What is a thermal power plant

Thermal power plant, the


A thermal power plant converts heat, more precisely thermal energy, partially into electrical energy. It is also called thermal power plant or caloric power plant and only works if there are two heat reservoirs with a sufficient temperature difference. The heat is first converted into usable kinetic energy in an engine and this is then converted into electrical energy by a generator [...]. [De.wikipedia.org, July 25, 2018, accessed on November 9, 2018]

As a consequence of the disaster in Fukushima, all 48 commercial reactors in Japan had been shut down for two years. The operating groups cover their electricity requirements with thermal power plants, for which the island nation, which is poor in natural resources, has to import expensive oil and gas. [Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 02.29.2016]

Almost a third of the electricity produced in Germany in 1997 was generated from nuclear energy. […] 64 percent come from thermal power plants that burn coal, oil or gas. Hydropower plants supply four percent, other renewable energy sources just under one percent of German electricity. [Berliner Zeitung, August 3rd, 1998]

Similar to how a hydropower plant only works when water flows (from the high reservoir into the deep valley), a thermal power plant also only works when heat flows (from the high combustion temperature to the low cooling temperature). [Die Zeit, 13.10.1989, no. 42]

In a conventional thermal power plant, the steam is generated in a boiler that is heated by coal, oil or gas. [Zerna, Wolfgang and Schnellenbach, Günter: Problems of reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete in reactor buildings for nuclear power plants. In: Lectures on the concrete day 1971, [Wiesbaden]: [Deutscher Beton-Verein e.V.] 1971, p. 283]