Thermoelectric plants. What are they and how do they work?

There are several sources of electricity generation, whether renewable or non-renewable. The most used form of energy generation in the world is through thermoelectric plants, but not many people know this type of energy generation, thinking about it we decided to explain what thermoelectric plants are, how thermoelectric plants work, advantages and disadvantages of the plant’s thermoelectric plants and how much a thermoelectric plant is capable of producing, come on guys!

Currently, the main form of electricity production in the world is obtained through thermoelectric plants, which make up about 70% of electricity generation worldwide. Thermoelectric plants are widely used by developed countries, which end up generating many debates at international conferences, in relation to natural resources and the environment in general.

Thermal power plant: What is it?

Thermoelectric plants, which are also called by some thermal plants, are industrial facilities responsible for the production of any and all electrical energy that we obtain from the generation of heat so that this heat is generated through the burning of fossil fuels and other heat sources. We can mention nuclear fission, used in nuclear power plants, as other sources of heat.

Thermoelectric plants. What are they and how do they work?

Thermal power plant: How does it work?

The operation of thermoelectric plants is basically as follows: when the fuel is burned, it heats a reservoir with water, producing steam with a very high pressure, which is capable of moving the blades of a turbine, which in turn drives the generator. This is a basic explanation of how everything works, but there are several factors to consider. because there is a set of stages, with diversified resources, that together form this whole generation process.

One of the ways of heating these water reservoirs is by burning fossil fuels or nuclear fission, the most used fuels are fuel oil, diesel oil, natural gas, enriched uranium and mineral coal, but any product capable of generating heat can be used as fuel, from the bagasse of various plants to the remains of wood.

It is important to note that nuclear power plants are also examples of thermoelectric power generation because nuclear reactions are carried out with the purpose of heating the water in the reservoirs and producing steam, thereby generating electricity.

Scheme of operation of thermal power plants.

Thermoelectric plant: Use in Brazil.

Although thermoelectric plants are the most widely used source of electricity generation worldwide, in Brazil it is completely the opposite, as its electricity production is predominantly from hydroelectric plants, about 72% as shown in the image below:

Power generation in Brazil.

Thermoelectric plants are used in some cases to supply industries and also as an alternative source, for example in cases of energy crisis or to complement the generation of hydroelectric plants.

Despite these facts, thermoelectric plants do not represent even 19% of all energy supply in the country, they are capable of producing about 69,796 GWh of 385,890 GWh in a one-year time scale. The image below shows the relationship of which regions produce the greatest amount of electricity in the country, through thermoelectric plants.

Regions with the highest thermal power generation in the country.

Thermoelectric plant: Advantages.

Mineral coal is one of the most used fuels in thermoelectric plants, as it is one of the most abundant sources of heat generation and has lower costs, compared to other fuels. In addition, thermoelectric plants occupy a small area, have a level of productivity almost twice as high as hydroelectric plants, and are faster to build.

Thermoelectric plants can be installed in locations close to the regions of consumption, reducing the cost of towers and transmission lines and losses during the transmission of electricity, being also an excellent alternative for countries that do not have other sources of energy.

Thermal power plant: Disadvantages.

The energy sources used by the thermoelectric plants are not renewable, which ends up generating a lot of concern in relation to the availability of these resources in nature in the medium and long term, in addition to the emission of many pollutants during the production of electricity in the thermoelectric plants, the burning of fuel fossil ends up emitting tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, in addition to the radioactive waste that is generated by nuclear plants.

Another factor that must be taken into account regarding thermoelectric plants is the high consumption of water, which is used both for the generation of heat and to power the cooling system of the turbines.

One of the disadvantages of thermoelectric plants is the final price that arrives for consumers, as they are higher values, when compared to other sources of electricity generation, such as hydroelectric plants for example.

The video below shows other sources of energy generation, including through the use of heat, and mainly highlights several methods to contribute to sustainability.

We finished one more article and we hope to have removed all your doubts about thermoelectric plants, if you have any doubts or curiosity, leave in the comments that we will answer,