Merits, Demerits, and Site Selection of Thermal Power Plant

Merits, Demerits, and Site Selection of Thermal Power Plant

In this article, we will explain the advantages, disadvantages, and site selection of Thermal Power Plant. And also we explain the environmental aspects of the thermal power plant.

Advantages of Thermal Power Plant

The advantages of thermal power plants are listed below.

  • The thermal power station has less initial cost as compared to the hydro-electric generating station.
  • It requires less space as compared to the hydro power plant.
  • The fuel cost is less as compared to a gas power plant.
  • It can be installed at any location irrespective of coal mines. Coal can be transported to the site by road and rail.
  • The huge amount of power can be generated by the thermal power station.

Disadvantages of Thermal Power Plant

The disadvantages of thermal power plants are listed below.

  • The running cost of the thermal power station is more as compared to the hydro generating station.
  • It pollutes the atmosphere due to the production of a large amount of smoke and fumes.
  • Maintenance cost is more.
  • A skilled person is required for the Erection and Maintenance of the power station.
  • Starting time is quite high (6 to 7 hours from the cold condition). Hence not suitable for peak loads.
  • The overall efficiency of the thermal power station is very low (about 29%).

Site Selection of Thermal Power Plant

The site of the thermal power plant is chosen with some specific conditions. The conditions that must be fulfilled to build a thermal power is explained as below.

Availability of Coal

A huge amount of coal is required for the generation of electrical energy. The thermal power station of 400 MW capacities requires 5000 to 6000 tons of coal per day.

Therefore, thermal power stations should be located near to the coal mines to minimize the transportation cost.

Ash Disposal Facilities

Ash produced after burning the coal is about 20 to 40% of the weight of the coal i.e. 1500 to 2000 tons per day. Thus, it becomes a more serious problem as it comes out in hot conditions and is highly corrosive.

Therefore, there must be sufficient space available for the disposal of a large quantity of ash.

Space Requirement

Space required for thermal power station is quite large for plant equipment, coal storage, ash disposal, staff colony, etc.

The land available for the thermal power station must be available at low cost and with sufficient bearing capacity to withstand the load of machinery.

Availability of Water

As the secondary requirement of the thermal power station is water.

The water is required for two purposes, firstly for conversation into steam for steam turbine and secondly for a condenser.

Hence such power plants should be located near to the water resource such as river, lake, or canal.

Transportation Facility

Power station should have the transportation facility such that as road and rail for transportation of material and machinery.

Away from Populated Area

The thermal power station produces smoke and fumes by burning a huge amount of coal. This pollutes the atmosphere. Hence plants should be located at a considerable distance from the populated area.

Near to The Load Center

Power stations should be located near to the load center to minimize the cost transmission system to transfer the electricity.

Environmental aspects for Site Selection of Thermal Power Plant

The environmental aspects of the thermal power plant explains as below.

Air Pollution

Particulate meters SO2, NO2, and CO2 are emitted from the combustion of fuels in a thermal Power plant. If the uncontrolled, these affect humans, vegetation, buildings, and monuments, aquatic forest ecosystem.

The emission of large quantities of SO2 and NO2 from Thermal power plant may result in Acid-rain problems.

Waste Water Discharge

The large wastewater streams from Thermal power plant are cooling water below down, which can be either recycled or discharged to a surface water body, and then its chemical quality gets affected.

Associated waste heat can impact ambient water temperature which in turn can radically alter aquatic plant and animal communities.

Other effluents from a Thermal power plant, like wastewater from de-mineralized backwash and resin regenerator wastewater, ash transport water and runoff from cal piles, ash piles and sites, trace metals, acids and other chemicals in various combinations in the effluents, oil spills, etc. harm water quality.

Land Degradation

The thermal power stations are generally located on the non-forest land and do not involve much resettlement and rehabilitation problems.

However, its effects due to stack emission, etc. on flora and fauna, agricultural and other land have to be studied for any element percolation to groundwater through ash disposal in ash ponds are the serious effects of thermal power stations.

Noise Pollution

Some areas inside the plant will have noisy equipment such as crushers, belt conveyors, fans, pumps, milling plants, compressors, boiler, turbine, etc.

Various measures to reduce the noise generation and exposure of workers to high noise levels in the plant area include silencers of fans, compressors, steam safety valves, etc., using noise absorbent materials, providing noise barriers for various areas, noise-proof control rooms.

The provision of a green belt around the plant will further reduce noise.

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