Power Stations Can Create Realistic Scenarios for Practical Exercises with a Training Simulator

power plant training simulator
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Safety is a constant concern in the electricity-generating industry, and a training simulator can eliminate the dangers of on-the-job practical instruction. While it is not generally known, coal- and oil-fired power stations have one of the highest incidences of injuries and fatalities. Superheated steam under pressure, spontaneously combustible coal dust and electric shock are just three of the potentially fatal hazards to which power station operators and engineers are exposed daily. Only the skills they are taught and the experience they gain protect them, their co-workers and the plant and maintain the electricity supply to the nation’s consumers.

The Benefits of Using a Training Simulator are Not Limited to Improved Safety

The traditional classroom approach to teaching the theoretical aspects of practical tasks has proved to be more than adequate, especially with the introduction of powerful visual aids such as animated videos. However, practical instruction requires more than chalk and talk and an explanatory movie to be effective. In addition to being safer, conducting practical work with a training simulator offers trainers three significant advantages. Let’s explore these in more detail.

A Training Simulator Can Enhance Trainer Productivity

  • Manage Larger Groups

When conducting on-the-job practical instruction with the traditional “watch me and repeat” approach, it is difficult to deal with more than one or two learners at a time. Sessions must often be repeated to cope with any additional recruits. By contrast, a training simulation is a computer program which can be distributed across a network, allowing a single tutor to supervise the practical activities of multiple trainees.

  • Provide Hints on Demand, Set Tests and Timed Tasks

When conducting live practical instruction, a tutor can offer learners a helpful hint if they appear to be struggling. Later, when back in the classroom, they can also set written quizzes to test their learners’ progress. The specialised software can permit the instructor to include on-screen hints and tests as an integral component of a given task when utilising a training simulator. In addition, a trainer can measure the time each learner takes to complete a specific virtual task. In the case of hints, these can be set to display for any learner who appears to be having difficulties performing the related task.

  • Automate Administrative Tasks

One can add essential admin functions by incorporating the relative modules in the basic training simulator software. The extended functionality can be used to keep track of each trainee’s test scores and how long they take to complete any timed tasks. After analysing the collected data, the results will be used to generate individual printed progress reports automatically, saving valuable time.

A Training Simulator is Inherently More Effective than Conventional On-the-job Instruction

The ability to capture a learner’s attention and hold it is crucial. Few things have proven more effective in achieving these aims than computer games. Like Call of Duty and others in this genre, a training simulator provides an immersive first-person experience that transforms learning from a necessary chore into a compelling pursuit and benefits trainees in the following ways:

  • Reinforces the Learning Experience and Improves Retention

Undoubtedly, the two most potent learning tools are the freedom to repeat an action until it is perfected and the opportunity to learn from one’s mistakes. Sadly, the conventional trainer has no time to offer learners these options in the real world. Fortunately, the virtual world has no such constraints. When using a training simulator, an accidental release of steam or a stray spark in the coal-storage area will pose no threat to life and limb or the plant’s infrastructure. Trainees can view the possible outcome of their errors, and once they have discovered the correct action, they are free to repeat it as often as necessary until it becomes second nature.

  • Enables Trainees to Practice Handling Emergencies

Although less effective, providing live training for routine tasks like startups and shutdowns is, at least, feasible. However, merely conducting a standard test procedure led poorly-trained personnel to trigger a disastrous meltdown in the nuclear facility at Chernobyl. Only a training simulator can teach learners to handle life-threatening emergencies effectively without putting them and the plant at risk.

SimGenics is a Leading Developer of Training Simulations

For faster, safer and more effective practical instruction, download the brochure for our advanced SimuPACT software suite or contact us to discuss other options, such as a generic or bespoke training simulator.

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