power plant safety training

Investment in Power Plant Operator Training Courses is Crucial

In 1878, when the world’s first power station began operating in the English county of Northumberland, it prompted a reaction that, within a couple of years, led to the establishment of similar plants in several cities across both the UK and the US. Since those pioneering years, electricity has fueled a second industrial revolution and, today, power plant operator training courses have never been more important.

In practice, while some countries may have been more affected than others, the industry as a whole has been beset by problems that can often make it difficult to ensure that supplies manage to keep pace with demands. Despite a possible reprieve resulting from the reduced demands by industry and commerce during the Covid-19 lockdown, an eventual return to the steadily increasing thirst for electricity seems inevitable. How well plants will manage to cope is rather less certain, however. Frequently faced with ageing equipment and a limited pool of experienced personnel, effective power plant operator training courses are helping many in this industry to better cope with the day-to-day challenges of maintaining the nation’s electricity supply.

Even without the layoffs resulting from lockdown, a tendency among power plant personnel to migrate into other industries combined with natural attrition rates has led to a significant decline in the availability of operators and engineers with experience in power generation. While suitable candidates could, indeed, simply be trained at the “coalface”, this is an option that can prove to be somewhat disruptive, particularly at a time when maintaining full productivity is paramount. Not only can third-party power plant operator training courses be more convenient, but they can also be markedly more effective than in-house instruction.

While the option appears to have merit, how is it possible to train operatives effectively at an off-site location? Even though the physical location may differ, with the aid of suitable computer simulations, the service provider can recreate a working environment that is sufficiently similar to that of a trainee’s workplace to ensure a realistic and valid learning experience. In practice, power plant operator training courses often employ simulations of a generic nature. In which case, although the trainee will be able to master all of the control measures needed to handle their duties, familiarity with the physical layout of those controls will only be gained at the trainee’s workplace.

With the aid of a detailed study of a given workplace layout and a suitable software design platform, it is possible to create a simulation that will satisfy both of these needs. The physical and operational details can be combined to ensure that power plant operator training courses provide a simulated operating experience that is both authentic and 100% relevant to a trainee’s needs.

Shortage of experienced staff and inadequate infrastructure are just two of the challenges the industry now faces. Given the growing fears regarding the possible involvement of fossil fuels in global warming and the increasingly visible occurrence of climate anomalies, generating stations are also under pressure to migrate to greener production methods. With some power companies already supplementing existing output from solar, wind, geothermal, or hydroelectric sources, not only does the demand for power plant operator training courses seem set to increase but their content will need to become more diverse.

That said, the greater portion of the electricity consumed worldwide is derived from the combustion of coal, oil, or gas. Consequently, for the foreseeable future, maintaining and improving the operation of nuclear and fossil-fuel generating plants must continue to remain the primary focus of both the industry’s recruiters and those who train its recruits.

Recognised as a global leader in the design and delivery of power plant operator training courses, to date, we at SimGenics, LLC have developed more than 75 simulators while extending our service to include developing the relevant manuals. Offerings include the more economical option of access to a suitable generic training simulation or the development of a bespoke simulator that mirrors the client’s layout in every detail. In each case, the simulation may be either full or partial in its scope.

The company’s insistence on the highest quality possible, combined with its willingness to go the extra mile, have allowed it to deliver the most comprehensive power plant operator training courses available to the industry today.

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