Water and Steam Terms and Principles

Learning objectives

  • Explain the relationship between energy, heat and phase changes of water
  • Define terms associated with water as heat is added and removed. For example:
    • subcooled liquid
    • saturated liquid
    • saturated steam
    • quality
    • moisture content
    • superheated steam
  • Explain the relationship between operating boiler pressure and the ability of the boiler to utilize natural circulation
  • Describe the concept of the critical point, supercritical fluid and the benefits of operating at such high pressure

Course overview

Water is the working fluid in a typical power plant. Liquid water under high pressure feeds into the boiler where heat is added to turn it to steam. The steam turns the turbine generator to generate electricity. Steam leaves the turbine and goes to the condenser where it turns back to liquid. It is then pumped back into the boiler to start the process again.

During the process, energy is either added or removed from the working fluid. Knowing the terms and principles of the water process is necessary to understand how a power plant's components and systems work.

The Water and Steam Terms and Principles training course explains the relationship between energy, temperature, and the phases of water. It also describes the importance of latent heat, which is associated with water phase changes without a temperature change.

This online training course explains how to calculate quality and moisture content given the weights of steam and water in a vessel. It also explains the relationship of a subcooled liquid, saturated liquid, saturated steam, latent vaporization heat, and superheated steam on a temperature/enthalpy diagram.

This course is part of the Efficiency, Reliability, and Environmentally Sensitive Operations training series.

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