block-type thermal power station
A block-type thermal power station, fueled by biomass, at Wilmersdorf, near Berlin. Image credit: Isolierungen Leipzig.
A block-type thermal power station (BTTP) is a type of power plant that supplies both electricity and heat energy. The latter can be used, for example, for residential heating.
In a block-type thermal power station, also known as a block-unit heating power plant, electricity is produced by a generator which is powered by a combustion engine (or other means such as fuel cells). But instead of the thermal energy produced by the combustion engine going to waste (by being discharged into a river), as it would be in a conventional power station, it is piped away to provide heat for nearby houses, apartments, or businesses.
BTTPs may be fueled by oil, natural gas, wood, or various biomass materials. Even in the case where they burn fossil fuels, BTTPs enable optimal use of these non-renewable resources.