Archive for the ‘thermal power plants in India’ Category

Thermal Power Plant Boiler

What is a boiler?
Since the time James Watt invented the steam machine, people have come to realize the importance of steam in generating energy. It is on the principle of converting thermal energy generated by steam into mechanical rotational energy of the turbine to generate electricity that a thermal power plant works on. There is a significant amount of steam that needs to be produced in order to make a thermal power plant efficient. It is for this purpose that thermal power plant boilers are used. They use the heat generated by various fuels. Depending on the fuel used to make a steam generator or thermal power plant boilers function, thermal plants are classified into fossil fuel plants, nuclear power plants, solar thermal plants, geothermal power plants etc.

Types of boilers used in a power plant

As technology developed, the types of boilers used also changed. There are broadly three types of boilers that have been used in a thermal power plant:

• Three pass boiler- This was one of the earliest types of thermal power plan boilers. There were two designs that were created- one was rounded called the haycock boiler and the other was larger and more rectangular in shape and was called the wagon top boiler. These boilers were crude and used a lot of steam as the energy generated was because of the vacuum that was created when the steam was condensed. These boilers were heated from underneath with coal and were placed in a brick structure to retain the generated heat. The gases that were heated in the boiler passed through a flue or a duct and then went to the sides of the boiler to create the necessary heat.

• Fire tube boiler- This was an improved type of boiler that used less amount of steam to create energy. Instead of using the vacuum created when steam condensed, these thermal power boilers used the power of steam itself to move pistons to create movement. These were cylindrical boilers that had a fire tube in the centre. At one end of the fire tube was a combustions system called the fire grate where the fuel was placed to be heated. These boilers were no doubt more efficient than the three pass boilers. A modification was the Lancashire boiler which used two separate furnaces. This allowed the user to clean one furnace while the other functioned.

• Boilers with multiple tubes- this type of thermal power plant boiler was a breakthrough not only for the locomotive industry but for the industry of energy generation as well. These boilers only used two passes and the second one incorporated many tubes that increased the efficiency and the power of the steam generator.

All though all of the above boilers were primarily developed to generate power for locomotives, their application in power plants began soon. These boilers are only a part of the cycle that creates energy. However, this apparatus is the base of a thermal power plant and is extremely essential.


List Of Thermal Power Plants In India

Thermal power, which is the power generated by using coal, diesel or gas as the fuel, is the major source of power in the country and contributes to nearly 75% of the country’s energy needs. Majorly spread in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, list of thermal power plants in India includes stations in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Orissa, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. It is the major power source in the northern states. Important cities such as Ahmadabad and Kanpur are completely serviced by thermal power.

Major thermal power plants in India

The biggest electric utilities company owned by the state in India is NTPC or National Thermal Power Corporation Limited. It is based in New Delhi. As of now, the generation potential of the company is 36,014 MW. Plans are on for 75,000 MW of power generation capacity by the end of 2017 and a number of upcoming thermal power plants in India.

Mundra thermal power plant is the biggest in the country with an installed capacity of 4260MW. It is located in Kutch region of Gujarat and managed by Adani Power. Vindhyachal super thermal power station, located in Vindhya Nagar in Sidhi district, Madhya Pradesh is the second biggest in the list of thermal power plants in India with an installed capacity of 3260 MW. This thermal project falls under the jurisdiction of NTPC Limited. Thalcher Super Thermal Power Plant at Angul in Orissa is the third biggest with an installed capacity 3000 MW

Thermal power plants in India which generate more than 2000MW of power are Singrauli Super Thermal Power Station located at Shaktinagar in Uttar Pradesh, Rihand Thermal Power Station located at Rihand in Uttar Pradesh, Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station located in Urjanagar in Chandrapur district in Maharashtra, Korba Super Thermal Power Plant located at Korba in Chhattisgarh, Kahalgaon Super Thermal Power Station at Bhagalpur in Bihar, Mejia Thermal Power Station at Bankura in West Bengal, Jharsuguda Thermal Power Plant at Jharsuguda in Orissa, Amaravathi Thermal Power Plant in Amaravathi in Maharashtra and NTPC Ramagundam in Andhra Pradesh.

Besides these, there are several other thermal power plants in India generating hundreds of mega watts of power.18 thermal power plants have been named as Super Thermal Power Stations in the country based on the technology and generation capacity. They are NTPC undertaking.

Notable thermal plants

The best thermal plant in the country is the one located at Ramagundam in Andhra Pradesh. Built at a cost of over Rs. 38,000 crores, the power plant has an installed capacity of 2600MW. Besides efficiency in power production, this thermal plant has stood out to be the most environment friendly power plant with excellent fly ash management, afforestation and continuous monitoring of environmental impact by using NRSA remote sensing satellites. Another power plant which is recognized for production efficiency is Kota Super thermal power plant.

The fact that there are a number of coal rich states in India make it convenient to produce thermal power fueled by coal. Besides India also imports coal in large quantities to maintain supply-demand ratio. Although there are other emerging power sources such as solar power and wind power, besides the existing hydropower and nuclear power, thermal still remains the major contributor to the power demands in the country.

Thermal Power Plant Layout


Talking of a thermal power, a number of major parameters need to be considered. Firstly, selecting a suitable site for a thermal pant is of utmost importance. The thermal plant consumes huge amount of fuel principally coal. It is estimated that for every megawatt produced, a plant needs more than 10,000 tons of coal. Arrangement must exist to bring the coal from mines and store the coal. Secondly, in the Thermal power plant layout, there must be provision to dispose of large quantities of ash generated. It is estimated that for storage of coal, ash disposal building of the plant itself and residential space for workers etc you would need   approximately 3 acres of land for every megawatt generated. Lastly you need huge quantities of water to run the plant. A perennial water source like a river nearby is needed to run a thermal power plant.

Main parts of a thermal power plant layout are:

• Stoker and pulverizer, coal conveyor.

• Coal ash, boiler

• Electrostatic precipitator, air preheater

• Condenser, turbine

• Cooling towers

• Transformers

• Generator and high voltage power lines.

The components are arranged above in the order of production of electricity- from coal to electricity. Coal conveyer is a system of transportation of coal in a belt. The stoker mechanically feeds the coal to the furnace. Before coal goes to the furnace, it is pulverized mechanically. Pulverizers are of a number of different types:


It is an enclosed vessel. Water is heated and circulated till it turns into steam at the stipulated pressure.

The boiler is at the heart of the thermal power plant layout. The steam generated is further heated in a super heater for greater efficiency in operating the turbine. Most of today’s boilers have super heater and re-heater facilities.

Turbine and Condenser and cooling tower

Steam used to rotate the turbine arrives at condenser. In all thermal power layouts, the condenser   is installed at the outlet of the steam turbine. The condensers are actually heat exchangers which convert steam back to water going to the boiler.

The hot water from condenser is sent to coding towers. It is a tower in which atmospheric air circulates in contact with hot water. The water after cooling is re-circulated as the water going to the boiler.

Economizers are used to recover heat from the flue gases and use it to heat feed water to the boiler. The use of economizers result in saving of coal and an increase in the rate of steaming and greater boiling efficiency.

Balance heat of the flue is used to preheat the air. Dust and other fine particles are removed from the flue gases by an electrostatic precipitatory.

Generator and transformer

The alternator is driven by the steam turbine to produce electrical energy. Most alternators operate by a rotating magnetic field.

The transformer is used to convert the voltage produce by the alternator to high voltage for transmitting power to long distances.

The alternator, transformer and switchboards are the last components of the Thermal power plant layout.

Solar Thermal Power Plants In India


The power sector in India has a total installed capacity of around 102,000 megawatt. 80% of this power generation is coal based, 25% is hydro electric based and the rest is gas and nuclear based. There is a current power shortage of approximately 11% of total energy requirement and is likely to increase in the years to come due to increase in population and growth in the agricultural and industrial sector. In the next decade India would need another 10, 000 megawatts of power. Serious attention is now focused on developing Solar Thermal Power Plants in India. The reason is that the thermal power plants increase environmental pollution by way of emission of suspended particle matter (SPM) Sulfur dioxide (So2), Carbon dioxide, Nitrous Oxide and other gases. Hydro based power stations cause soil erosion and degradation, mass scale felling of trees, loss of wild life habitat and displacement of people. It is on these accounts that building Indian Solar Thermal Power Plants assumes serious importance.

India gets abundant solar energy

India is located in the equatorial belt and receives abundant energy from sun. In most parts in India, there are 250 to 3oo days in a year when sunshine is available. Rajasthan and Northern Gujarat receive the highest annual global radiation. In Rajasthan, there are amole barren and thinly populated areas. These areas are very suitable for installing Solar Thermal Power Plants in India. A fossil fuel cum solar hybrid plant of an installed capacity of 140 Mw is planned in Rajasthan of which 35 megawatt are estimated to be produced from an array of solar thermal parabolic troughs. Of the scheme for Indian Solar Thermal Power Plants this project is to be funded under the World Bank’s Global Environment Fund which focuses on climate change.

Rajasthan solar thermal power plant –a path breaker

Both thermal and solar photovoltaic power generation are supported by India. Of the Solar Thermal Power Plants in India to be set up in future, the 35 mw plant in Rajasthan is a path breaker. It would provide in field experience in design, construction and management of such Indian solar thermal power plants. There would be involvement of various agencies like private players in the energy sector, local industries, State and Central electricity authorities and India’s Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES) and India’s Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA).

Of the future Solar Thermal Power Plants In India, the sustainability of the unit proposed for construction in Rajasthan will depend on how far the initial cost of investment is recovered and to what extent the operating costs are realized. This plant though state owned would be operated through a management contract with private companies for a period of five years. Power supply, fuel inputs etc would be on a commercial basis. Selection of staff and their management would be done according to current business practices.

The project site is located where basic infrastructure is available. Success of this project would show how far Solar Thermal Power Plants in India would be successful on a large scale.

Thermal Power Plants In India

Large quantities of coal are burnt and that heat heats water to very high temperature by which it turns into steam. This steam is channeled towards turbines that spin and produce power at Thermal Power Plants in India. The electricity that is generated is stored in power plants and later conducted to the areas that need it.

The State Of Thermal Plants Today

Though this is briefly how Thermal Power Plants in India work but each one has variations in their design. There are however, some common factors like the fuel that is used to produce steam and the way steam is used. Vigorous Rand D in this field keeps produces newer models that are more energy efficient and less polluting. One constant worry is the pollution aspect. Some of the thermal plants are close to big cities. So they have to be safe.

The Thermal Power Plants in India has a long history. After the country got independence, it was recognized that it needed safe and plentiful power if it was to surge ahead and catch up with the rest of the world. India now has several hydro-electric power plants too which are also a safe method of generating electricity. A few nuclear power projects have also got on stream now. But thermal plants produce more than 70% of all the electricity produced in India.

Significance of Thermal Plants

Thermal plants utilize a huge amount of water too that eventually turns to steam. India has several large rivers. The technology behind thermal plants is a well known one and has been adapted successfully in India. The technology is a relatively simple one. The thermal plants last a long time and are reasonably problem-free. Listed below are some of the well known Thermal Power Plants in India.

Anpara, Uttar Pradesh  This is situated along the edge of the Rihand Dam, in Sonebhadra District in Uttar Pradesh. This Power plant utilizes coal to generate electricity. This plant with 5 units is capable of producing 500 Mega Watts of electricity.

Bakreswar, West Bengal Another well known coal fired power plant is the Bakreswar Power Plant. From Kolkata, this power plant is 260 km away. There are five production units that together produce 1050 Mega Watts of power. Plants are afoot to add a sixth unit to boost production.

Power Station II, Panipat Thermal Plant This is in Panipat, a town in Haryana. Coal is the main fuel used here. 250 mega watts are generated by 8 operational units. This project was developed in four phases.

Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram, Yamunanagar Named after Deenabandhu Chhotu Ram, this power project sees a production of 600 mega watts of power. It was inaugurated in 2008, April.

Thermal Power Plant, Kedar, Hisar This Rajiv Gandhi Power Project named after Rajiv Gandhi, is located in the Haryana town of Hissar. With two operational units, this plant produces 600 mega watts of power.

Kota Thermal Power Plant Located along the Chambal River in Rajasthan, this project produces 1240 mega watts of power employing 28 units. This was Rajasthan’s earliest thermal power station.

There are power plants in every state in India. These are only some of the Thermal Power Plants. Plans are being made to increase the number of Thermal Power Plants in India