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Power Plant Operations & Control Fundamentals

2-Day Training Course: An Operations Bridging Course. This 2 day course is designed to assist operating, engineering & technical staff in effective day-to-day management of a power plant. It will examine power plant systems, with insight into preventing breakdowns, failures & cost overruns while maintaining maximum plant efficiency, availability & safety

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate a basic appreciation and understanding of the power plant process and of unit cycle principles
  • Identify the particular hazards and the appropriate precautions associated with the plant and process systems
  • Identify and discuss effective communication techniques
  • Examine instrumentation and control features including permissive conditions, interlocks, alarm and trip conditions
  • Determine requirements for the competent, safe and reliable operation of plant
  • Examine plant efficiencies and controllable losses
  • Identify abnormal plant and process conditions and the associated incident response mechanisms
  • Discuss renewable sources of alternative power generation and their operational requirements
  • Discuss environmental licensing, controls and carbon capture options

About the Course

A typical power station burns millions of dollars worth of fuel every week. Maximising plant efficiency in the face of plant problems, operational requirements and changes in fuel supply can save thousands of dollars each week and reduce the environmental impact of power generation.

This course provides an overview of the configuration, operation, performance and maintenance of large coal-fired boiler-turbine generator and gas turbine plants.

The course will include an introduction to plant monitoring principles and routines which must be performed by operating staff to maintain optimum plant and process performance.

It introduces the context for operating all types of power plants in a competitive energy market where understanding the context of the network is a crucial aspect of operations. Real plant scenarios, events and problems will be a feature of this course.

As a result of the course, participants will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of conventional, combined-cycle and co-generation plant and process systems, including process control principles and practices.

Who Will Benefit

This 2 day course is designed to assist in the effective interaction of the day-to-day management of a power plant. This will be realised through improved awareness of plant operating principles and practicalities. Those from power stations who will benefit from attending are operating staff, engineering staff, technical staff and supervisory staff


Mal Keeley


Mal is very knowledgeable and experienced. He takes time to describe everything and gives enough examples to clarify.”
Solutions Engineer, Siemens

Mal is a very passionate and friendly instructor who has a great depth of experience.”
Technical Specialist, Melbourne Water

Mal Keeley is excellent, personable and very competent. I would enjoy and learn from any course run by him..”
Project Engineer, Siemens

Course Outline


  • Fundamental principles
  • Acronyms
  • Plant identification
  • Safety systems

Thermal plant configuration and operations

  • Review of power plants across Australia (coal and gas fired)
  • Fuel sources
  • Boiler plant
  • The steam and water cycle
  • Subcritical and supercritical boilers
  • Turbine plant
  • Condensate and feedwater heating systems
  • Generator plant
  • Electrical systems
  • Cooling water systems
  • Balance of plant systems

Gas turbine plant configuration and operations

  • Gas turbines
  • Fuel sources
  • Turning gear and starter systems
  • Spin modes
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Air intake, air bleed, cooling and drainage systems
  • Compressor water wash systems

Gas turbine operations and control

  • Control systems
  • Protection systems
  • Operating parameters
  • Operating procedures

Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) plant configuration and operations

  • Diverters
  • Heating elements


  • Cogeneration plants in Australia

The electricity network

  • Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
  • Electricity spot market
  • Transmission and distribution
  • Remote systems

Case studies
Plant operations and control

  • Hazards and the appropriate precautions
  • Control systems
  • Typical elements of plant behaviour
  • Burner management and boiler automatic control systems
  • Plant permissives and interlocks
  • Alarms
  • Plant trends
  • Protection systems
  • Standby plant
  • Power plant thermal performance and controllable losses

Plant maintenance components

  • M aintenance options – essential maintenance vs deferred maintenance
  • Condition monitoring – Typical operator issues and problems – Plant history and engineering solutions
  • Maintenance priorities

Renewable sources of alternative power generation

  • Physical aspects of hydro, wind, solar, geothermal etc.
  • H ow renewable options integrate with conventional power generation
  • Carbon capture and sequestration
  • Environmental licencing and controls

Troubleshooting and error management – evaluating case studies

  • Competent, safe and reliable operation of plant
  • A bnormal plant and process conditions and the associated incident response mechanisms
  • Appreciating inaccuracies with data logging
  • Error management
  • Troubleshooting

Case studies
Preventing incidents in an insightful way

  • C ommunication skills – improving your insight and intuitive skills to approach people in the right way
  • Q uestioning skills – improving your ability to ask the operator relevant, accurate questions that can help improve design efficiencies
  • Providing constructive feedback that’s well received
  • Questions
  • Course review and discussion
  • Practical assignment

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


Still have a question?

Sushil Kunwar
Training Consultant
+61 (0)2 9080 4395

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