Today's changing industrial scenario is evolving into a globalization of economy. Where only a well-managed strong technical base can have the cutting edge over others to maintain a clear superiority. NTPC is the single largest producer of electricity in the country.
Further, it has established itself as a pioneer in the area of operation and maintenance of its power station by adopting most advances and sophisticated technology and simultaneously updating the skill of its plant personnel through training. Power Plant Simulator is the effective tool for operational training.
It gives the feeling of operating a real Power Plant without incurring any generation loss or damaging any plant equipments. It raises the level of proficiency and builds up confidence required to handle emergencies in an actual plant operation. Hence, for training in whole gamut of plant operation, the simulators are becoming indispensable. Here a person is capable of demonstrating his efficiency in a real situation. Feedback shows trainees retention level to attend various emergencies is extremely high.
About the Simulator
We have the 210 MW and 500MW Simulators.
Configuration : Both the Simulators consist of the following major components.
Trainee Station : It is replica of unit control panel of the reference plant. In a simulation environment the trainee operates the control panel, monitors and controls the process parameters and gets a feeling as if one is involved in real plant operation.
Instructor Station : It consists of video display, Key boards, remote control devices required to control all aspect of training activities.
Computer Complex : This is the heart of Simulator. When a command is given either from Trainee Station i.e, Unit Control Panel or Instructor Station, the computer receives it, computes the responses and then transfer it back to Instructor Station/ Trainee Station on a real time basis to represent the changes in process parameters / status as happens in the real plant.
500 MW Simulator : It is configured around two 32 bit Computers (Gould SEL 32/67) consisting of three Central Processing Units with shared memory while Data Acquisition System runs on a separate dedicated Computer which monitors the process and display the parameters in the form of graphics, group display, sequence of event, logs etc. on video monitors.
210 MW Simulator : It is configured around two 32 bit Computers ( Gould SEI 32/77), one is used for simulation and the other for Data Acquisition System.
Computer Interface : The interface has the capacity to handle massive high-speed data between the computer and the Unit Control Board. This helps to produce a real time response on the control panel.
The following features of Simulator facilitate effective Training:
1. Initialisation to predefined plant status from where the training session starts.
2. Freezing of the dynamic simulation programmes at any plant status to facilitate detailed explanation to the trainee at that paticular stage of operation and subsequently resuming from there.
3. Back tracking enables simulation status to traverse all events of operation for past sixty minutes and scans back to any status from there for repeat of operation.
4. Snapshot facility initiates any given plant condition from where training can be commenced providing the flexibility of training.
5. Malfunction insertion with variable degree of severity in process parameters and removal facility encompassing many emergencies in all systems. There are 200 nos. of malfunctions in 210 MW Simulator and 270 nos. in case of 500 MW Simulator.
6. Record and replay of entire day's activities for trainee to learn from observation.
7. Slow mode simulation allows a trainee to see certain critical operation performed in slow mode in order to analyse the sequence of event taking place in a short span of time clearly.
8. Fast mode simulation saves valuable panel time operation under certain plant status e.g. cold soaking of turbine can be achieved in six minutes instead of one hour.
9. Input / output override facility creates the mal operation of instruments or enables instructor to continue the training in the event of some instrumentation failure.
10. Cry wolf alarm is given for creation of false alarm to test trainee 'immediate response.
11. Remote function facilitates the instructor to perform any manual operation like opening, closing of valves which is not possible from control panel.
12. Proficiency review test is provided to assess trainee' capabilities to control important parameters of plant under any operating condition.
13. Computers assisted exercise is designed to enable simulator training session without presence of instructor.
In addition to all these above facilities normal start-up / shut-down, run-back, Automatic Turbine Run-up System, Automatic Turbine Testing, Soot Blowing Video Trend Monitoring of Parameters etc. provide trainee a feeling of working in real plant situation.
In order to maintain the state-of-the-art standard of training, the institute also undertakes the following activities
- Design of need based operating training programme for different level of operating persnnel.
- Exploration of new operation and experiences from several real plant breakdown to upgrade knowledge and skills through software modifications.
- Development of PC based self learning packages which include local lineup of different plant systems and the plant logics operating in interactive modes.
- In- hours software and hardware maintenance facilities for simulators.
Different types of training modules are available to meet the needs of various categories of planr personnel as follows:
1. Operation Familiarisation Course
Objective: To provide procedural hands on- training in order to familiarise the trainee with the basics of power plant operation. Normal start-up/ shutdown, importance of various panel instruments as well as local line up of equipments are stressed upon.
Dedicated to: O & M personnel not working in operation e.g. personnel from electrical Maintenance, Mechanical, Maintenance, Control & Instrumentation, Planning,. Design, Quality and Inspection etc.
2. Basic Operation Course
Objective: To provide comprehensive training on all aspects of power plant operation for trainee to take charge of control desk. Systematic line-up of all the equipment, cold and hot start-up shut-down procedure are studies expensively. Operation of unit injecting wide range of malfunction, judicious mix of lectures and discussions are carried out besides regular panel practice to instill sense of confidence.
Dedicated to: Newly recruited trainee likely to be posted to Operation and personnel working in smaller units likely to switch over either to 210 MW unit operation.
No. of participants: 8 tp 10.
Duration: Two weeks for 210 MW Simulator
Two and half weeks for 500 MW Simulator.
3. Refreshere Training Course
Objective: To refresh knowledge, operation skills and improve upon reflexes of experienced operation personnel. Emergency handling, transient operation, malfunction exercise, performance and efficiency aspects are stressed upon besides normal panel operation coupled with lectures on specialised topics and discussion on critical issues.
Dedicated to: Operation excutives working in the level of desk engineer/ unit controller having minimum three years working experience in desk operation. No of participants: 8 & 10.
Duration: Two weeks.
4. Advance Training Course
Objective: To emphasise on performamance monitoring and effivciency aspects of operation, analyse critical issues by handling various plant emergencies and upon importance of grid disciplane including specialised lectures and group discussion.
Dedicated To: Senior / middle level of shift Charge Engineer, Station Superintendent.
No of participants: 8 & 10.
Duration: one weeks.
5. Management Appreciation Course
Objective: To appraise senior Operation and maintanence executives the facilities and unities of simulators and usefulness to operation staff working under them.
Dedicated To: senior O & M executives.
No of perticipants: 6 to 8.
Duration: Three days.
How Simulator pays off:
Simulator training is a radacal departure from traditional ways of training of plant personnel in the following ways.
1. Training in correct procedure which would help in in reduction of plant start-up time. One hour's reduction in start-up time of a 500 MW unit saves Rs. 0.13 million by means of reduction in oil consumption and profit earned on one hour generation assuming the cost of oil Rs. 7.5 thousand per KL & that of unit rupee one approximately.
2. Training in emergency handling which would help in saving downtime of the plant. One day's saving in downtime saves Rs. 12 million for a 500 MW unit assuming the cost of unit @one rupee approximately.
3. Training for efficiency operation which would help in improvement of overall plant efficiency besides improving upon life expectancy of plant equipment.
One percent increase in efficiency saves the fuel cost by Rs. 23.31 million per year of a 500 MW unit assuming colorfic value of coal 3500 Kcal/Kg @ Rs. 0.35 per Kg approximately.