An apparatus for the generation of power is known as a station or plant. When equipped to crank out electricity for the production of light or power it is known as an "Electrical Station" or "Electric Light and Power Station." The expression "Heating Plant" refers to a place where the heat energy of fuel is made obtainable for heating needs by means of the medium of steam or hot water. Generally speaking, facilities or stations are specified according to the method in which the energy of the fuel is utilized.

If a station directs power to some variety of consumers somewhat remote, it is called a Central Station. When the distances are very great, electrical energy of high voltage is usually used, and is transformed and sent out at practical points through Substations. A plant intended to supply power or heat to a building or a collection of complexes under one supervision is called an Isolated Station. One example is, the power plant connected with an office building is commonly labeled an isolated station.

If the exhaust steam from the engines is discharged at near atmospheric pressure, the plant is said to be working non-condensing. When the exhaust steam is condensed, reducing this back pressure upon the piston because of the partial vacuum therefore created, the plant is stated to run condensing.

While the exhaust steam may perhaps be used for manufacturing, heating, or different valuable functions, as is generally the situation in numerous manufacturing establishments, and in substantial office buildings, it is usually more easy on the pocket to run non-condensing, whilst power plants for electric lighting and power, pumping stations, air compressor plants, among others, where the particular load is fairly continuous and also the exhaust steam is not essential for heating, are usually run condensing.

The energy sources used for steam producing are coal, coke, wood, peat, mineral oil, natural along with artificial gases, refuse products and solutions including straw, manure, sawdust, tan bark, bagasse, along with at times corn as well as molasses.

Usually the fuel will be selected which usually produces the desired power for the least expensive price, considering every one of the occasions which may have an impact on its use. Occasionally the disposition regarding waste byproducts may be a issue in the decision, however such situations are rare. The boilers and furnaces are designed to match the particular fuel picked.

All natural solid fuels include more or less earthy and inorganic material which is not combustible and thus remains as ash, while the organic matter is consumed. At times the particular proportion of ash is so great as to render them valueless for steam-making uses.