The good O&M practices at thermal power stations have significance not only in terms of achieving high levels of performance parameters but also for ensuring the good health of the equipment at the power stations. Over the years, the power stations show deterioration in their performance due to ageing factor. The conditions of such power plants get further deteriorated if proper O&M practices are not followed in their operation. Improved O&M practices are also needed to sustain performance of rehabilitated power plants. Improving performance through interventions aimed at strengthening of O&M practices coupled with required R&M interventions is the quick and least cost alternative for augmenting the availability of power. This requires multiple interventions across various aspects including people, technology, process and infrastructure etc
Most of the state sector power utilities display a wide spectrum of operational practices in India having critical gaps in several key operational areas heading to reduce plant performance including efficiency, generation and availability. There is significant scope for improving overall performance of the underperforming State run power plants through strengthening of their O&M practices. Such O&M strengthening practices include various aspects like technology, O&M planning, conditional monitoring, preventive maintenance, O&M procedure, enhancement in technical and managerial skills of O&M personnel and infrastructure / facilities improvement.
In India, the overall efficiency of coal-based power plants ranges from 28 per cent to 35 per cent, depending on factors like plant size, operational practices used and the capacity utilisation factor. For optimum performance, the upkeep of all components and equipment should be strictly in compliance with the operations and maintenance (O&M) manuals and guidelines provided by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). However, when plants have operated machines for as long as they have in India, they develop their own experience and exposure, which they use with future equipment.
Over the years, without proper O&M practices, power plant equipment and performance has deteriorated. Therefore, the adoption of effective O&M practices has become particularly relevant for sustaining the performance of rehabilitated power plants.