OP101 – Power Plant Fundamentals

OP101 – Power Plant Fundamentals

3 days - 21 PDH Credits Awarded



This course targets two specific audiences:
  1. Those personnel who are just entering the power plant industry. For you, this initial experience can be overwhelming, and this course is designed such at the conclusion the relationship of components to the generation of electrical power will make sense.
  2. Those personnel who have worked at the power plant, perhaps experienced at their jobs, but have a need to put the equipment in perspective. As an example, it could be maintenance personnel who would appreciate better understanding why this particular pump is so vital to placing the unit in service.
The course is oriented so it follows the four phases of the steam cycle: Generation, Expansion, Condensation and Feed.  The process as well as machinery is explained.   The result will be a clear understanding of what takes place in a power plant and why.  Topics include: Introduction to Steam Power Plants • Fuels and Combustion • Boilers • Combustion Air • Flue Gas • Ash Handling • Air Pollution Controls • Circulating Water • Steam • Condensate • Feedwater • Turbine • Generator • Gas Turbines • Electrical Distribution • Water Treatment • Industrial Waste


It is the overall objective of this course to familiarize personnel with the operational design of a modern fossil fueled power plant. At the completion of this course the participant will be able to:
  1. Describe the phases of a basic steam cycle, including; Generation, Expansion, Condensation and Feed
  2. Identify the components in each phase of the basic steam cycle.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the theory of operation of each identified component of the basic steam cycle.
  4. Describe the flow of a drop of water/steam through the cycle and describe what happens in each phase.
  5. List the major mechanical components found in a power plant.
  6. For each listed major components, describe how each component relates to the basic steam cycle.

Course Outline

  1. Overview of the Steam Cycle: Generation, Expansion, Condensation, Feed
  2. Generation Phase: Boiler Theory, Basic Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Properties of Water, Circulation, Types of Boilers, Types of Fuels and Combustion Theory, Saturated and Superheated Steam Tables, Boiler Operation
  3. Expansion Phase: Turbine Theory, Impulse vs. Reaction, Condensing vs. Non-Condensing, Reheat vs. Non-Reheat, Single Flow vs. Multi-Flow, Extraction vs. Non-Extraction, Steam Turbine Operation
  4. Condensation Phase: Condensation Theory, Types of Heat Exchangers, Cooling Towers, Condensate Pumps, Low Pressure Feedwater Heaters, Steam Traps, Make-up Water System
  5. Feed Phase: Feed Pumps, HP Feedwater Heaters, Deaerators, Economizers, Basic Water Chemistry
  6. Connection of the Steam Cycle Phases -- Trace a Drop Through the Basic Steam Cycle

Course Dates / Location / Fee

See www.hpcnet.com for detail on the course dates / locations / and registration fees. HPC’s 3-4-2 policy applies:  Sign up 3 for the same course/date, pay in advance, and pay for only 2 (the 3rd participant is free)! HPC Technical Services reserves the right to cancel any course/seminar within 10-working days of the scheduled date.  Fees are 100% refunded or credited to another Seminar (clients' choice) if HPC should cancel any Seminar.  HPC is not responsible for non-refundable airline tickets or other travel expenses under any circumstance.


All HPC instructors are educated ‘experts’ on the subjects they teach, with years of relevant hands-on experience (typically 20+ years), and have proven instructional skills. Brief resumes can be looked up on HPC’s website, www.hpcnet.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will HPC Technical Services bring this course to our location for our personnel only? YES, call or email Stephen Parker, stparker@hpcnet.com for a price quotation.
  • Will HPC Technical Services customize the presentation at our site to suit our particular needs?
  • Is HPC Technical Services' textbook available for purchase as a reference document?   $95 + S&H.
  • What is the cost for HPC Technical Service to deliver this course at our location? Well, of course that can vary, but generally speaking, if you're planning on having 6+ attend, when considering your T&L, it is to your advantage to perform the course at your plant (office).  You gain from the customization and price.
  • Can HPC Technical Services provide "Technical Assistance" in conducting functional checkouts or troubleshooting problems? Yes we can.  Call or contact Harold Parker, hparker@hpcnet.com for our rate sheets and any further information required.                                                                                      

What you will receive

  1. 1 copy of HPC Technical Services' textbook, OP101, Power Plant Fundamentals.
  2. A "Certificate of Completion"

Power Plant Operator Certification

This course is one of the courses required for Power Plant Operator Certification. Those who attend this course are automatically qualified to take HPC Technical Services' Certification Examination.  This examination is offered at no additional expense to the participant.  An 80% passing grade is required.  The examination length will not exceed 2-hours.  Those who complete this examination will receive a revised "certificate of completion" that recognizes this accomplishment along with two-copies of a "To Whom It May Concern" letter that states their accomplishment.  (Two copies are provided, one for the participants' employer and one for the participants' personal file.)  Consult HPC's website, www.hpcnet.com, for detail on this certification program.