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Conventional power generation

Electrical power is not created, but is generated in a conversion process. Power plants convert primary energy into secondary energy by burning fossil energy sources (coal, oil, natural gas) or by nuclear fission, thereby generating electricity. Since conventional power plants - in contrast to power generation plants using renewable energies - are operated independently of the weather,they ensure the base load and offer a high degree of supply security for consumers.
Some power plants operate on the principle of combined heat and power (CHP), i.e. they use the thermal energy generated during combustion to feed hot water into the district heating network.

Fossil energy sources

  • Hydrocarbons (crude oil, natural gas)
  • Coal
  • Peat

Coal-fired power plants

burn brown or black coal for power generation. The dried pulverized coal is injected into the burner chamber of the pulverized-fuel furnace and burns at temperatures of up to 1,200 °C. The heat converts the injected water into steam, which moves the steam turbine. The turbine shaft mechanically drives an electric generator. After the steam has done its work, it flows to the condenser, where it releases its heat to the cooling water and condenses. The heated cooling water is either reused or cooled down and discharged into adjacent waters. The combustion residues are filtered and cleaned. 


Gas turbine power plants 

are more flexible than coal-fired power plants. Since gas turbines produce full power within a very short time, they are mostly used to cover peak loads or secure the power supply in the event of a plant failure. The operating principle is similar to that of coal-fired power plants. A mixture of compressed air and natural gas is burned in the combustion chamber, producing gas at a temperature of up to 1,500 °C. Via the connected turbine section it drives the generator where the electrical energy is generated.
Combined cycle power plants combine the principles of a gas power plant and a steam power plant. They achieve high utilization rates because the exhaust heat flow from the gas turbine generated during combustion still contains sufficient energy to be used for steam generation. With the steam produced, another generator can provide additional electricity via a steam turbine. Combined cycle power plants ensure supply in the medium and base load.


Atomic (APP) or nuclear power plants (NPP)

generate electrical energy in nuclear fission reactors by the controlled fission of uranium or plutonium nuclei contained in fuel assemblies. The energy released during fission heats the water surrounding the fuel elements to produce steam.
There are several types of reactors, differing in design, fuel and cooling, for ex. boiling water reactors or graphite reactors. Pressurized water reactors, which have two separate water circuits, are the most common ones in Germany. In the primary water circuit, the water is heated to about 320 °C by the heat generated during nuclear fission. The steam generator, as the connection point to the secondary circuit, uses this heating power to generate the steam that drives the generator via the turbines. 


Sensitive applications

In power plants, valves from Mankenberg are installed in the auxiliary systems. They are mounted on a common base frame (skid) together with pumps, compressors or the required peripheral devices and are used in the secondary or tertiary circuit. They control the fuel or lubricating oil supply, the purge gas or purge water system or the seal gas system.

The sensitive area of application in power plants with high pressures and temperatures requires comprehensive documentation and the highest safety standards, partly in accordance with the ATEX directive


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References
  • E.ON
  • Vattenfall
  • Siemens
  • RWE
  • Alstom
  • ElecGas
  • PGE Polska
  • Torrent Power
  • Stadtwerke, z.B. Leipzig, München
  • Uniper
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