Although gas turbines are used throughout the power generation industry, their design and operation can vary greatly. These gas turbines can be simple cycle or combined cycle, can run on various fuels (sometimes simultaneously), and can have a variety of design features and operational complexity. Despite all of these differences, they all have one thing in common: THE OPERATOR.
The operator is the person ultimately responsible for the operation of the gas turbine systems. In many cases, these operations have been greatly automated – the operator can start the turbine with the push of a button or the click of a mouse. Under normal circumstances, the turbine systems start up and operate as designed, and minimal, if any, operator involvement is necessary. However, these automated systems are not perfect, and often an issue arises which requires operator intervention to stop the process or to correct a problem to allow the process to continue.
Is the operator able to respond to these errors? Does the operator have the knowledge and ability to identify issues and to take action to correct them? The ability of the gas turbine to come on-line for power generation depends on the knowledge and capability of the operator.
To be able to properly operate this complex piece of machinery, the operator must understand not just HOW the system works, but WHY the system works – the theory behind the operations is just as critical as the operations themselves. Additionally, operators must understand not just normal operations, but abnormal operations as well – what to do in the event of equipment malfunction. Training programs are crucial to maintaining the operational ability of a gas turbine facility.
There are several key components to consider when developing a training program:
Successful facilities use this method to develop a multi-tiered approach to training, which includes an initial training and qualification program for new operators, a continuing training program, and specific needs training for one-time training situations, such as critical facility upgrades.
Can your gas turbine facility improve operational readiness and achieve business goals through training?