Do your power plant operators know their product?
In my experience, electric power plant operators generally have a good handle on basic boiler principles, air flow requirements, fuel BTUs, etc. But the megawatt output? Not so much. Should an electric power plant operator understand the commodity that he or she is creating: electrical power? I think it goes without question that the answer is a resounding yes. In reality, many operators are shy about discussing electrical theory because they are not confident in the subject matter.
As a test, ask your operators these questions:
If your operators can only provide basic answers to these questions, they may not fully comprehend the very product that is the basis for your company’s revenue source. An operator can get by with such limited knowledge, but is that the best you should expect? Having a deeper knowledge of these electrical principles helps ensure a more effective response to plant problems and emergencies and also helps the power plant operators identify less-than-efficient operating practices, all of which helps maintain a better bottom line for your company.
Electrical fundamentals training for operators that focuses on power plant applications is just as important for operators as training in boiler principles or steam dynamics. A good power plant-specific electrical fundamentals training program should include:
A course as described above, made site-specific for your operators and your plant, would allow all of your operators to provide in-depth answers to each of the above questions, plus many more. Your operators will have a new-found confidence in electrical theory as it pertains to your plant and will no longer shy away from this topic.