OP304 – Power Plant Performance for Operators

OP304 – Power Plant Performance for Operators

3 days - 21 PDH Credits Awarded



How can we improve overall plant performance?  You may consider boiler improvements, turbine cycle improvements, control system upgrades, or auxiliary power reductions.  The word improvement is interesting as it implies capital investment, significant budgets and a lot of planning.  One might consider a more immediate return on one’s investment by investing in operating personnel.  We find it interesting when we encounter a plant that is talking of major capital investment to improve overall efficiency, when in that plant, there remains a considerable amount of waste, waste that is a result of inattentiveness or lack of understanding of important heat rate concepts.  Invest in operations personnel (first) by increasing their awareness of how operational decisions can and do affect overall plant performance.  Improve plant heat rate!  Reduce controllable losses!  Do so through greater operator knowledge of the power plant cycle with emphasis on factors influencing efficiency. This course is intended for operations, maintenance, and persons in supervisory roles that can benefit from day to day operations by opening up different ways of looking at the operating plant and what is causing efficiency losses.  HPC presents this course as an open-enrollment (you come to us) session, on-site (at your place) presentations, and can customize course materials to your specific plant. A topical outline includes discussion on Thermodynamics (what should be a review), Controlling Boiler Losses, Controlling Turbine Losses, Controlling Heat Exchanger Losses, and Controlling Condenser Losses.


At the completion of this course the participant will be able to:
  1. Describe the thermodynamic processes involved with each component in the power plant cycle.
  2. State the function of each component in the thermodynamic cycle.
  3. Describe the different types of heat transfer and state where each type is used in the cycle.
  4. Define the terms entropy, enthalpy, superheat, latent heat, and sensible heat.
  5. State the major losses associated with the boiler with emphasis on how operating decisions can reduce these losses.
  6. State the major losses associated with the steam turbine with emphasis on how operating decisions can reduce these losses.
  7. State the heat transfer equations that apply to the various power plant heat exchangers.
  8. State the effects of various changes on heat exchanger performance.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Thermodynamic Review: Power Plant Cycle, Steam and Water Properties, Energy, Heat Transfer, Gross Heat Rate, Net Heat Rate
  3. Controlling Boiler Losses: Steam Generator Theory, Steam Generator Construction, Affect of Fuel Quality, Affect of Excess Air, Affect of Exit Gas Temperature, Affect of Attemperation, Combustion Losses, What is in Operator Control
  4. Controlling Turbine Losses: Turbine Theory, Expansion and Nozzles, Turbine Stages, Turbine Construction, Turbine Losses (Heat Balance, Working Curves, Correction Factor Curves, Other Losses), Operator Control (High Backpressure Causes/Corrections and Steam Admission Mode)
  5. Heat Exchanger Performance: Heat Transfer Theory, Relationships, Heat Transfer Equation, Condensers (Theory, Support Systems, Factors Affecting Performance), Feedwater Heaters (Closed FW Heater Theory, Closed FW Heater Construction, Factors Affecting Performance), Deaerator (Deaerator Theory, Deaerator Construction, Factors Affecting Performance)

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, OP304, Power Plant Performance for Operators.
  2. A "Certificate of Completion"

Power Plant operator Certification

This 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.