Electrical Power Production

All electric power stations use the same principle to produce electricity. A fuel is burnt to produce heat energy. This is used to heat and boil water, which turns a turbine, and the motion of the turbines generates electricity. The diagram below shows a coal fired power station. Form water system circuit, all power stations are fundamentally the same.

The efficiency of a power station is not very high. A power station operates as a heat engine, using heat energy to do work, so the maximum possible efficiency is given bewhereandare the temperatures of the steam and the water in the condenser. Supposeandthe maximum efficiency isThis is typical for power stations.

The sources of energy losses are given in the diagram below.