How does coal produce electricity step by step?
Here's how the process works.
- Heat is created. Before the coal is burned, it is pulverized to the fineness of talcum powder.
- Water turns to steam. Highly purified water, pumped through pipes inside the boiler, is turned into steam by the heat.
- Steam turns the turbine.
- Steam turns back into water.
Generally coal is used as a major fuel in mostly all the thermal power plants because it's the most abundant fossil fuel, easily available at relatively low cost. For electric power generation; lignite coal is generally used. Bituminous coal is also used sometimes depending upon the availability.
- Moving the current average global efficiency rate of coal-fired power plants from 33% to 40% by deploying more advanced off-the-shelf technology could cut two gigatonnes of CO2 emissions now, while allowing affordable energy for economic development and poverty reduction.
- Generating coal power. Coal contains energy that the plants absorbed from the sun – burning coal releases this energy. It can be used to heat water to generate steam, which is then used to drive a turbine to generate electricity.
- The energy in coal comes from energy that was stored in giant plants that lived hundreds of millions of years ago in swamp forests, even before the dinosaurs! When these giant plants and ferns died, they formed layers at the bottom of the swamps. Water and dirt began to pile up on top of the dead plant remains.
Coal-fired plants produce electricity by burning coal in a boiler to produce steam. The steam produced, under tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to create electricity. The steam is then cooled, condensed back into water and returned to the boiler to start the process over. Play Video.
- In fact, the estimated costs of building new coal plants have reached $3,500 per kW, without financing costs, and are still expected to increase further. This would mean a cost of well over $2 billion for a new 600 MW coal plant when financing costs are included.
- If we're talking actual construction time of a nuclear power plant, it's a bit of a long endeavor and depends on the design. Generally, plant construction can take 40-60 months from the first concrete pour to the end of construction when fuel is loaded.
- However, since few petroleum units are used at that cost (petroleum only produced 0.7 percent of U.S. electricity in 2011), it is better to compare nuclear production costs to coal production costs, which averaged 3.23 cents per kilowatt hour in 2011 and to natural gas production costs which averaged 4.51 cents per
Steam coal, also known as thermal coal, is used in power stations to generate electricity. The hot gases and heat energy produced converts water – in tubes lining the boiler – into steam. The high pressure steam is passed into a turbine containing thousands of propeller-like blades.
- Generally coal is used as a major fuel in mostly all the thermal power plants because it's the most abundant fossil fuel, easily available at relatively low cost. For electric power generation; lignite coal is generally used. Bituminous coal is also used sometimes depending upon the availability.
- Surface mining can be used when the coal is buried less than 200 feet underground. In surface mining, giant machines remove the top-soil and layers of rock to expose large beds of coal. Once the mining is finished, the dirt and rock are returned to the pit, the topsoil is replaced, and the area is replanted.
- We obtain coal from underground seams. A seam is a layer of ore or coal that is thick enough to be profitably mined. We obtain the coal in one of two ways: By surface mining, which involves removing the soil and rock above the coal seam so that it can be removed from the surface.
Updated: 16th October 2019