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8 Benefits of Using Simulators in Power Plant Operator Training Courses

As the regulations guiding the energy industry, as well as processes, have changed over the last few years – and specifically referring to the deregulation of the industry in many territories – it has caused challenges related to the staffing of plants. Deeply reduced staffing levels lead to more reliance on existing personnel, and an increased risk of human error combined with less room for mistakes. In such a volatile environment, the need for high-quality, effective power plant operator training courses is higher than ever.

Simulators Are Essential for Skills Development in The Modern Landscape

As technology advances, the need exists for education methods to also evolve to keep up. Simulators offer an ideal solution to delivering effective and up to date power plant operator training courses to ensure that team members are always up to date and sufficiently skilled for the safe and efficient running of plants and units.

Here are the top eight reasons why using state-of-the-art simulators are the ideal solutions for the development of effective power plant operator training courses:

1. Faster and More Effective

Focussed, comprehensive training has a positive impact on numerous plant operations. One of the leading benefits is the fact that it enables operator vacancies to be filled more quickly, reducing the impact of, and challenges and costs associated with staff turnover in this role. Simulation-driven power plant operator courses are also the best to get your current team upskilled when new procedures or equipment is introduced.

2. Safe, Controlled Environment

Simulations allow operators to apply the knowledge they have gained in a realistic, real-time virtual environment that replicates all the details of the actual work environment. However, this exposure comes without any of the risks associated with placing a trainee in a live environment without restrictive supervision.

3. Enables Training for Abnormal Power Plant Conditions

The simulated environment also provides the perfect opportunity for providing risk-free training related to the handling of abnormal conditions that exceeds the limits of theoretical training only. This training enhances the response time of a team, as well as improves operational flexibility.

4. No Downtime

Wherever possible, a power plant needs to avoid unnecessary downtime at almost any cost. Downtime should strictly be limited to carefully planned maintenance schedules. Simulation-based operator training courses reduce the need to disrupt ongoing operations and eliminate the risk of human error during training.

5. Equally Suited to New Recruits and To Upskill or Refresh Current Team Members

Unlike the rigidity of many traditional operator courses, a full-scale simulation based on a specific power plant can be utilised to provide training for a variety of scenarios and skill levels – from onboarding new team members to introducing new procedures and/or equipment to existing team members.

6. Suitable for a Wide Array of Applications

SimGenics is a global leader in providing power plant operator courses as well as the powerful software platform SimuPACT, which is used to create realistic, detailed simulations for training. These can applied to all of the following applications:

  • Natural gas
  • Open cycle plants
  • Combined cycle plants
  • Drum boiler plantsDrum boiler plants
  • Sub-critical, once-through boiler plants
  • Super critical, once-through boiler plants
  • Nuclear
  • High-temperature gas reactor
  • Pressurised water reactor (proof of concept)

7. It is Customisable

SimGenics uses the powerful software platform SimuPACT for creating detailed realistic simulated environments that are highly customisable. This platform sports a totally open, customisable architecture. Using any Microsoft .NET capable programming language, engineers can easily develop and integrate their own solvers, libraries, or schedulers, or even control all simulator functionality from an external application.

8. Up to Date

With technology that evolves at the speed of light, there is always the concern that some traditional courses might not feature the very latest information or scenarios available. The customisable, detailed SimuPACT simulations eliminate this concern, as it can be adapted to meet the exact needs of a specific plant.

Get Access to Industry-Leading Power Plant Operator Training Courses

SimGenics is an advanced plant simulator development company that specialises in engineering, training, and DCS check-out simulators, and our solutions are trusted by the industry globally. We provide cutting-edge power plant operator training courses to industry giants, such as Eskom and MidAmerican Energy. Get in touch with our team to find out more about what our solutions can do for you.

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