Power plant operation and maintenance are the single most important consideration for all electricity consumers. This is because in the absence of proper maintenance, electricity plants can cause more harm to people and the environment than they cause when operated properly. There are several safety precautions that power plants have to take in order to prevent accidents, but without proper maintenance, these precautions cannot be rendered effective.
For instance, a power plant operating at full capacity produces more greenhouse gas than it uses. It is due to this that it has to undergo regular maintenance activities like pressure flushing and carbon filtration. Carbon filtration prevents chemical reactions that can result in the absorption of acid into the water that runs through the plant. Flushing prevents build-up of pollutants in the cooling water and prevents the separation of salt from the rest of the water that eventually makes its way out into the ocean. Each of these maintenance activities is vital for the safety of the people working near the power plant.
The importance of maintenance can never be understated. If there were no such activities, then the operation of commercial power plants and construction of renewable energy plants would come to a complete standstill. Safety measures such as closed circuit TV camera coverage, mass notification, personal alarms, emergency telephones, and infrared emergency lights are just some of the security measures taken up for preventing accidents and further damage to properties. All these measures are essential in preventing sabotage of any kind and therefore, it is essential for maintenance.
Power plant operators and managers have to conduct regular inspections of the entire site. The inspection should include a thorough examination of the infrastructure, the controls, and other facilities present at the power plants. Maintenance activities during the development phase of commercial operations include the replacement of defective parts, the repair of defective machinery, and the modification of work procedures to improve efficiency. After the development phase, the operator still has to conduct inspections on a regular basis. These inspections help ensure that the maintenance activities are efficient and effective in providing the desired services to customers.
During the development phase, the operator has to conduct regular monitoring of the condition of various components and systems present at the power plant. The most critical components at the plant include turbine blades, transformers, generators, electrical generating equipment, control circuits, motors, as well as other components. Regular monitoring helps prevent failures and serious damages which may lead to severe interruptions in the production process. An important part of the maintenance activities includes the testing of various machinery and equipment to check their working condition and efficiency. Any potential malfunction can be identified before it causes an unexpected incident and thus, prevents the probability of a catastrophic accident at the plant.
A power station comprises a complex set of mechanical and electrically-powered equipment. Most of these components require frequent servicing and they may break down if not maintained properly. Even though electricity is the main source of power for most plants, mechanical systems such as fans, pumps, and cranes also contribute in maintaining a safe environment. It is therefore essential to employ the best possible equipment in performing all possible maintenance activities.
Some power plants are now utilizing automatic machinery in performing maintenance services. This has reduced the workload of the operators and thereby reduced costs. This automated machinery allows maintenance services to be completed more efficiently. This also reduces redundant tasks that are automatically performed by the machinery. Maintenance costs are generally high and the automated machinery greatly reduces these costs. Since most power plants are located in remote areas where there is no access to skilled personnel, it is imperative to hire the best available equipment to perform maintenance services in a timely manner.
One can easily reduce the maintenance cost by employing proper tools and equipment in conjunction with preventive maintenance practices. The combined cycle plants are also considered to be one of the efficient ways to produce electricity without emitting dangerous gasses. These types of power generation plants are very similar to wind turbines except for the fact that they utilize steam turbines as opposed to wind turbines. There is a great demand for qualified technicians who are knowledgeable about both the combined cycle plants and the nuclear power plants. Such experts can offer accurate advice on power plant operations and maintenance and increase the efficiency of the operation.