Advantages of thermal power plants : i) Less initial cost as compared to other power plants. ii) It requires less space as compared to hydroelectric plants. iii) The main fuel used in these plants is coal which is quite cheap. iv) It can be installed at any place irrespective of the existence of fuel while the hydroelectric plants can be developed only at the source of water supply. v) Such power plants are able to respond to rapidly changing loads without difficulty. vi) Transmission costs in such plants are reduced because these plants can be located near the load centers while hydroelectric plant have essentially to be installed at source of water power thus increasing transmission costs. vii)The cost of generation is lesser than that of the diesel power station. viii) A portion of steam raised can be used as process steam in various industries such as sugar mills, paper mills, refineries, textile mills, plastic manufacture and chemical works etc.
Disadvantages of thermal power plants: i) High maintenance and operating costs. ii) It pollutes the atmosphere due to the production of large amount of smoke and fumes. iii) Disposal of ash is quite difficult. iv) Requires huge quantity of water. v) Handling of coal is difficult. vi) Costlier in running cost as compared to hydroelectric plant.
Merits of Thermal Power Plant-
1. Cost of fuel:- Fuel used in thermal power station (TPS) is cheaper than cost of fuel used in diesel & nuclear power station. 2. Capital cost:- Capital cost of TPS is less than hydro & nuclear power station. 3. Near load center:- TPS can be located near load center. The coal can be transport from coal mines to power plant. As it is located load centre it reduces transmission cost and losses in it. 4. Space required:- Less space required as compared to hydro power station. 5. Generating cost:- TPS can be built/construct of high generating capacity. 6. Generating capacity:- TPP can be build/construct of high generating capacity, so used as a base load power plant 7. Overload capacity:- Steam engines and turbine can work under 25% overloads continuously. 8. Time required for completion of project:- Time required for completion of TPP project is very less as compare to hydro power station.
Demerits of Thermal Power Plant-
1. Air pollution:- It produces air pollution due to smoke and ash produced during combustion of fuel. 2. Starting Time:- TPP cannot be put into service immediately like HPP. As thermal power plant required few hours (6-7 hour) to generate steam at high pressure and high temperature. 3. Handling of fuel:- Handling of coal and disposal of ash is quite difficult. 4. Fuel transportation cost:- When power plant are located away from coal mines i.e. near load centre at that time fuel transportation cost is more. 5. Preparation for fuel:- There is more expenditure for preparation of coal (raw coal to pulverized coal) 6. Space required:- Large amount of space is required for storage of fuel and ash as compare to NPP.. 7. Efficiency:- It is less efficient power plant overall efficiency is maximum 30 %. 8. Stand by losses:- Stand by losses are more as furnace is required to keep in operation even when there is no load.9. Maintenance cost:- High maintenance and operating cost because number of axillaries plant are required such as coal and ash handling plant, pulverizing plant, condensing plant and water purification plant etc. 10. Availability of fuel:- Less availability of high grade coal. 11. Simplicity and cleanness:- Layout of thermal power plant is complicated than HPP due to coal and ash 12. Life:- Life of TPP is less than HPP 13. Cost per unit (cost of generation)- High