Attend a Thermal Power Plant Course and Receive Intensive Practical Training on a Simulator
This article details the content of a popular thermal power plant course using computerised simulations to provide safe and effective practical training. Operating the equipment in an electricity-generating plant is demanding and entails significant risks, especially in the case of coal-, gas- and oil-fired installations. Ensuring each operator has the skills required to perform the various day-to-day tasks and deal with emergencies is vital for the safety of the plant, its personnel and the surrounding environment.
However, while it is easy enough to provide instruction in the theoretical aspects of power generation in a classroom, practical instruction poses several problems. On-the-job instruction is slow and can be disruptive while prone to mishaps that could compromise production and safety. Computer simulations have been shown to provide a faster, safer and more effective way to conduct practical exercises. For those who may lack this facility, SimGenics offers plant operators the opportunity to attend an intensive four-day training course.
The programme consists of ten-hour days, the equivalent of one 40-hour working week and is held at our training centre in Colorado. The fees for attending this thermal power plant course cover all necessary training materials, the pre-course and post-course tests and tuition. Learners may choose between two options. One covers the elements of operating coal and gas-fired plants, while the other covers combined cycle installations. The following outline relates to the latter option and is intended to provide a brief overview of the content of each day.
- Day One:
Following the introductions and some time to familiarise themselves with the simulator, learners will begin with a pre-test to determine their relevant needs. The day will proceed using simulations to explain core concepts, including the Rankine and Brayton Cycles, followed by classroom studies of circulating water and condensate systems, ending with simulations covering start-up preparations and more.
- Day Two:
This day begins with discussions covering the fundamentals of popular gas turbine systems, stress control, and temperature matching on heat-recovery steam generators and turbines. Simulations will cover other vital aspects of controlling HRSG and steam turbines, the next steps in the start-up process, the shut-down procedure and malfunctions such as tube leaks. In practice, simulations will account for the majority of the learner’s activity on the second day of this intensive thermal power plant course.
- Day Three:
In contrast to the second day, on which the primary focus was practical training with the aid of simulations, the third day of the course adopts the reverse arrangement and devotes most of the time to classroom studies. These include an HRSG overview, construction, draining and venting, attemperators, bypasses, duct burner operation, tube leaks and leak mitigation. The day ends with simulations finalising the start-up procedure begun on Day One and continued on Day Two, and covers blending and achieving full operation with gas turbine and HRSG systems.
- Day Four:
The final day of the course also focuses on classroom instruction, during which learners will be given an overview of steam turbines, their construction and details of their operational requirements, including stress mitigation and temperature matching. Other studies will cover basic electricity, the construction and operation of generators, and an explanation of VARs and VAR regulation. After the post-course test, the final day of the thermal power plant course ends with more simulator time that includes exercises in stress mitigation, rolling and troubleshooting.
The above is only a guideline. SimGenics aims to provide classroom and simulator-based instruction that meets the known needs of the individual. The theoretical content is standard and is of value to all attendees, but practical requirements frequently vary. When armed with insight gained from pre-course testing and any special requests from a learner’s employer, instructors can leverage the power and versatility of computer simulations to cater to the specified needs of each individual.
Why Simulations Play a Major Role in Our Thermal Power Plant Courses
Those who wonder if four days are sufficient shouldn’t overlook the power of simulations. Like the computer games they are based on, simulations create a compelling, immersive experience that quickly attracts and retains one’s attention. The safe environment inspires confidence and provides ample opportunity for repetition and learning from mistakes, improving retention and reducing the learning curve significantly.
SimGenics is a leading designer of simulated learning systems and the training opportunities described above. If you want to learn more or enrol your trainees in a course, please follow this link.