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Thermal Power Plants in India

Thermal power plants, alternatively referred to as combustion power plants, operate by harnessing the energy produced by a steam boiler fueled by biomass, natural gas, coal, or heating oil. This steam triggers a turbine, which, in turn, drives an alternator to produce electricity. Electricity transmission is more efficient compared to transporting coal or petroleum over similar distances. India’s thermal power plants play a pivotal role in generating electricity nationwide.

Thermal Power Plant: What Is It?

A thermal power plant functions as a mechanism to convert thermal energy into usable electrical power for residential and commercial purposes. Through steam-operated turbines, heat is initially transformed into mechanical energy, and subsequently into electrical energy during the electricity generation process. These plants harness the heat energy derived from the combustion of solid fuels, primarily coal, to generate steam at elevated pressure and temperature. This steam, in turn, drives the turbine shaft connected to the generator, facilitating the conversion of kinetic energy from the turbine impeller into electric energy.

Thermal Power Plant Types

Thermal power plants use heat from a fuel source to create electricity, as the name suggests. Typically, the heat produces steam in a boiler, which powers a steam turbine that is connected to a generator. They are categorized as follows based on the heat source:

1. Coal Power Plant

The energy source for coal-fired thermal plants was coal. Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower are used in addition to traditional energy sources like thermal, nuclear, and hydropower to produce power in India. Although a significant amount is generated, coal-fired thermal power plants generate about 75% of the total electricity produced.

2.  Natural Gas Power Plant

Gases or oils are used as fuel in gas thermal power plants. Gas-fired power stations, also referred to as natural gas power plants, are thermal power plants that use natural gas as fuel to generate electricity. With 31 gas-based plants, 14.3 GW of India’s 24.824 GW developed capacity for gas-based energy.

3. Thermal energy Power Plant

Geothermal power stations employ underground fluids to produce heat. Some 340 geothermal hot springs are estimated to exist in India, according to the Geological Survey of India. Regarding direct heat applications, the majority of them are perfect because of their low surface temperatures, which range from 37 to 90 degrees Celsius. Soon, in Ladakh, India will establish its first geothermal power plant.

4. Biomass Power Plant

Various materials such as bagasse, rice husk, straw, cotton stalk, coconut shells, soy husk, etc. are used to produce heat using biomass thermal power. India has long relied heavily on biomass as a source of energy. It is abundant, renewable, carbon-neutral, and has the potential to greatly boost jobs in rural areas. Furthermore, biomass can generate consistent energy.

5. Nuclear Power Plant

Nuclear fission is the source of heat produced by nuclear power plants, and the operation phase of a nuclear power plant usually lasts the longest during its whole cycle. Asia’s first nuclear reactor is the Mumbai-based Apsara Research Reactor. India currently has 22 nuclear power reactors with an installed capacity of 6780 MegaWatt electric power operating in 7 states.

The three primary categories of thermal power plants used in India are indicated here, along with their installed capacities.

India Thermal Power Plant Types
Category Capacity(MW)
Gas 206404.50
Coal 24956.51
Liquid 509.71

Factors Affecting Thermal Power Plant Location

Steam plays a crucial role in thermal power plants as it serves as the primary medium for generating energy. Consequently, these power plants are strategically located in areas where essential resources like fuel and raw materials are abundant and easily accessible to ensure uninterrupted energy production. When selecting sites for the establishment of thermal power plants, various socioeconomic and engineering factors are carefully considered to optimize the design, construction, and operational efficiency of these facilities. Here is a brief overview of some of the key factors influencing the location decisions for thermal power plants.

  • Fuel availability in the terrain, such as coal, water availability
  • Closeness to major population centers
  • Availability of supplies and raw materials
  • Facilities for transportation
  • Manpower availability
  • Infrastructure
  • The site’s size

List of Thermal Power Plants in India

In India, thermal power plants play a vital role in meeting the country’s electricity demands. Here is a comprehensive list of some prominent thermal power plants across India:

State-Wise List of Thermal Power Plants in India
State Thermal Power Plant/Station
  • The Indraprastha Power Plant
  • Thermal Power Plant at Badarpur
  • Rajghat Power Plant
  • Thermal Power Station Panipat
  • Yamunanagar’s DCRTPP
  • Khedar, Hisar’s Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power Plant (RGTPP, Hisar)
Jammu and Kashmir
  • Pampore Gas Power Station (Liquid)
  • Ropar TPS
  • Talwandi Sabo TPP
  • Goindwal TPP
  • Suratgarh TPP
  • Chhabra TPP
  • Kalisindh TPP
  • Kota TPP
  • Barsinghsagar TPP
Uttar Pradesh
  • Obra TPP
  • Parichha TPP
  • The Harduaganj Power Plant
  • Jawaharpur Vidyut Station
  • Khamberkhera TPS
  • Maqsoodpur TPS
  • Prayagraj TPS
  • Dr.Shyama Prasad Mukherjee TPS
  • Korba-West TPS
  • Marwa TPS
  • Katghora TPP
  • Pathadi TPP
  • Kasaipalli TPP
  • Tamnar TPP
  • Gandhinagar TPS
  • Kutch Lignite TPS
  • Wanakbori TPS
  • Akrimata LIG TPS
  • Mundra TPS
Madhya Pradesh
  • Amarkantak Ext TPS
  • Sanjay Gandhi TPS
  • Satpura TPS
  • Shri Singhaji TPP
  • Mahan TPP
  • Nigri TPP
  • Bhusawal TPS
  • Chandrapur TPS
  • Khaparkheda TPS
  • Koradi TPS
  • Nasik TPS
  • Parli TPS
  • Tirora TPS
  • Amravati TPS
Andhra Pradesh
  • Rayalseema TPS
  • Dr. N. Tata Rao TPS
  • Damodram Sanjeevaiah TPS
  • Simhapuri TPS
  • Thamminapatnam TPS
  • Raichur TPS
  • Bellary TPS
  • Yermarus TPP
  • Udupi TPP
Tamil Nadu
  • Mettur TPS
  • North-Chennai TPS
  • Tuticorin TPS
  • Neyveli TPS
  • Vallur TPP
  • Tenughat TPS
  • Jojobera TPS
  • Maithon TPP
  • IB Valley TPS
  • Vedanata TPP
  • Kamalanga TPS
  • Derang TPP
West Bengal
  • Bakreshwar TPS
  • Haldia TPP
  • Kolaghat TPS
  • Bandel TPS
  • Santaldih TPS
  • Sagardighi TPS
  • Budge-Budge TPS

India’s Top 10 Largest Thermal Power Plants

Five of India’s ten largest thermal power plants, which are all coal-fired, are owned and operated by the government-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). Nonetheless, the government and the private sector both run thermal power facilities.

  1. Madhya Pradesh’s Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station
  2. Gujarat’s Mundra Thermal Power Station
  3. Gujarat’s Mundra Ultra Mega Power Plant
  4. Talcher Super Thermal Power Station, Odisha
  5. Tiroda Thermal Power Plant, Maharashtra
  6. Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant, Madhya Pradesh
  7. Uttar Pradesh’s Rihand Thermal Power Station
  8. NTPC Dadri, Uttar Pradesh
  9. Chandrarapur Super Thermal Power Station, Maharashtra; and
  10. Sipat Thermal Power Plant, Chhattisgarh

Benefits of Thermal Power Plants

Here is a list of a few benefits of thermal power plants.

  1. Fuel is very inexpensive.
  2. The production of energy is simple.
  3. Less expensive to start up.
  4. Require less space.
  5. Has less power generation costs.
  6. Can be erected anywhere.

The Drawbacks of Thermal Power Stations

  1. Not very efficient
  2. Have higher operational expenses.
  3. High maintenance expenses are associated with thermal power facilities.
  4. Need a lot of water to convert their water streams.

India’s thermal power plants play a significant role in the nation’s social and economic infrastructure. Their responsibility lies in producing electricity, a vital component for human survival. Most of the electricity produced in India comes from coal-based power plants. India is still making a significant contribution to the high output of thermal power plants despite the coal crisis.

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Which Indian thermal power facility was the first?

India's first thermal power plant is called Hussain Sagar Thermal Power Station. It is situated on the banks of Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad, Telangana. In 1920, the former seventh Nizam of Hyderabad gave it his official opening.

Which Indian state produces the most thermal energy?

The state of Maharashtra is India's top producer of thermal energy. West Bengal, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh come after Maharashtra.

What is the number of power plants in India?

In India, there are roughly 269 power plants.

Which Indian thermal power station is the second-biggest?

The second-largest thermal power plant in India is Mundra Thermal Power Station. It is situated in Gujarat's Kutch district. The plant generates electricity using coal and has a 4,620MW capacity.

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