Difference between Power Plant and Power Station
Key Difference: A power plant or power station both describes the facility for the generation of electricity. Thus, there is no difference between both the terms and can be used interchangeably. In America, people prefer to use the term power plant, while elsewhere any term can be used. A ‘power plant’ may also be used to refer to the engines in vehicles like aircrafts and ships.
Power station and power plant seems to be two different words except the common word power. However, they both refer to the same thing. It means that power plant can also be used to denote a power station or a power station may be used in place of power plant.
Let us define what are these power stations or the power plants. These terms describe the set up in an industrial framework where the electricity is produced or generated through resources. A power plant or power station plays a vital role in many aspects, as the electricity generated by these power houses are utilized in various tasks. We can also describe a power station as a facility to generate electric power. Power in this context can be used as a synonym to electricity.
We define power plant as a generator of electricity. But, have you ever wondered that what is electricity? It is simply the flow or movement of electrons through a material. Now, you may think that how this electricity is generated in power plants. To answer this question, let us understand the process:-
Generally, all power plants follow the same process. Let us describe an example of a simple steam power plant. First the water is boiled by using sources like coil, fossil fuels, etc. The steam that is produced in this process is utilized in turning the blades of turbine. The turbine turns or rotates rapidly due to the steam. Then this turbine turns the huge magnet inside a coil of wire. After this electricity is produced, as the huge magnet changed the mechanical energy into the electrical energy. In the United States, around 90 percent of electricity is harnessed from thermoelectric power plants—coal, nuclear, natural gas, and oil.
If you hear the terms like generating station and powerhouse then do not get confused, as both these are other names for a power plant. Then, the electricity that is produced in a power station is ready to be used by the customers. The network of power lines transmits the electricity to various locations from the power plant.
Next time you switch on a light, then you might think about the whole process of electricity generation and also about the power plant from where the electricity is being transmitted to your home. A small failure in the power plant can create severe problems as today most of the systems are electronic and the dependency on the electricity is increasing day by day.
Image Courtesy: butane.chem.uiuc.edu, en.wikipedia.org