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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Economics of Power Generation

Learning Exercise: Economics of Power Generation

Economics of Power Generation
Ask students to calculate the fuel costs to
run one boiler in this plant at full capacity as specified on the flow diagram. Might also ask them to compare cost for using different fuels.
Course: Energy balances; thermodynamics


Submitted by:
Valerie Young
Date Last Modified:
November 01, 2004


Take virtual tour of the Michigan State University Power Plant on the web.

This website was originally developed by Dr. Carl Lira for one of his courses,
so there may be a few comments in the text that are specific to his course.

Calculate the fuel costs to run one boiler in this plant at full capacity as
specified on the flow diagram.



  • College Lower Division
  • College Upper Division


Power generation
Efficiency, heating value
(Research in technical literature)


Familiarity with steam tables, First Law of Thermodynamics, efficiency

Learning Objectives

(1) Apply the First Law of Thermodynamics to calculate the energy input required to a process
(2) Calculate the cost to operate a process
(3) (Optional) Search for information outside the current course text to complete engineering problems.

Type of Task

  • Core activity
  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Team
  • Unsupervised

Technical Notes

For an in-class exercise, instructor must provide
information about heat transfer efficiency, fuel heating value, fuel costs. If given as homework, students can be required to research typical values for some or all of these parameters.