Power Plants

The Science Behind Power Generation & Types of Power Plants

What is Meant by Power Plant?

A power production station or a power plant is nothing but an industrialist area that is used for the
production of electric power and also for electric power distribution in large scale, usually in the order of several 1000 Watts. The power plants are usually located at the suburban areas or at several kilometres away from the load centres or cities, because of its requisites like more water demand and land the requirement, as well as operating constraints like the waste. So only power plants have, but also it has to take care about the fact that the power is transmitted efficiently over the total distance and that is the reason why the transformer switchyard to regulate the voltage transmission also becomes an integral part of the power plant.

How is Electricity Generated from Power Plant?

Electricity/ power passed through the wires to light lamps and run a computer, refrigerators, TVs, and all other electrical appliances. But the question is from where does this electricity/power come from? A simple form of an electrical generator consists of a rotating copper coil, a strong magnet, and a power source for coil spin. The power source can be either a turbine or a motor. The rotor coil present in it continually interrupts the magnetic field lines of force, producing electrical current. Most of the power plants present in huge countries are of large size boilers that burn the fuel to produce heat, and this heat is utilized to boil the water to prepare steam. This steam is fed to the turbine under high pressure. The turbine shaft and spins are connected to a turbogenerator that converts the mechanical spinning energy into the electricity.

Types of Power Stations

The main function of a power plant is to use coal, oil, etc., and convert it into electricity. A huge power plant can produce sufficient energy to run nearly three million homes. Power plants generally produce a large amount of electricity as they consume more quantity of fuel. Power plant station can be of different types based on the type of fuel used in it. However, for the purpose of bulk power generation, only hydropower, nuclear and thermal power comes in handy. So power plant is generally classified in the 3 above-mentioned types. Following are some of the types of power plants:

Gas Turbine

One of the main advantages of natural gas is generating electricity. The basic function of a gas turbine under high pressure is to ignite gas to make it combustible. This combustible gas is then given turbines to drive them. There are few common points between different types of power plants so far as functionality is concerned, and one of the similarities is the use of generators and turbines.


Most of the power plants produce heat by burning the fuel. A steam-electric power plant using a steam-driven generator produce more amount of power. In this type, water is heated to produce the steam, and then the steam is utilized to drive a steam turbine in order to run generators.


Just like other power plants, hydroelectric power plant systems don’t produce heat or steam to run turbines. In this system, a large amount of water is used to run the turbines that directly drive the electricity generators. A dam is a perfect example of the hydroelectric power plant. Compared with others, electricity produced by hydroelectric systems is relatively cheap.