Comparison of Power Plants

Comparison of the various Power Plants

The use of electrical energy is increasing day by day. Therefore, we need to generate electricity to meet demand. There are several sources available to generate electrical energy. Out of these sources, most of the energy generated from the steam power plant (thermal power plant), Hydropower Plant, Diesel Power Plant, and Nuclear Power Plant. Here we will make a comparison of the various Power Plants with various parameters.

1) Site selection

Steam Power Plant: This type of plant located at a place where an ample amount of water and coal is available and transportation facilities are available.

Hydro Power Plant: This type of plant located where large reservoirs available by constructing a dam or in a hilly area.

Diesel Power Plant: This plant can be located in the congested area. Hence, this plant used where less space is available. And less amount of water required to run this plant.

Nuclear Power Plant: This plant located away from the human-populated areas to avoid radioactive pollution.

2) Initial cost

Steam Power Plant: Initial cost is lower than the hydro and nuclear power plant.

Hydro Power Plant: This plant needs a very big dam. Hence, the initial cost of the plant is very high for construction and excavation work.

Diesel Power Plant: Initial cost is less compared to all power plants.

Nuclear Power Plant: It generates energy by fission. This process is done in the nuclear reactor. The cost to build a nuclear reactor is very large. Therefore, the initially huge investment required.

3) Running cost

Steam Power Plant: This plant uses coal as a fuel. It required a very huge amount of coal for bulk production. So, the running cost of this plant is very high compared to the hydro and nuclear power plants.

Hydro Power Plant: This plant uses the kinetic energy of water. Once a dam constructs, there is almost zero cost for the fuel. Because there is no fuel required in this plant.

Diesel Power Plant: This plant uses diesel as a fuel. As we know, the price of diesel is increasing day by day. Therefore, the running cost of the plant is highest among all plants.

Nuclear Power Plant: This plant uses radioactive elements like uranium and thorium. A very small amount of material needed for bulk production of energy. Hence, the running cost is less compared to the steam power plant. But it high compared to the hydropower plant.

4) Limit of a source of power

Steam Power Plant: Coal is a fossil fuel. And we have a limited source of coal all over the world.

Hydro Power Plant: Water is the source of power and the availability of water is not fixed. Because there are variations in rainfall every year.

Diesel Power Plant: Diesel is the source of power that is not available in huge quantities due to limited reserves.

Nuclear Power Plant: Very small amount of fuel can generate bulk power. But it is available in sufficient quantity.

5) Cost of fuel transportation

Steam Power Plant: This plant has the highest transportation cost. Because of a very high amount of coal transported to the plant site.

Hydro Power Plant: This plant is not using any kind of fuel in running condition. Hence, the transportation cost is almost zero.

Diesel Power Plant: Higher than a hydro and nuclear plant.

Nuclear Power Plant: The transportation cost of this plant is minimum.

6) Cleanliness and simplicity

Steam Power Plant: This plant is least clean for the atmosphere. Because it pollutes the environment by smoke and ash.

Hydro Power Plant: The most simple and clean source of energy.

Diesel Power Plant: Cleaner than a steam power plant. But it also produces smoke.

Nuclear Power Plant: Less clean than hydropower plant but good compared to the steam power plant.

7) Overall efficiency

Steam Power Plant: This plant is less efficient. The overall efficiency is less than 25%.

Hydro Power Plant: Most efficient plant. The overall efficiency is about 85%.

Diesel Power Plant: More efficient than a steam power plant. The overall efficiency is about 35%.

Nuclear Power Plant: More efficient than a steam power plant.

8) Starting

Steam Power Plant: This plant has the number of energy conversions and it contains a large number of big accessories that take time to start. Therefore, it requires a lot of time to start the plant.

Hydro Power Plant: This plant can start instantly.

Diesel Power Plant: This plant can start instantly.

Nuclear Power Plant: This plant can start instantly.

9) Space required

Steam Power Plant: This plant contains a very large number of auxiliaries. Therefore, it requires a big space. This plat emits smoke and ash. It is dangerous to health. So, this space is must be out of the city area.

Hydro Power Plant: Less space required for plant auxiliaries. But need a very large space for the dam.

Diesel Power Plant: Less space needed.

Nuclear Power Plant: This plant needs less space compared to the other plants.

10) Maintenance cost

Steam Power Plant: Quite high as the skilled operating staff is required for the maintenance.

Hydro Power Plant: Quite low.

Diesel Power Plant: Quite low.

Nuclear Power Plant: Very high. It needs highly qualified and technical staff to maintain the plant.

11) Transmission and Distribution cost

Steam Power Plant: Quite low as the plant site is near to the load center.

Hydro Power Plant: Very high because the plant site is quite away from the load center.

Diesel Power Plant: This plant can be located at the load center. Hence, the transportation cost is least among all plants.

Nuclear Power Plant: Quite low as the plant site is near to the load center.

12) Standby losses

Steam Power Plant: Maximum as the boiler remains in operation even when the turbine is not working or in maintenance for a short time.

Hydro Power Plant: No standby loss.

Diesel Power Plant: Less standby loss.

Nuclear Power Plant: Less standby loss.

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