It is an industrial facility used to generate electricity / electricity from heat-released energy, usually by combustion of some type of renewable or non-renewable fuel.
Other forms of electricity generation are solar, wind or hydropower.
Usually some kind of fossil fuel such as oil, natural gas or coal is burned in the combustion chamber. Steam moves the blades of a turbine, each turbine is connected to a generator that generates electricity.
There are several types of thermoelectric plants, and the energy production processes are practically the same but with different fuels. Some examples are:
- Oil plant;
- Coal-fired power plant;
- Nuclear plant; and
- Gas power plant: uses natural gas as fuel to power a gas turbine. Because gases produce a high temperature through burning, they are used to produce steam to move a second turbine, and this in turn is steam. As the temperature difference, which is produced by the combustion of the released gases, becomes higher than a gas and steam turbine, therefore the obtained yields are higher, on the order of 55%.
Like many types of power generation, thermoelectricity also causes environmental impacts. They contribute to global warming through the greenhouse effect and acid rain. The burning of natural gas releases large amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere and is a non-recovering fossil fuel.
Brazil releases 4.5 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere per year, with the increase in the construction of thermoelectric plants this indicator will reach 16 million.
Thermoelectric plants have a high operating cost due to the money used to purchase fuels.