Power plants are essential to every city in America. Without them, we wouldn’t have the energy to warm our homes or run our businesses. While these facilities operate efficiently, they aren’t immune to unique industry problems.
Plant managers work tirelessly to solve common problems in their power generation facilities. From safety concerns to faulty hardware, professionals must get creative to resolve issues. Whether you’re looking to join the industry or simply curious, here are some frequent concerns you can expect.
Power plants rely on specialized heavy machinery to do most of the work. Generators, transformers, and motors are more sensitive than they appear. Equipment malfunctions occur when machines get old or fall victim to a poor maintenance routine.
A good turbine generator maintenance plan will increase the longevity of your unique equipment. However, old machines are often worth less than their repair fees. In such a situation, it’s better to invest in a high-quality replacement than try to make ancient machinery work.
Safety is another common problem in power generation facilities. Employees work with combustible materials, electricity, and large machines daily. All of these things can harm anyone on or around the work floor.
Combustion turbines get hot quickly and may be explosive hazards. Electric sparks cause severe burns and can even start fires. Plant managers can mitigate risks by encouraging frequent breaks, investing in personal protective equipment, and mandating frequent training refreshers.
Power generation relies on non-renewable resources like oil and coal. However, an increased focus on renewable energy sources forces industry professionals to rethink their processes. Now that these establishments are under the scrutiny of agencies like the EPA, plant managers must find ways to operate sustainably.
Fortunately, advancements in science and technology have produced cleaner ways to generate power. Wind energy and solar power are growing in popularity, as are concepts like hydropower and biomass energy. We’ve even found ways to harness hydrogen from water to operate combustion turbines. However, the problems lie in expenses and making this new technology work with older machines.
Even with these issues, the power industry can offer a fulfilling career to the right person. As technology improves and sciences become clearer, power plants will become safer and more efficient places to work.