A power station (also referred to as generating station or power plant) is an industrial facility for the generation of electric power. A fossil fuel power plant burns Fossil fuels such as Coal, Natural gas or Petroleum (oil to produce Electricity. Electricity generation is the process of converting non-electrical Energy to Electricity. Electric power is defined as the rate at which Electrical energy is transferred by an Electric circuit. 
Power plant is also used to refer to the engine in ships, aircraft and other large vehicles. An engine is a mechanical device that produces some form of output from a given input Some prefer to use the term energy center because it more accurately describes what the plants do, which is the conversion of other forms of energy, like chemical energy, gravitational potential energy or heat energy into electrical energy. In Physics and other Sciences energy (from the Greek grc ἐνέργεια - Energeia, "activity operation" from grc ἐνεργός In Physics and other Sciences energy (from the Greek grc ἐνέργεια - Energeia, "activity operation" from grc ἐνεργός Potential energy can be thought of as Energy stored within a physical system However, power plant is the most common term in the U. S. , while elsewhere power station and power plant are both widely used, power station prevailing in many Commonwealth countries and especially in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located
At the center of nearly all power stations is a generator, a rotating machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by creating relative motion between a magnetic field and a conductor. In Electricity generation, an electrical generator is a device that converts Mechanical energy to Electrical energy, generally using Electromagnetic The energy source harnessed to turn the generator varies widely. It depends chiefly on what fuels are easily available and the types of technology that the power company has access to.
In thermal power stations, mechanical power is produced by a heat engine, which transforms thermal energy, often from combustion of a fuel, into rotational energy. A thermal power station is a Power plant in which the prime mover is Steam driven A heat engine is a physical or theoretical device that converts Thermal energy to mechanical output Thermal energy is the sum of the sensible energy and latent energy. Combustion or burning is a complex sequence of Exothermic chemical reactions between a Fuel and an Oxidant accompanied by the production of Fuel is any material that is burned or altered in order to obtain energy Most thermal power stations produce steam, and these are sometimes called steam power stations. About 80% of all electric power is generated by use of steam turbines. Not all thermal energy can be transformed to mechanical power, according to the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of Thermodynamics is an expression of the universal law of increasing Entropy, stating that the entropy of an Isolated system which Therefore, there is always heat lost to the environment. If this loss is employed as useful heat, for industrial processes or district heating, the power plant is referred to as a cogeneration power plant or CHP (combined heat-and-power) plant. District heating (less commonly called teleheating) is a system for distributing heat generated in a centralized location for residential and commercial heating requirements Energy recycling Cogeneration (also combined heat and power, CHP) is the use of a Heat engine or a Power station to simultaneously generate both In countries where district heating is common, there are dedicated heat plants called heat-only boiler stations. A heat-only boiler station generates Thermal energy in the form of hot water for use in District heating applications An important class of power stations in the Middle East uses byproduct heat for desalination of water. Desalination, desalinization, or desalinisation refers to any of several processes that remove excess salt and other Minerals from Water
Thermal power plants are classified by the type of fuel and the type of prime mover installed. The watt (symbol W) is the SI derived unit of power, equal to one Joule of energy per Second.
All thermal power plants produce waste heat as a byproduct of the useful electrical energy produced. Natural draft wet cooling towers at nuclear power plants and at some large thermal power plants are large hyperbolic chimney-like structures (as seen in the image at the left) that release the waste heat to the ambient atmosphere by the evaporation of water (lower left image). Cooling towers are heat removal devices used to transfer process waste heat to the Atmosphere. A chimney is a system for venting hot Flue gases or Smoke from a Boiler, Stove, Furnace or Fireplace to the outside
However, the mechanical induced-draft or forced-draft wet cooling towers (as seen in the image to the right) in many large thermal power plants, petroleum refineries, petrochemical plants, geothermal, biomass and waste to energy plants use fans to provide air movement upward through downcoming water and are not hyperbolic chimney-like structures. An oil refinery is an industrial Process plant where Crude oil is processed and refined into more useful Petroleum products, such as Gasoline Petrochemicals are chemical products made from raw materials of Petroleum or other Hydrocarbon origin Geothermal power (from the Greek roots geo, meaning earth and therme, meaning heat is energy generated by heat stored in the earth or the collection Biomass refers to living and recently dead Biological material that can be used as fuel or for industrial production Incineration is a waste treatment technology that involves the Combustion of organic materials and/or substances A mechanical fan is an electrically powered device used to produce an airflow for the purpose of creature comfort (particularly in the heat ventilation, exhaust The induced or forced-draft cooling towers are rectangular, box-like structures filled with a material that enhances the contacting of the upflowing air and the downflowing water. 
In desert areas a dry cooling tower or radiator may be necessary, since the cost of make-up water for evaporative cooling would be prohibitive. Cooling towers are heat removal devices used to transfer process waste heat to the Atmosphere. These have lower efficiency and higher energy consumption in fans than a wet, evaporative cooling tower.
Where economically and environmentally possible, electric companies prefer to use cooling water from the ocean, or a lake or river, or a cooling pond, instead of a cooling tower. This type of cooling can save the cost of a cooling tower and may have lower energy costs for pumping cooling water through the plant's heat exchangers. A heat exchanger is a device built for efficient Heat transfer from one medium to another whether the media are separated by a solid wall so that they never mix or the media However, the waste heat can cause the temperature of the water to rise detectably. Power plants using natural bodies of water for cooling must be designed to prevent intake of organisms into the cooling cycle. A further environmental impact would be organisms that adapt to the warmer plant water and may be injured if the plant shuts down in cold weather.
In recent years, recycled wastewater, or grey water, has been used in cooling towers. The Calpine Riverside and the Calpine Fox power stations in Wisconsin as well as the Calpine Mankato power station in Minnesota are among these facilities. Wisconsin ( or wɪˈskɑnsɨn (French Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States Minnesota ( Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers
Other power stations use the energy from wave or tidal motion, wind, sunlight or the energy of falling water, hydroelectricity. A wave is a disturbance that propagates through Space and Time, usually with transference of Energy. Characteristics A tide is a repeated cycle of sea level changes in the following stages Over several hours the water rises or advances up a beach in the flood Wind Power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form such as electricity using Wind turbines At the end of 2007 worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was Solar energy is the Light and radiant heat from the Sun that powers Earth 's Climate and Weather and sustains Life Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by Hydropower, ie the production of power through use of the gravitational force of falling water These types of energy sources are called renewable energy. Renewable energy is Energy generated from Natural resources mdashsuch as Sunlight, Wind, Rain, tides and geothermal
Hydroelectric dams impound a reservoir of water and release it through one or more water turbines to generate electricity. Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by Hydropower, ie the production of power through use of the gravitational force of falling water Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by Hydropower, ie the production of power through use of the gravitational force of falling water A reservoir is most broadly a place or hollow vessel where Fluid is kept in Reserve, for later use A water turbine is a rotary Engine that takes energy from moving water
A pumped storage hydroelectric power plant is a net consumer of energy but decreases the price of electricity. Hydro-storage redirects here For storage of water for other purposes see Reservoir. Water is pumped to a high reservoir during the night when the demand, and price, for electricity is low. During hours of peak demand, when the price of electricity is high, the stored water is released to produce electric power. Some pumped storage plants are actually not net consumers of electricity because they release some of the water from the lower reservoir downstream, either continuously or in bursts.
A solar photovoltaic power plant converts sunlight into electrical energy, which may need conversion to alternating current for transmission to users. Solar energy is the Light and radiant heat from the Sun that powers Earth 's Climate and Weather and sustains Life Incineration is a waste treatment technology that involves the Combustion of organic materials and/or substances A solar cell or photovoltaic cell is a device that converts Solar energy into Electricity by the photovoltaic effect. An inverter is an electrical or electro-mechanical device that converts Direct current (DC to Alternating current (AC the resulting AC can be at any required voltage An alternating current ( AC) is an Electric current whose direction reverses cyclically as opposed to Direct current, whose direction remains constant This type of plant does not use rotating machines for energy conversion. Solar thermal electric plants are another type of solar power plant. They direct sunlight using either parabolic troughs or heliostats. A Heliostat (from Helios, the Greek word for sun, and stat, as in stationary is a device that tracks the movement of the Sun. Parabolic troughs direct sunlight onto a pipe containing a heat transfer fluid, such as oil, which is then used to boil water, which turns the generator. The central tower type of power plant uses hundreds or thousands of mirrors, depending on size, to direct sunlight onto a receiver on top of a tower. Again, the heat is used to produce steam to turn turbines. There is yet another type of solar thermal electric plant. The sunlight strikes the bottom of the pond, warming the lowest layer which is prevented from rising by a salt gradient. A Rankine cycle engine exploits the temperature difference in the layers to produce electricity. The Rankine cycle is a thermodynamic cycle which converts heat into work Not many solar thermal electric plants have been built. Most of them can be found in the Mojave Desert, although Sandia National Laboratory, Israel and Spain have also built a few plants. Sandia National Laboratories which is managed and operated by the Sandia Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation) is a major United
Wind turbines can be used to generate electricity in areas with strong, steady winds. Wind Power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form such as electricity using Wind turbines At the end of 2007 worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was Amsterdam (pronounced) is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland in the west The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands A wind turbine is a rotating machine which converts the Kinetic energy in Wind into Mechanical energy. Many different designs have been used in the past, but almost all modern turbines being produced today use the Dutch six-bladed, upwind design. Grid-connected wind turbines now being built are much larger than the units installed during the 1970s, and so produce power more cheaply and reliably than earlier models. With larger turbines (on the order of one megawatt), the blades move more slowly than older, smaller, units, which makes them less visually distracting and safer for airborne animals. However, the old turbines can still be seen at some wind farms, particularly at Altamont Pass and Tehachapi Pass. Altamont Pass (el 755 ft / 230 m is a pass in Northern California, United States, located in the Diablo Range between Livermore Tehachapi Pass (elevation) is a Mountain pass in southern California in the United States.
The power station operator has several duties in the electrical generating facility. Operators are responsible for the safety of the work crews that frequently do repairs on the mechanical and electrical equipment. They maintain the equipment with periodic inspections and logs temperatures, pressures and other important information on regular intervals. An inspection is most generally an organised examination or formal evaluation exercise Operators are responsible for starting and stopping the generators depending on need. In Electricity generation, an electrical generator is a device that converts Mechanical energy to Electrical energy, generally using Electromagnetic They are able to synchronize and adjust the voltage output of the added generation with the running electrical system without upsetting the system. They must know the electrical and mechanical systems in order to troubleshoot problems in the facility and add to the reliability of the facility. Troubleshooting is a form of Problem solving. It is the systematic search for the source of a problem so that it can be solved Operators must be able to respond to an emergency and know the procedures in place to deal with it.