Basic Power Plant Efficiency

Learning objectives

  • Identify 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
  • Describe how heat rate is affected by key plant parameters known as controllable losses
  • Describe the roles of operations, maintenance, engineering and plant management in the plant heat rate program

Course overview

A power plant burns fuel such as coal, oil, or gas in a boiler to make steam. The steam turns a turbine which is connected to an electric generator. The electrical energy generated is then sold to customers.

A power plant can lose energy in many places during this process. Knowing where the losses will be and how much is acceptable is vital to effective power plant operations.

The Basic Power Plant Efficiency training course explains the relationship between energy, work, and efficiency. It describes how the boiler, turbine cycle, and generator comprise heat rate, which is the term used to express power plant efficiency. It discusses how power plant losses know as controllable losses affect heat rate. Finally, it covers the roles of operations, maintenance, engineering, and plant management in the plant heat rate program.

This course includes:

  • Main plant components
  • Power plant efficiency terms
  • Performance parameters
  • Workgroup responsibilities

Basic Power Plant Efficiency is part of the Efficiency, Reliability, and Environmentally Sensitive Operations training series.

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