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Steam power is utilised in a wide variety of practical applications. These applications are categorised based upon the following criteria:

  • Type of fuel used in creating the steam
  • Energy production
  • Energy use

Here is a table detailing the various different applications which employ steam turbines in their industrial processes:

PLANT TYPE DESCRIPTION APPLICATION
Co-generation (COGEN) 
Co-generation (COGEN)
Power is generated from steam created by by-product of industry. Kernels from palm oil mills, bagasse from sugar mills, empty fruit bunches.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) 
Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
Steam is used for creating heat. Incidental power produced is sold to the grid. Food processing, process industries, pharmaceuticals, chemicals. This is exclusively used for space and water heating, for purposes such as district heating.
Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) and Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) 
Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) and Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP)
Used in systems with hot streams that have potential amounts of heat energy, such as hot flue gases. Can either be extracted for use in a co-generation plant or used to drive a steam turbine (combined cycle). Gas engines and turbines, blast furnaces from metalworking plants, natural gas or Syngas plants.
Incidental Power generation from Incineration (INCR) 
Incidental Power generation from Incineration (INCR)
During waste incineration, steam arises as a by-product and can be harvested for energy production. Any incineration plant dealing with industrial, hazardous or solid wastes. This must be disposed of in a sanitary and safe manner in order to comply with the law.
Captive Power Plant (CPP) 
Captive Power Plant (CPP)
All steam is directed towards creating power, as in partial or complete captive consumption. Excess power is sold back to the grid. Barge-mounted power plants (i.e. offshore IPPs) and biomass IPPs (coal-fired, wood-fired, rice husk or gasification plants).
Independent Power Producer (IPP) 
Independent Power Producer (IPP)
Commercial power consumption, for example in utility companies, off-grid power solutions or exporting to the grid. Barge-mounted power plants (i.e. offshore IPPs) and biomass IPPs (coal-fired, wood-fired, rice husk or gasification plants).
Non-conventional Energy Sources (NCER) 
Non-conventional Energy Sources (NCER)
Using sources which are not traditional and could be renewable to generate steam power from their latent heat. Geothermal power plants, solar thermal power plants.
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