6 tips for efficient power plant operations

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power plant operationspower plant operations


6 tips for efficient power plant operations

It’s unfair to expect 100 percent efficiency and productivity from any commercial environment that uses heavy-duty machinery and human resources to complete a job. However, there are many ways in which you can cut costs and reduce environmental impact. But the problem is knowing where to start.

With power plants already struggling to be efficient, the primary objective would be to increase the number of plants available to sustain communities across the globe, which in turn will reduce the expense on the environment itself. But, until that happens, here are six tips for running efficient plant operations:


  • Measure data correctly

When you’re dealing with heavy-duty machinery, you cannot always rely on human opinion. In this case, you will need to invest in an advanced flow management system to help you ensure that systems are running smoothly and according to plan. This system will help you to measure the capacity the plant is running at, the number of chemicals in a specific area of production, as well as an in-depth indication of how much longer the equipment can run at maximum efficiency before having to undergo a shutdown.


  • Make use of technology

Digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) can help to improve the efficiency of operations and ensure that operations are optimised and equipment is being monitored to prevent any downtime that has not been planned for. If employees could make use of artificial solutions to help deliver more accurate results on tasks, it will give management and employees more time to focus on long-term projects, planning ahead to avoid any hiccups along the way. Even if these technologies are not used to make tasks more automated and productive, management can make use of IoT to help reduce the excessive amount of greenhouse gas emissions and the overall effect on the environment at large.


  • Educate your employees

On the back of treating your employees right, you will need to take the time to educate and train your employees in your plant’s operations. Even though the majority of your employees will not be touching on these systems on a daily basis, it’s important to have employees who are skilled in their trade and have a clear understanding of the industry. Should an incident ever occur where an employee is required to go onto the plant, analyse a specific function or unit and report back, employees need to be able to do that. Doing this will show your employees that you appreciate their hard work for your company. As much as machinery and equipment are employed to help do the job, you still need the human resource to assist in day-to-day operations. Look after your employees and give them the tools they need to succeed.


  • Safety is essential  

Safety on-site is an absolute essential when working with heavy-duty machinery that is dangerous. When you train your employees, you need to ensure they’ve undergone a health and safety course so that they are visually aware of their surroundings and know the correct protocol of how to act in certain situations, and how to protect themselves and their fellow colleagues from any accident. When your workers are equipped with the information they need, there will be fewer accidents on-site.


  • Don’t overlook the condenser

Regardless of what your power plant runs on, look into more efficient options to help speed up the process of when the steam is condensed. Research shows that using coating out of graphene could help to improve the condensation heat transfer in generating plants. You will also need to ensure that these condensers are cleaned regularly, as this plays a role in the heat transferability in the cycle.


  • Fuel and water management

In power plant production, you constantly need to monitor water treatment. This is where water treatment companies such as PROXA in Paarl, Cape Town, come in handy. They are able to help reduce contaminants and corrosion in the water and condenser coils. With coal plants particularly, employees need to be trained on how to keep an eye on coal levels while paying attention to the water used in the cycle. Any water used needs to be tested by a specialist, for example, PROXA South Africa, to ensure that the water that is being used for steaming and production is at its purest form for obvious safety reasons stated by PROXA or the relevant company which you choose to work with.


Final thoughts

Whether you’re upgrading your equipment, measuring key metrics or employing the right people to help you manage your plant, there are various ways to improve efficiency. Of course, your profitability depends on your efficiency, so make sure your equipment is well maintained to ensure optimum performance.

power plant operations