What is the cheapest and most available source of energy in the U.S.? Coal.
With a steam power plant, coal can be used to produce electricity.
Actually, coal-fired steam power plants generate 37% of the total amount of electricity in America.
However, being so reliable a source, coal also has one greatest environmental issue combined with its burning, that is the release of CO2. And we all know that CO2 is to be blamed for global warming and the following impacts.
So, the urgent need now is to find a way to burn less coal in power generation. Essentially, we are talking about how to make the power plant work more sustainably and efficiently. The less coal burnt, the less CO2 produced, and better is for the environment.
But what is the core component in a steam power plant that will decide its efficiency?
Here is the answer: the steam turbine it is using.
In steam power plants, a steam turbine makes use of the difference in pressure between steam and condensing vapor, converting the heat energy of coal combustion into mechanical energy.
Not clear enough to understand? Want to know more specifically what exact role steam turbine is playing in the system? Let’s take a step-by-step look at how does a power plant work and find out later.
- The whole process starts with the coal. It is burnt in a furnace of a boiler and provides heat along with its combustion. Then the heat it produced flows around pipes and boils the water inside them to turn it into steam.
The steam, as hot as 1000 degrees F, pressures up to 3,500 pounds per square inch. It is piped to the steam turbine and makes it work.
- In the turbine, there is a wheel. It is kind of like a windmill and is made of giant metal blades. The steam flows around the wheel and pushes the blades to start turning.
When the blades turn, the turbine shaft turns as well. And the turbine shaft is connected to the shaft of the generator, thus the magnets in the generator spin within wire coils. As a result, electricity has been produced.
- Now, the steam has finished its work. It is then drawn into a heat exchanger called a condenser. The cool water there converts the steam back into water as well. And the condense water will be reused again in the boiler to complete the cycle.
You may have discovered that, to drive a coal power plant, steam turbines, with the rotary motion it generates, are extremely critical. It’s no exaggeration to say that the invention of the steam turbine has changed our capacity of energy generation on a large scale.
Now, the steam turbine again will promote the power generation industry progress, this time with its industrial innovation. And one of the leaders in the wave of innovation would be Hangzhou Steam Turbine Co., Ltd(HTC). It is the largest manufacturing enterprise of industrial turbines in China so far, and it is destined to shine the industry.
It is predictable that coal-fired steam power plants will remain a bridge to a sustainable future. Combining introduced technology and independent innovation in its manufacture, HTC has the confidence to provide customers with reliable options for a more efficient and economic use of coal and less emission of CO2.