ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources: Energy:Thermal power
- In thermal power production, fuel is used to heat water in huge boilers, converting this water into steam.
- The steam at high pressure and through pipes, is directed to turbines.
- The pressure turns the turbines which in turn, turn generators and electricity is produced.
- The steam from the powerhouse is pumped to huge cooling towers where it is converted back to water.
- It is then repumped back to the boilers for reuse.
- A fuel is a substance which boils when lit and is always a hydrocarbon.
- At a thermal power station, fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas can be used to boil the water.
- A fossil fuel is one which formed millions of years ago from the partial decay of organic matter and has to be mined before use.
- However some fossil fuels such as wood, crop residues and baggage are not fossil fuels types and are burnt directly after harvesting.
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