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What is a Condenser ?

A condenser is a device or unit used to condense a substance from its gaseous to its liquid state, typically by cooling it. In so doing, the latent heat is given up by the substance, and will transfer to the condenser coolant.

Surface Condenser

Surface Condenser

How is thermal power plant “condenser” is different from other condenser ?

In thermal Power plant we use surface condenser. Surface condenser is the commonly used term for a water-cooled shell and tube heat exchanger installed on the exhaust steam from a steam turbine in thermal power stations.

How does Surface Condenser works ?

The working of a surface condenser is given below

Surface Condenser

Surface Condenser

Cross-sectional schematic diagram of a power plant condenser for condensing exhaust steam from a steam turbine. This condenser is single-pass on both the tube and shell sides with a large opening at the top for the exhaust steam to enter and a hotwell at the bottom where condensate water drips down to and collects. Circulating water for cooling is shown in light greenish color and condensate is light blue. Note also that the springs at the condenser support pads or the expansion joint at the turbine exhaust are designed in for thermal expansion and a normal installation includes either one or the other, not both like in this diagram. (wiki)

  1. simrandip singh permalink

    how does cooling water load is tranferred to turbine foundation

  2. atulkrishnathakur permalink

    after precipitetion from the tubes water falls down on the sump and it collects on the base and from there it goes to the turbine. then the flow of of water is regulated

  3. sapna permalink

    this is very nice. but why is need convert steam into water? directly steam can feed into boiler??

    • khmitesh permalink

      Can you please elaborate more on your querry ?

    • Paulkumar Ramaiah permalink

      nice question. But plz know the fact, the steam coming out from turbine only having pressure less than atmospheric (ie, around 0.18 ata). And generally at this pressure the steam cannot flow inside pipe. so pumping is required(also we need steam at high pressure in turbine inlet), that why we condensing the steam into water & then pumping water into boiler to generate high pressure steam.

    • P.J. Kanziya: D.E Turbine maintenance: KLTPS, Gujrat permalink

      Also, one reason is that the heat energy supplied in boiler is not completely convert in to work as some part of heat energy can not be convert in to work and it must be requrired to remeove this heat from close cycle to add further heat. otherwise, the net out put will be reduce in every cycle and after certain duration only non-convertable heat is balance in cyacle and work done is zero.just like our body, we drink water / eat food and required to remove the unused waste form body otherwise, the functioning of our body is disturbe.

    • ankur patel permalink

      Bcs..,BFP is not able to pressurize steam….so we have to convert steam into water

  4. @ sapna:-By having a condenser the steam flow through the turbine will be fast and steady with no back flows, if inlet and outlet of turbine as at the same pressure, then tubine will be like a container only.

  5. Manu permalink

    Specific volume of steam is around`14500 times more than that of water at the condenser pressure and temperature. Hence for handling such high volume of steam needs very very big size of pumps.

  6. ashley permalink

    why the condensed water which is hot already is not supplied to boiler directly but is send to cooling tower for cooling ?

  7. Engr. Md. Abu Hanif permalink

    Any body help me please I am looking for a condenser to reduce the waste water temperature from 48 degree Celsius to 30 degree ..

    • On above application, Circulation water (ACW) Inlet Temp. about ambient level & outlet around +5*C or even more, now if you want less discharge Temp. from hot well 48* to 30*C, then you need to feed CW lower than ambient and also need to extent Condenser operating vacuum level. But what i know, it is un-desirable for this application.

  8. Engr. Md. Abu Hanif permalink

    Any body help me …waste water temperature is 48 degree Celsius and the total quantity or volumeor flow of water is 400 m3/hr.

  9. Jagadeeswari permalink

    I understand the matter it was so meaningful could u please explain the advantages of condenser


  11. phaneendra permalink


  12. Saikat Maity permalink

    what is work in Hot wall this condenser

  13. Akshay naik permalink

    Thnx for give such good discription about condenser..

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