Skip to content
Related Articles

Related Articles

Difference between Thermal Electricity and Hydro Electricity

View Discussion
Improve Article
Save Article
  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 23 Jun, 2022

The term “thermal” refers to something that happens as a result of heat. The term “thermal electricity” refers to electricity generated by heat. Heat can be created either directly or indirectly via electricity. The thermoelectric effect (directly) is the direct conversion of temperature variations to electric voltage and vice versa.  The setback effect (Thermoelectric effect) turns heat flux into electrical energy in thermoelectric generators. These generators are used to create waste heat energy in power plants and automobiles. Heat energy is utilized to turn water to steam, which rotates a steam turbine that operates an electrical generator in a power station. Any form of heat source, such as coal, petroleum, solar thermal electric, and so on, can be used.

Advantages of Thermal Electricity

  1. In terms of building, the facilities used to create this energy source are the most cost-effective.
  2. It is a form of energy that can be transformed into electric energy using simple techniques.
  3. It is a renewable energy source since heat may be created in a variety of ways.
  4. It is derived from natural resources, such as sunlight.
  5. When compared to fossil energy, it can be stored for a longer period of time.
  6. It is a lucrative energy, meaning that it can be produced.

Disadvantages of Thermal Electricity

  1. It is heavily contaminated as a result of constant greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. The vapors and heat emissions produced by thermal plants have a negative impact on the climate of the region in which they are located.
  3. The water that is used in the process becomes polluted.
  4. The long-term generation of energy from fossil fuels is contingent on the availability of fossil fuel reserves.
  5. River habitats are significantly harmed because they are the outlets for the hot water emitted by the plants.

Uses of Thermal Electricity

  1. The automobile’s motor generates electricity.
  2. Electricity for a wide range of residential uses, such as cooking, ironing clothes, and so on, might be generated.
  3. Used in the production of recycled plastic materials.
  4. In bakeries, they are used in a variety of ways.

Hydro Electricity

The term “Hydro” refers to something that happens as a result of electricity produced by water. The term “thermal electricity” refers to electricity generated by water power.  Hydroelectric power is one of the most profitable renewable energy sources over time since the lifespan of its facilities is so long that it can operate for decades and is the primary source of electricity generation in many nations.

The movement of the producing water stream (kinetic energy) converts electricity into hydroelectric power. How do hydro plants function? We can use some of the kinetic energy of the water to generate electricity by allowing it to run through turbines on its journey to the sea.

Advantages of Hydro Electricity

  1. It is a clean energy, just like other sources of renewable energy.
  2. They provide a high level of energy independence in terms of energy importation.
  3. Localities in the vicinity of a hydroelectric power station may profit from a boost in their domestic economies.
  4. It is an entirely renewable source of energy.
  5. It is a very low-risk and safe energy source.

Disadvantages of Hydro Electricity 

  1. There is a significant environmental impact, which affects riverbeds.
  2. The energy transportation and distribution infrastructure is expensive.
  3. It is influenced by what reduces the water levels in the reservoirs during dry periods.
  4. The available land for hydroelectric plants is nearly depleted.
  5. Large tracts of land are required depending on the type of reservoir, which has an impact on the fauna.
  6. A hydroelectric plant requires a significant initial expenditure to get up and running.

Uses of Hydro Electricity

  1. Generating Clean Electricity.
  2.  Flood Risk Management.
  3.  Enabling Irrigation for Agriculture.
  4.  Offering Recreational Facilities.

Thermal Electricity

 Hydro Electricity

1. It is produced using petroleum (oil) or coal. It was produced by the water falling on turbines.
2. Its resources (coal and oil) are finite. Its source is inexhaustible since it is perpetual.
3. It is costly in the long term. It is less expensive in the long run.
4. The combustion of coal and oil produces significant pollutants. It does not pollute the environment.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Why is thermal power plant efficiency so low?


At the condenser, heat rejection results in the loss of over 50% of the heat produced. As heat rejection without it is not possible, it cannot be avoided. Possible to run the turbine without a reduction in temperature by converting heat energy to mechanical energy. Therefore, the condenser is where the majority of the loss occurs. Consequently, the thermal power plant’s efficiency is between 30 and 35 percent.

Question 2: What Cycle Runs the Thermal Power Plant?


  The Rankin cycle is the basis for how thermal power plants operate.

Question 3: Why are thermal power plants’ generation voltage ranges from 11 kV to 33 kV? 


The cross section of a current-carrying conductor is dependent on the amount of current it is carrying and the thickness of the insulation is dependent on the maximum size.

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Recommended Articles
Page :

Start Your Coding Journey Now!