Talk:Power station

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Generators found in power stations don't have cranks. Cooling towers give off waste heat due to the inefficiency of heat engines - "steam" is ambiguous in this context because the water vapor emitted by a cooling tower has nothing to do with the working fluid in the plant. Some plants use river water for the condensors. This article needs more work! --Wtshymanski 23:20, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It occurs to me that photoelectric and fuel-cell power stations don't have rotating generators. These are a little uncommon.--Wtshymanski 22:26, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Energy Center vs Older terms (Power Plant, Power Station, Steam Electric Station, etc.)[edit]

For thirty plus years the trend in the utility industry is to name / rename their electric generating stations with the ending "Energy Center" in recognition that these assets do not make power but convert a supply source of (mostly chemical, fission, potential, kinetic, thermal, light, wave, or tidal) energy into electric energy.

Energy is defined as the ability (capacity) to do work.

Power is the (time-)rate at which work is done.

Electricity has the capacity to perform work for a period of time, as determined by the user.

The utility can charge for total flow (KWH) of electricity during a period and for the peak flow of electricity (KW) during that period if the proper metering is in place to record the peak usage and if the delivery contract allows for this option.

This topic should be redirected to Energy Center or Energy Station or Energy Conversion Plant.

Can you direct me to a reference that uses "Energy Center" as a preferred term for what I would call a "power plant" or, better, a "generating station" ? Google shows nearly 6 million hits for "power plant" and only 500,000 for "energy center" - and the few Web references I checked seem to be for educational institutions or visitor centers, not for power plants. I don't think this topic should be redirected to a term that I don't see used at all for the same subject. I also have a prejudice against empty neologisms for things that have always had perfectly reasonable names. --Wtshymanski 07:49, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think that changing the article is premature because not all utilities are using this convention on their new power plants, yet. Calpine has named a bunch of its new power plants in California with the "energy center" ending, but some of them carry different endings such as "cogeneration" and "project". Also, none of the new plants built by other companies, at least in California, have the ending of "energy center" (according to the California Energy Commission, but they may not use the same names as the companies use, though). I suggest that "energy center" be added to the alternative names instead.
I encourage you (the writer of the above) to get a Wikipedia user ID - I've looked at the edits you've been making and they look like solid contributions on some of my favorite topics. I dislike the "Energy Center" designation but I think Wikipedia must call these plants what their owners call them - so we may wind up some day with an article called [[New Age Crystal Politically Correct Tree Hugger Energy Center {power station)]] or the like. --Wtshymanski 15:14, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Article name question[edit]

If, as the article states, they are most commonly known as "power plants", why is the article located at "power station"? I think WP policy is to use the most common name, is it not? - Bantman 23:51, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

It's a U.S. / British usage thing. Policy is to leave articles about non-country specific topics in the version of English chosen by the original author. Merchbow 02:58, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
As if US/British usage were the only distinction within the anglosphere. But what to do when the original author ignores the country-specific usage? Shouldn't that country's specific usage prevail? "Policy" can be changed, it's not ironclad, and too often a guideline is used as if it were LAW, i.e. strict policy. In the case of the Canadian categories "power station" was imposed by category creators without considering what the titles of the articles themselves were; at the time of a CfD long ago the US usages "power plant" and "powerhouse" were deemed acceptable on US categories, but not on Canadian ones (because I was the only Canadian speaking was the reason used to exclude my input..... see wiktionary "parochial"); but now I see all the US categories and various list articles have all also now been changed to "power station". "Chosen by the original author" is just not good enough a reason nor should it ever have been made a "policy".Skookum1 (talk) 06:10, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Power plant operator[edit]

Is there anything in this article that can be merged into this? Or should they be kept seperated? --Dangherous 18:55, 12 April 2006 (UTC)s

Merged. Wongm (talk) 13:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Excuse me[edit]

I just revised the "Cooling tower and waste heat section so as to make it known that all large and small cooling towers are not necessarily huge hyperbolic chimney-like structures. The hyperbolic cooling towers are natural draft/draught towers mostly used at nuclear power plants and some large thermal power plants. However, many large thermal power plants, petroleum refineries, petrochemical plants, other industrial plants, waste-to-power plants, geothermal plants, etc. use fan induced-draft or fan forced-draft towers which are not at all hyperbolic or chimney-like. When I made my revision, I neglected to use the revision summary for which I apologise. - mbeychok 23:32, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Is there some difference in meaning between power plant and power station?[edit]

Appearance point of view would be the same. But power plant is very limited to what generate power(boiler house,turbine hall,cooling tower,esp,stack,coal bunker & storage)where power station include everything in that area , further with substation, workshop,,resident & etc.This is what I really feel when one say "station" or "plant".user :SKW 26:07:06

To the best of my knowledge, there isn't. --Smack 22:42, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
'Station' to me implies buildings on land - 'plant' could be mobile in ship or other vehicle. (UK viewpoint) - Rod57 (talk) 15:56, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Duplicate mentions of solar energy[edit]

Please don't remove the apparently duplicate mentions of solar energy from this article. Electricity can be generated from sunlight using the photoelectric effect (solar panels), or by just focusing a bunch of light at a central point to create heat. Smack 22:42, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Relative Efficiencies[edit]

I think it would be helpful to discuss the relative efficiencies of different power plants.--Tobyw 13:56, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Power Station Infobox[edit]

I have created a Power Station Infobox Template for use with individual power station articles, most of which have links into this main article. Example uses are Hazelwood Power Station, Victoria and Tumut 2 Power Station, New South Wales. There are almost certainly other fields to add but this is a reasonable start. amitch 13:42, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

How much power?[edit]

How much power do each of these power plant types produce? -Ravedave (help name my baby) 22:27, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Ravedave, according to this report ==> [1], the worldwide production of electricity in 2004 was 17,387 TWh (i.e., 17.4×1015 Wh) of which: Nuclear = 15.8%, Fossil fuel = 65.8%, Hydraulic = 16.4% and Others (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, etc.) = 2.0%. Is that the sort of information you wanted?
Note that 17,387 TWh of annual electricity production is equivalent to producing 1,985 GW of power for 24 hours per day over 365 days. - mbeychok 01:49, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Do we really need 4 articles on the same subject?[edit]

Wikipedia now has these 4 articles, all on the same subject:

Do we really need all of these? In my opinion, this sort of thing reflects badly on Wikipedia. What can we do to get these four articles merged?? - mbeychok 17:54, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Some old discussion at Talk:Thermal_power_station#Do_we_really_need_4_articles_on_the_same_subject.3F.3F - Rod57 (talk) 15:53, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Years later...agree, there is overlap, and refactoring required. Power station is the most general (not all power stations use fuel). Thermal and steam-electric probably should be one article. Not all fossil fuel power plants raise steam (gas turbines, reciprocating engines, oh, and are there any MHD plants left?), fossil fuel plant should talk about the peculiarities of using coal, oil, and natural gas. Not all steam power plants use fossil fuel (biomass and geothermal). And cogeneration sticks its nose in, too. Don't worry about it reflecting badly on Wikipedia...Wikipedia is like the neighbor with pick-up trucks on blocks in his front yard, but you can always borrow tools off him... --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:34, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Percentages of power plant types[edit]

I'd be interested to know how popular each type of power plant is, i.e. 50% Coal, 10% Nuclear. Russau 08:13, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Hot and cold startup[edit]

Anyone know the difference?Chanec 13:23, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I did quite a bit of searching using Google and it appears that:
  • For thermal power plants, a cold startup is a startup that takes place after the power plant has been shut down for at least 48 to 72 hours (the exact number of hours varies from one reference source to another). A hot startup is a startup that takes place after the power plant has been down less than 2 to 48 hours (again the exact number of hours varies from one source to another). In other words, the difference between a cold startup and a hot startup depends on the number of hours that the plant has been shutdown and the exact number varies from one definer to another definer. The importance of the distinction between the two seems to be related to how long a plant may be permitted to exceed the regulatory limits on the air pollutant emissions of nitrogen oxides for example. In some cases, the nitrogen oxides regulatory limits may be different during hot and cold startups than during normal operation.
  • For nuclear power plants, the definitions are different. A hot startup is one that takes place while the nuclear reactivity is still decreasing (i.e., the plant has not yet been fully shut down). A cold startup is one where the nuclear reactivity is no longer decreasing because the plant has been fully shut down. - mbeychok 16:36, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Sense of scale[edit]

How much power does a typical plant produce? What is the range of sizes? Are different sizes used for different applications? -- Beland (talk) 18:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

According to this reference, the largest nuclear power plant in the world is in France and has a capacity of 1445 megawatts/electric. More typical are commercial nuclear power plants of about 1000 MW/E or less. Nuclear power plants aboard ships are commonly much smaller; for example, The nuclear-powered ship NS Savannah had a power capacity of 74 MW. H Padleckas (talk) 07:22, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
You mean 1000 MW/E per reactor. Plants with multiple reactors generate much more than that. For example, Palo Verde has three reactors, each with a capacity over 1000 MW. Aarontu (talk) 12:06, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
And see also List of nuclear power stations and the lists at the end of that list. On the small end, I've seen isolated communities in northern Ontario with diesel plants rated as low as 450 kW prime power, and if someone told me there was a 100 kW central commercial power plant still sending out monthly bills to customers, I'd tend to believe him. No, different sizes are not used for different applications, they pretty much all generate electricity. (OK, some do district heating or trash incineration, too, but that's not strongly correlated with size.) --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:24, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Typical power output:
I have expanded this section (which was very short) with some examples of various power plants. I added a reference for the Gas Turbine examples, because I obtained the info from an external website. I did NOT add references for the Coal, Hydro, Nuke or Wind examples because these are all linked to their own WP pages which contain the power ratings and the references. In other words, did not see value in copying/repeating those references onto this page as they are readily viewable on the individual pages for the power plants used as examples. If anyone wants to pick this up and improve further, feel free to substitute, add, etc.

Turbine1 (talk) 03:13, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Historic power plants?[edit]

Starting a list of historic/museum power plants would be interesting? For example:


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved Kotniski (talk) 06:58, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Power stationElectric energy production station — At present, "power station" can easily be confused with a electric energy station, which is a electric energy distribution point (ie for electric vehicles, ...). The renaming to "electric energy production station" is therefore advised. This as the station converts other forms of energy to electric energy and thus "produces" the electric energy. This name is much clearer and eliminates confusion. (talk) 08:43, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Appears to be a proposal to promote a change to English usage. As such nothing to recommend it in terms of article naming policy. Suspect it will be closed early under WP:SNOW but interested in what others think on this. Andrewa (talk) 14:27, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. Absolutely not. This is not a common usage at all. Wikipedia is descriptive, not proscriptive...we call things what the world calls them, not what some theorist thinks they should be called. Only a Wikipedia contributor would find this confusing. Do not rename. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:07, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. Dpmuk (talk) 10:37, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Orphaned references in Power station[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Power station's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "PV":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 18:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

It's not clear to me that either of these references were intended by the original contributor. I've changed the dangling PV ref tag to a CN. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:21, 27 June 2011 (UTC)


First power station was in Germany?? Sorry, no, it was Cragside e in 1863, I'll update. Twobells (talk) 09:50, 16 February 2014 (UTC)


For the section on energy from renewable sources, could a paragraph about geothermal power plants be included? MezzoMezzo (talk) 11:08, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Current Wars[edit]

The article currently says: although some DC systems persisted to the end of the 20th century. DC systems with a service radius of a mile (kilometer) or so were necessarily smaller
Now this is a widespread misconception. In fact DC is actually better than AC for transmission, and in applications where higher voltages are desirable, like in tramways and underground trains (and even long distance trains) fairly large DC grids have been around since the very beginnings and are still widely used in our present time. For private households on the other hand the challenge was to deliver the power at a voltage sufficiently low to be manageable with only moderate safety regulations. The real advantage of AC is, that it can be easily transformed up to thousands of Volts for low losses on long distance lines, and equally easily transformed down to 110 V for household use.
I don't want to make an edit myself, as I'm not sure about the correct terminology, but I would suggest replacing "DC systems" with something along the lines of "DC grids for public subscribers" or "DC grids for household power".
--BjKa (talk) 20:09, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

But there's no commercial central station DC generation any more. This article is about power stations, not about transmission nor distribution. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:32, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Non-electric power stations[edit]

I guess we don't want to rename this to electric power station (or even generating station) so how can we provide links to (historical) pneumatic and hydraulic power stations (or were they not called power stations ?) ? - Rod57 (talk) 15:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Power station/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

the picture in "solar power stations" of "control room of waste station" may be in wrong place

Last edited at 19:43, 2 December 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 03:19, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Typical power output[edit]

Trying to keep the list of largest power stations up to date seems a fool's errand. We should instead list a few examples, and update it only when something major changes, like if solar plants keep getting bigger and today's typical station becomes small by tomorrow's standards. Kendall-K1 (talk) 13:18, 13 June 2016 (UTC)