials extracted from the bowels of the planet, but the principle of their operation is about the same - hot water steam turns a turbine, and fuel is used to produce this steam.

The most powerful power station in the world

A story about the principle of TPP operation would not be complete without mentioning the records. We all love them so much, right?

The most powerful thermal power station in the world is Chinese TPP, dubbed Tuoketuo. Its capacity is 6,600 MW and it consistsfrom five similar power units. In order to accommodate all this, it was necessary to allocate an area of ​​2.5 square kilometers under it.

TPP Tuoketuo.

If the figure of 6,600 MW does not tell you anything, thenit is more powerful than the Zaporizhzhya nuclear station (Ukraine). In total, if you include Tuoketuo in the rating of the most powerful nuclear power plants (forgetting that it is thermal), it will take an honorable third place. Here is such a power.

The principle of operation of nuclear power plants I described in detail in this article. In short, steam is also used there.

Following Tuoketuo in the ranking of the most powerfulthermal stations are Taichung TPP in China (5,824 MW). The third and fifth places are occupied by Surgutskaya GRES-2 in Russia (5 597 MW), Belchatowskaya TPP in Poland (5 354 MW) and Futtsu CCGT Power Plant in Japan (5 040 MW).

When did the first thermal power station appear

The energy of the steam began to be used for a long time. Steam locomotives and steam boilers alone were worth it. By the way, in steam engines it is steam that is the main element. In fact, this is just a large pan in which water boils and produces steam for the piston mechanism to work.

You can create steam at home, but it is thousands of times more powerful at CHP.

The world's first thermal power plant wasbuilt in 1882 in New York. A place for her was found on Pearl Street (Manhattan). A year later, the first such station in Russia appeared. It was built in St. Petersburg.

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Since then, they have grown like mushrooms after rain. With relative simplicity and economy, such structures generate a lot of energy. It may not be as environmentally friendly as the solar or wind, but it is the CHP that will exist until the last ton of coal is burned. I hope that by this time worthy alternatives will appear, but so far there are not so many.