POWER PLANT OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE: SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE IS KEY

What is horsepower? Corepower is a key element to delivering advanced, safe and reliable electrical power and energy services to both industrial and commercial users. Its core responsibility is to deliver the necessary service to power plants and associated infrastructure through a wide diversified portfolio of thermal generation, transmission, and storage technologies. In doing so, it renders a host of benefits to both consumers and the industry as a whole.

Power plant operation and maintenance

A power plant typically consists of several different technologies that all employ thermal processes to achieve their results. These processes can include hot gas or electricity gas combustion, gas turbine combustion, or dry gas burning technologies such as shot gas turbines or electricity generators. To cater to the various needs of these various technologies, many power plants incorporate a diverse range of apparatuses including thermal oxidizers, dryers, heat exchangers, and burners. Together, these apparatuses allow for the safe and reliable transfer of heat through a wide temperature range and to an appropriate application.

When it comes to operational efficiency, however, power plants often make do with a poor array of technologies, and frequently experience a long series of maintenance and operational interruptions due to clogged air filters, aged air compressors, damaged or non-functional air conditioning controls, and dirty or noisy compressors. Such shortcomings often translate into an inability to sufficiently perform their required tasks throughout a full period of operation, or to maintain the desired temperatures inside the buildings that they are located in. At the worst possible times, these outages can result in huge losses in the economy of the area in which the power plants are located. Likewise, if a power plant requires to be shut down for routine maintenance, this process often delays the start of a new business, is inconvenient for employees, and can be costly to taxpayers. Enter the concept of renewable energy, which allows for the integration of existing power plants with new renewable energy generating technologies, such as the MWh (MWr) technology.

MWh technology allows for a natural means of combining a natural gas generating plant with a power plant operation and maintenance solution. What makes this type of technology so attractive is the fact that it can provide a consistent supply of energy, while reducing the necessity for expensive fossil fuel generation and emission management solutions, and emissions from the actual power generation process itself. By providing constant and reliable full contract power plant operations and maintenance services, companies that operate under a full contract with these companies will also be in a position to take advantage of the opportunity to create a residual revenue stream from the generation of MWh power by this renewable energy source. Furthermore, with a full understanding of both the MWh and its advantages, businesses operating under this full contract support can also understand the operation of a combined cycle facility and can proactively work to expand the operation of the power plant through proper monitoring and maintenance services.

From a business standpoint, there are two main advantages to operating under a full contract with either a gas or electricity generating facility. First, through the use of contracted renewable energy generation, companies that have contracted these operations and maintenance services can be assured of consistent and reliable generation of energy, with an increased emphasis on a full supply of renewable resources, while also providing ongoing and proper maintenance services. Second, under these conditions companies are able to offer a full range of services and programs to their customers through the provision of contracted construction design, field installation and operation, as well as a wide range of generation options and programs. In addition to offering a full range of services, these companies also maintain records of past and current projects, as well as a full assessment of the systems in place at the generating facility. This enables companies that are under a full contract to assess and determine the optimal level of usage for a given facility over a period of time. In this way, a company can also tailor their commercial operation to meet the unique needs of its customers, reducing waste and ensuring a consistently high level of efficiency and productivity.

On a more practical level, power plant operations and maintenance often require a trained and experienced personnel. These personnel are highly skilled in a wide range of fields, including mechanical engineering, construction, electrical engineering, communications and safety administration. In addition, many qualified employees are also trained in specific fields of construction, such as plumbing, heating, insulation, and roofing. While they perform their jobs in the operation and maintenance of the power plant, many of these individuals are also employed in the construction of the building or facility itself. Many construction projects include the placement of numerous air conditioning units, generators, boilers, and large heat exchangers. The location and function of these units must closely match the size and nature of the facility, in order to prevent costly mistakes during construction.

For many construction companies and power plant operators, the importance of having a professional service provider that is capable of maintaining and repairing a wide variety of technologically-advanced machines cannot be underestimated. In fact, repairing a piece of equipment in a power plant is just as important, if not more so, than actually replacing the unit. Repairing a damaged or worn out machine, component, or system can significantly decrease the costs and time needed to return to normal operation. These types of repairs often include the replacement of worn or broken parts, replacing damaged or frayed wiring, and replacing or repairing damaged components. A quality service provider should also be able to offer a comprehensive array of services, ranging from routine maintenance to on-site emergency repairs.

For example, a company that is contracted to perform routine maintenance on a steam plant’s boilers will likely need to replace or repair thousands of these machines over the course of its lifetime. Similarly, a maintenance company that works with an operator to repair or replace a large number of air conditioning units could very well have many different types of machines in a large facility, requiring them to specialize in a specific type of repair. If the company does not have an extensive inventory of the necessary parts and machinery necessary for all types of repairs, it could incur quite a bit of unexpected downtime. This would be a situation that would certainly affect the company’s ability to stay operational.