Efficiency, Reliability, and Environmentally Sensitive Operations Training

563-01 Basic Power Plant Efficiency

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to explain the relationship between energy, work and efficiency. Heat rate, the term used to express power plant efficiency will be part of your vocabulary. You will be able to explain how the boiler, turbine cycle, and generator comprise plant heat rate. You will be able to explain how heat rate is affected by key plant parameters known as performance parameters. Finally, you will be able to explain the roles of operations, maintenance, engineering, and plant management in the plant heat rate program.

  • Explain the relationship between energy, work, and efficiency
  • Describe the relationship between gross heat rate, net unit heat rate, and design heat rate
  • Describe typical efficiencies of the three main parts of a power plant: the boiler, turbine cycle, and generator; and the role they play in overall plant efficiency.
  • Explain how heat rate is affected by key plant parameters known as performance parameters
  • Explain the roles of operations, maintenance, engineering, and plant management in the plant heat rate program

563-02 Water and Steam Terms and Principles

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to explain the relationship between energy, temperature, and the phases of water. You will also be able to describe the concept and importance of latent heat, the heat associated with phase changes of water without a temperature change. Given the weights of both steam and liquid water in a vessel, you will be able to calculate quality and moisture content. You will be able to explain the relationship of a subcooled liquid, saturated liquid, saturated steam, latent heat of vaporization, and superheated steam on a provided temperature/enthalpy diagram.

  • Explain the relationship between energy, heat, and phase changes of water
  • Define terms associated with water as heat is added and removed. For example:
    • Subcooled liquid
    • Saturated liquid
    • Saturated steam
    • Quality
    • Moisture content
    • Superheated steam
  • Explain the relationship between operating boiler pressure and the ability of the boiler to utilize natural circulation
  • Describe the concept of the critical point, supercritical fluid, and the benefits of operating at such high pressure

563-03 Heat Transfer Principles

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to state the primary parameter that causes heat transfer. You will be able to explain the three types of heat transfer and the characteristics of them. You will also be able to describe conditions and problems that negatively affect proper heat transfer. Finally, you will be able to determine heat transfer rate given operating parameters in heat transfer equipment.

  • Define heat transfer
  • State the parameter that causes heat transfer
  • Explain the three forms of heat transfer
  • List problems that can hinder proper heat transfer in equipment designed to transfer heat
  • Given operating parameters in heat transfer equipment, calculate the rate of heat transfer

563-04 Laws and Principles of Thermodynamics

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to explain thermodynamics. You will also be able to describe thermodynamic terms in your own words. You will also be able to explain the relationship of thermodynamic principles to plant efficiency.

  • Define thermodynamics in your own words
  • Explain the thermodynamic properties of steam and water as they pertain to a power plant
  • Describe the thermodynamic laws in your own words
  • Given appropriate parameter values, plot basic power plant processes on either a temperature/enthalpy or enthalpy/entropy chart
  • Explain what happens to related thermodynamic parameters through common power processes and equipment

563-05 Performance Parameters

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to list several key operating parameters that affect efficiency. You will also be able to describe in your own words problems that can prevent key operating parameters from being operated at optimum level. You will be able to calculate the approximate extra fuel cost associated with operating a key performance parameter off design value.

  • Describe net unit heat rate in your own words
  • List several key operating parameters that affect net unit heat rate
  • Describe in your own words problems that can prevent key operating parameters from being operated at optimum level
  • Given industry average data, calculate the approximate effect on net unit heat rate when a key operating parameter is operated off the design value
  • Given appropriate supporting data, calculate the approximate extra fuel cost associated with operating a key performance parameter off of design value

563-06 Balancing Efficiency, Availability, Capability and Flexibility

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to explain efficiency, capability, flexibility, and availability in your own words. You will be able to describe the concept of economic dispatch. You will also be able to discuss running and shutdown reserves and the reasons they are important.

  • Explain the concepts of economic dispatch
  • List the two reserve categories. Explain their importance
  • Discuss Power Plant unit efficiency especially concerning how it fits into economic dispatch
  • Explain the importance of maintaining power plant unit capability as high as feasible
  • List and discuss the components of power plant unit flexibility especially concerning their importance in economic dispatch
  • Discuss the importance of power plant units being available when needed

563-07 Instrumentation and Controls

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to explain the basic operation of a boiler-following instrumentation and control system. You will be able to describe the effects when actual parameter values are different than what is indicated. You will also be able to explain common responses to instrumentation and control problems.

  • Explain the basic operation of a boiler-following instrumentation and control system
  • Describe the effects on efficiency and/or availability when actual parameter values are different than what is indicated
  • List common systems and parameters controlled by generating unit instrumentation and control systems
  • In your own words, describe how a control system responds when it receives an erroneous signal from an instrument such a thermocouple
  • Explain common operator responses to instrumentation and control problems

563-08 Boiler Efficiency

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to describe boiler efficiency and explain how it is determined. You will be able to discuss the major factors that can cause an increase or decrease in boiler efficiency.

  • Identify parameters that influence boiler efficiency and describe their effect
  • Discuss problems that can reduce proper heat transfer in boiler components
  • Explain what is meant by the term “boiler envelope”
  • Explain the input/output method of determining boiler efficiency and list the associated inputs and outputs
  • Explain the heat loss method of determining boiler efficiency and list the associated losses
  • List the main boiler components and describe problems that can decrease their efficiency

563-09 Boiler Reliability

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to explain the importance of maintaining proper boiler parameters. You will also be able to identify several things that can decrease a boiler’s reliability.

  • Describe why controlling steam temperatures and pressure, drum level, and flow are vital to maintaining boiler reliability
  • Identify the effects of flow, level, and heat-up/cooldown rates on boiler reliability
  • Explain how operating outside established chemistry parameters can quickly reduce a boiler’s reliability
  • Describe key operational steps to help protect boilers during start-up and shutdown
  • List common permissives that must be met before a fire can be ignited in a boiler
  • Explain how tube leaks can affect boiler reliability

563-10 Turbine Efficiency

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to explain how to calculate turbine efficiency. You will also be able to describe how parameters, components, and problems can affect turbine efficiency.

  • Explain the two methods of calculating turbine efficiency
  • Describe how each of the following affects turbine efficiency:
    • Chemical deposits and internal erosion
    • Internal and external seal leakage
    • Variations in steam temperature and pressure
    • Backpressure
    • Attemperation spray flow
    • Extraction steam flow
  • Explain how control valves can be the source of a loss that is typically attributed to the turbine

563-11 Condenser Efficiency

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to explain how to evaluate and maintain condenser efficiency.

  • Identify the roles of key parameters associated with condenser efficiency
  • Describe the main energy flows into and out of the condenser
  • Explain how to calculate condenser efficiency
  • Identify the terms of the general heat transfer equation as it applies to a condenser
  • Use a condenser performance curve and condenser operating parameters to determine if condenser efficiency is satisfactory
  • Use condenser pump selection curves and condenser operating parameters to determine the optimal number of circulation water pumps
  • Explain the relationship between back pressure, turbine exhaust temperature, and condenser problems

563-12 Condenser Operation and Reliability

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to describe methods of troubleshooting condensers and identify symptoms of several problems that can negatively affect condenser reliability. You will also be able to discuss methods of remedying specific condenser problems and optimizing operational performance.

  • Describe the symptoms of these problems that reduce the effective heat transfer area of an operating condenser:
    • Air in-leakage
    • Problems with air removal equipment
    • High hotwell levels
    • Improperly vented waterboxes
    • Blocked or plugged tubes
  • Describe the symptoms of these problems that reduce the heat transfer coefficient of a condenser:
    • Scaling
    • Micro-fouling
    • Dirt, debris, and sludge
    • Oxidation and rust
  • Describe the symptoms of these problems that increase average circulating water temperature of an operating condenser:
    • Overloading
    • Insufficient circulating water flow
    • High circulating water inlet temperature
  • Given a condenser pump selection curves and condenser operating parameters, determine the optimum number of circulation water pumps to run

563-13 Feedwater Heater Operation and Efficiency

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to describe feedwater heater operations and discuss problems that affect performance.

  • Describe the normal operations of a feedwater heater
  • Identify problems commonly associated with feedwater heaters and describe how they affect unit efficiency and reliability
  • Discuss the following methods of evaluating feedwater heater performance.
    • Feedwater heater temperature rise
    • Drain Cooler Approach (DCA)
    • Terminal Temperature Difference (TTD)

563-14 Pump Efficiency and Reliability

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to describe commonly used pumps and discuss their maintenance.

  • Describe the two major classifications of pumps and discuss their primary applications
  • Define the following terms associated with pump operation:
    • Capacity
    • Head
    • Power
    • Efficiency
  • Describe basic operating and maintenance techniques used to keep pumps operating efficiently and reliably
  • Define net positive suction head (NPSH) and describe the relationship between available and required NPSH
  • Given pump curves associated with a given pump, determine associated operating parameters for various pump operating capacities
  • List and explain the pump laws

563-15 Environmentally Sensitive Operations

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to discuss a power plant’s potential environmental impacts and describe methods to minimize them.

  • Explain the relationship between power plant unit efficiency and environmental impact
  • List some categories of environmental impact associated with power plants
  • Discuss the negative and positive effects of greenhouse gases
  • Identify the environmental effects of improper boiler combustion
  • Define the following terms as they apply to boiler combustion:
    • Greenhouse gases
    • Incomplete combustion
    • Nox
  • Describe methods of removing environmentally unfriendly substances from boiler flue gas