Hwange Thermal Power Station. Image credit businessdaily.co.zw

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.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page