World-class teaching lab prepares next generation of plant operators
The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades near Philadelphia has been training power plant operations professionals for 112 years, and its graduates hold top positions at many major gencos, refineries, equipment suppliers, and design and construction companies. Testimonials indicate that it provides one of the best models for training tomorrow’s plant operators.
Coal: The cornerstone of America’s energy future
In April 2005, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman asked the National Coal Council to develop a “report identifying the challenges and opportunities of more fully exploring our domestic coal resources to meet the nation’s future energy needs.” The council has responded with eight specific recommendations for developing and implementing advanced coal processing and combustion technologies to satisfy our unquenchable thirst for energy.
Gencos embrace benchmarking as strategic tool
Today’s utility business models re-emphasize utilities’ traditional mission—producing and delivering reliable, affordable power. Tracking how well that mission is executed is the raison d’être of modern plant performance benchmarking.
Improving the reliability of turbine lube oil supply
Five years ago, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 3 turbine experienced substantial damage after the supply of oil to its bearings failed. Because the turbine coasted down without oil after it tripped, its bearings, journals, and steam path needed extensive repairs. A follow-up investigation revealed lube oil system vulnerabilities that were subsequently corrected. The lessons learned might also improve your turbine-generators’ lube oil reliability, saving you many millions in lost revenues.
Safety still Job No. 1 for PRB users
If coal is to be “America’s energy future” (see p. 42), the work of the Powder River Basin Coal Users’ Group (PRBCUG) will have a lot to do with making…
Legal & Regulatory
Focus on O&M
Standardizing PdM, fleetwide
The pressure on power producers to supply reliable electricity is unyielding. Forced outages, which usually are caused by unexpected component failure or systemic problems, can prove very costly to both…
Monitor your fluid levels online
Although fluid monitoring technology has come of age in recent years, its level of sophistication varies widely across industries. Some users of bulk chemicals, fuels, and other fluids use state-of-the-art…
Computer-based hydro plant scheduling
Hydroelectric power plant managers face unique scheduling challenges. They have a finite amount of water in their reservoirs available for energy production, and they need to schedule generation according to…
Speaking of Power
Richard Nixon was the master of the “big lie” in politics. Once, when his cronies expressed concern about some “liberal” statements he had made, he told them to “ignore what…