Explore how electric power is generated. Click on the numbers in the image below to discover different function at the typical power plant.
No. 1 - The Boiler
This typical boiler is constructed of approximately 300 miles of special high temperature steel tubing supported by a steel I-beam frame. The steel tubes are filled with water. Heat inside the boiler boils the water, and they steam is collected at the top of the boiler. The steam then flows to the turbine. Ash is collected at the bottom of the boiler and precipitator, where it is conveyed to an ash collection system.
Coal handling system
This Generating Station burns coal delivered by train. Coal is delivered to the plant in rail cars that hold 100 tons each. Once the coal is delivered to the plant, it is unloaded by coal handlers and either stored in a stock pile for future use or is transferred via coal conveyors into the plant for immediate use.
No. 2 - High
The high pressure turbine primarily consists of fan-type blades attached to a shaft. Steam flows against the blades, causing the shaft to turn.
No. 3 -
Intermediate and low pressure turbine
The intermediate and low pressure turbine, while constructed like the high pressure turbines, are designed to add efficiency to the cycle.
No. 4 - The generator
The shaft of the generator is connected to the turbine shaft. When the turbine rotates the generator, electricity is produced.
No. 5 - Condenser
Steam leaves the turbine, and is admitted to the condenser, where it is cooled by circulating water. The steam is condensed, and water is pumped back to then boiler.
No. 6 - Heaters
The heaters are used to heat the water on its return back to the boiler. Small amounts of steam are removed from the turbine at different pressures to heat the water.
No. 7 - Deaerator
One of the heaters is called the Deaerator because, in addition to heating the water, it removes air and other dissolved gases from the water.
No. 8 - Cooling tower
The cooling tower is used to cool the circulating water. This is done by lowing air across water that is falling through the cooling tower.
These pumps are used to transfer water from the cooling tower to the condenser and back to the cooling tower.
No. 9 - Coal bunker
Coal is delivered to the Generating Station by rail. Belt conveyors are used to transfer the coal to the storage bunkers.
The coal feeders measure the amount of coal that is required to make steam and generate power as required by our customers. Coal flow to the boiler varies as the amount of electricity used varies.
No. 10 - Coal
The coal flows by gravity into the pulverizers from the coal feeders. When the coal is in the pulverizer, it is ground into the approximately fineness of talcum powder. It is then blown into the furnace, where it mixes with air, and burns at bout 2500 degrees Fahrenheit.
The boiler has two large fans. The forced draft fan blows air into the boiler so that coal will burn and produce heat to produce steam and the induced fan pulls gases from the boiler and precipitator.
No. 11 - Precipitator
The electrostatic precipitator eliminates 99.6% of the fly ash from the boiler flue gases by means of many fine wires and static electricity, so that smoke from the chimney will be eliminated.
The chimney is the final destination of the coal combustion process. It is typically over 400 feet tall. Boiler controls and plant operators carefully control the fuel combustion process to keep emissions to a minimum and to ensure that the maximum amount of heats is extracted from the coal as possible.
Electricity from the generator (13,400 volts) travels to the main step up transformer. It is then converted to 115,000 volts.
No. 12 - Substations
Electricity that is generated will be sent to various satellite substations located strategically in the electric distribution system. From there, the circuits are used to transmit electricity to all of our customers: industrial, commercial, irrigation, rural and residential.