Profession fossil-fuel power plant operator

Fossil-fuel power plant operators operate and maintain industrial equipment, such as generators, turbines and boilers, that provides electricity produced from fossil fuels like natural gas or coal. They ensure the safety of operations and that the equipment complies with legislation. They may also work in combined cycle power plants which use heat recovery systems to recover exhaust heat from one operation and activate steam turbines.

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Personality Type

  • Enterprising / Realistic
  • Realistic / Conventional
  • Realistic / Investigative

Knowledge

  • Electric generators

    The principles and operations of devices that can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, such as dynamos and alternators, rotors, stators, armatures, and fields.

  • Fossil-fuel power plant operations

    The different steps in the production of electricity using fossil fuels and the function of all the components of the required equipment such as boilers, turbines and generators.

  • Electric current

    Flow of electric charge, carried by electrons or ions in a medium such as an electrolyte or a plasma.

  • Electrical power safety regulations

    The compliance with safety measures which need to be taken during the installation, operation, and maintenance of constructions and equipment which function in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electrical power, such as the appropriate safety gear, equipment handling procedures, and preventive actions.

  • Mechanics

    Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.

  • Electricity

    Understand the principles of electricity and electrical power circuits, as well as the associated risks.

Skills

  • Monitor electric generators

    Monitor the operation of electric generators in power stations in order to ensure functionality and safety, and to identify need for repairs and maintenance.

  • Control steam flows

    Admit steam through lines or fuel to furnace to heat drier.

  • Regulate steam pressure

    Regulate steam pressure and temperatures according to specifications.

  • Apply health and safety standards

    Adhere to standards of hygiene and safety established by respective authorities.

  • Operate boiler

    Operate sealed vessels which contain fluids which are heated or vaporised, not always up to boiling, for heating or power generation, such as in utilities. Ensure safe procedures by monitoring the blower auxiliary equipment closely during operations, and identifying faults and risks.

  • Maintain electrical equipment

    Test electrical equipment for malfunctions. Take safety measures, company guidelines, and legislation concerning electrical equipment into account. Clean, repair and replace parts and connections as required.

  • Operate steam turbine

    Operate equipment which uses thermal energy, extracted from pressurised steam, to generate rotary motion. Ensure that the turbine is balanced, and operates according to safety regulations and legislation, by monitoring the equipment during operations.

  • Monitor utility equipment

    Monitor equipment which provides utility services such as power, heat, refrigeration, and steam, in order to ensure they are functional, operate according to regulations, and to check for faults.

Optional knowledge and skills

maintain system logs resolve equipment malfunctions ensure safety in electrical power operations ensure compliance with environmental legislation respond to emergency calls for repairs respond to electrical power contingencies maintain records of maintenance interventions read engineering drawings report on production results liaise with engineers electricity consumption operate gas turbines replace large components fossil fuels coordinate electricity generation natural gas ensure compliance with electricity distribution schedule advise on equipment maintenance operate ash handling equipment train employees close circuit breaker tend compressor engine perform minor repairs to equipment arrange equipment repairs