What do Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers Do?

Posted On: May 15, 2018
Power Plant Operators

Energy is one of the main resources of our planet and it is generated from a number of sources such coal, gas, wind, solar and nuclear to name a few. Operators, dispatchers or distributors in power plants control the flow of that energy or electricity to optimize distribution in homes, businesses and other plants. Generally, these professionals are responsible for the following:

  • Reading and understanding charts and energy gauges to determine electricity flows and voltage
  • Take control of machinery that generates power and which utilizes fuel such as natural gas and nuclear power.
  • Make changes in controls to regulate power flow
  • Stop or start generators and other machinery when needed.

The role of power distributors/dispatchers

In power plants the job of a distributor or dispatcher is to manipulate control rods which affect the amount of electricity a reactor generates at a time. They are also responsible for looking over cooling systems, generators, turbines and reactors so that they can start or stop systems when needed. This also includes responding to abnormalities, determining the reasons behind them and taking appropriate action if needed. That data is recorded for future reference.

The role of Operators

As the name implies, operators in power plants are responsible for operating and maintaining equipment or machinery that is used to generate electricity. This includes looking over tools and equipment that can maintain the flow of electricity and its voltage so that consumers can get a steady supply throughout the day. Operators in power plants also look over the control boards to ensure that the generators are getting sufficient power to regulate and streamline output.

In other words, these personnel control and monitor equipment that regulates and distributes energy via data that they acquire from in-house systems. This involves coordination with planners, field personnel, engineers and other workers who are responsible for clearance operations or distribution processes. However, the main responsibility of a distributor is to ensure that all personnel are in control of operations they are tasked with and the equipment they are using for them.

They also coordinate with operators in the control room to start generators and boilers when required. They are also responsible for regulating power flow between power plant components such as substations, users and distribution lines that can maintain the status of different circuits and connections. Distributors also look over control boards to ensure that steam or energy is being generated in sufficient amounts and is being distributed evenly across the power plant. Besides this they also take account of weather conditions that can impact the power plant and the energy it generated. To mitigate risks, they adjust equipment and machinery to account for those changes without losing energy or resources in the bargain. They are also responsible for responding to emergencies that can level the plant such as machine failure or transformer faults. Due to the immense pressure and the sheer number of tasks, a power plant dispatcher and operator can expect to work 40 hours per week.

NERC Continuing Education (CE)

360Training is an online training provider which is the biggest NERC approved trainer for a workforce based in power plants. This includes training for operators, dispatchers and those who are responsible for handling transmission. The NERC CE course is approved by NERC itself and is designed to help students complete the CE hours they need to maintain their certification. If you are unsure as to which categories you should opt for, contact us today and we will guide you. Once the course is complete, your credits will be reported to the RCEP and you will get a completion certificate which you can present to your employer as proof. However, the certification does not involve content that can be seen as an endorsement by the RCEP or the NCEES. Like all courses on 360Training, ISO 14001:2015 Management Overview is designed to be taken completely online so you can take it whenever you can. No need to compromise your schedule or interrupt your workday to get the accreditation you need. Just sign up and start learning as and when you need to. The course is affordable and created by industry experts. Sign up today.

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