For some time now, it is felt that in this age of “Information Technology and Automation” the traditional engineering knowledge is getting neglected which is otherwise equally important to ensure the smooth operation of Power Plant. Though the impressive advancement of automation with the support of information Technology has no doubt made it simpler to operate the plant, there is a visible shift in the plant operation community to rely more on "SEEN" phenomenon than the " UNDERSTAND " aspect which by the way is not their fault. The present methods of training and knowledge sharing on need to know basis is largely responsible for it. No doubt, Automation & Plant operation are totally interdependent but the vital difference between the seen & Understand phenomenon cannot be ignored. The totality of a Power Plant involves a multitude of subjects & Lack of knowledge/understanding in any one of these subjects may tell upon heavily the plant performance.
It is a known issue that many of the existing Power plants both from utility and captive segments are not running at their best potential partly due to operator’s inadequate knowledge and partly due to original design faults emanating from designer’s lack of experience. Both of these must be tackled firmly to improve & optimize the overall plant performance.
Added to this is the acute pollution problem and impending water crisis particularly for many fossil fuel plants, where even a small improvement of heat rate will help both water conservation and limiting emission of pollutants. Going for some radical shift of technology may offer greater help.
Therefore, this is the time for Industry / OEMs / EPC / Consultants / O&M sector to facilitate an in-depth training for their personnel from design, operation &maintenance.Sadly, there are very few Experts with in depth knowledge who can really impart the serious training to them.