Operator Training for the Power Industry

-by Veena Ravishankar & Lakshmana Rao

For any business, an effective employee training and qualification program is worth the investment, the power industry is no exception to this. Power industry managers always ensure that they have well trained operators for safe operation of the power plants. Operator training promotes job satisfaction and improves safety and productivity. The training programs typically consist of system operations, simplified flow diagrams, overall plant operations, best practices, and evaluation & certification.

Operator training is required for the operating plants as well as for the newly constructed plants. The training can be accomplished both in-house and also using external training consultants. Power producers used to have a separate training department for imparting knowledge to its employees on continuous basis using case-studies and analyses of various operating scenarios. The in-house training assets are gradually eliminated due to competitive nature in power industry.

External training consultants with industry experience can be used to create generic or customised training programs. In the generic training, the existing plant documentation will be used as a basic frame work. System operational manuals will be prepared by gathering relevant information that is required to know by the trainees to perform the assigned tasks. The equipment details mainly will be collected from the equipment vendor’s documentation, which is normally generic in nature.

The training can also be customised through assessment of training needs of individuals or organisation. The assessment reveals weak areas of knowledge and operational skills. Appropriate training program can be developed to fill the existing knowledge gaps by way of revising the basics / fundamentals and also by utilising the existing plant documentation and operating knowledge received from the experienced experts in the team to enhance the job performance of individuals

TCE while providing design and engineering consultancy services to clients in India and world over, being a leading consultant, logical extension O&M training has become our forte. Owner’s O&M staff get trained while the plant was under commissioning. Normally, trainers will be the subject matter experts and cover entire O&M training in all areas of disciplines viz., mechanical, electrical, instrumentation & control (I&C). The training suite has various modules covering individual system operations, overall plant operation, discipline wise subjects, maintenance aspects and evaluation & certification. The duration of the training can be made to suit the owner’s requirements.

In the back office, the trainers get oriented towards the project specific details through discussions with the project team. Along with project specific details the training material also covers best practices, case studies gained through experience, lessons learnt etc. The material will be shared with the trainees prior to the commencement of the training. Daily question & answer sessions are also kept during the training. The practical part of training includes specific joint site visits. Once the training is over, the material will be updated to include additional details trainees had specifically requested for and will be shared with the owner.

Both O&M staff and the management can greatly get benefited with the comprehensive training. This would reduce the knowledge gaps present, improve the quality of the operating personnel and also minmise the operational errors. This promotes safe and efficient power plant operation as envisaged in the plant design.

TCE offers such comprehensive operator training for power industry and the best part is, if you ask for O&M training you get our design basis knowledge also automatically. This enables operators to acquire knowledge more holistically.

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