The VFD Stand-Alone Trainer
A new and innovative operator training tool has been jointly developed by a major Southeastern utility and Exitech. The “VFD Stand-Alone Trainer” is a “Simulator-In-A-Box” envisioned by the Simulator Support Group at the utility. The device is a replica of the panel being installed to control the new Reactor Recirculation System VFD’s (Variable Frequency Drives) in the plant. This operator training tool is used to train Licensed Operators on the new VFD controls and teach them how the VFD system works.
The VFD Stand-Alone Trainer is a freestanding panel on wheels that can be easily be moved around to different classrooms to facilitate training various operator groups. The new VFD control components are installed in it to mimic the controls installed in the plant control room. The remaining control room panels can be displayed on interactive video screens mounted above the VFD controls. The VFD Stand-Alone Trainer is run by a computer system than can simulate operation of the entire plant, similar to the current Full-Scope Simulator, and can also be hooked up to an overhead display projector to show integrated plant response during classroom presentations demonstrating operation of the VFD’s.
Operator Training is currently taking place using the VFD Stand-Alone Trainer. The training is preparing the Plant Operators to startup and run the newly installed VFD’s equipment in the power plant. It will also be used for continuing training for licensed operators and initial license training of new operators.
A positive side effect of the VFD Standalone Trainer software development & implementation is that issues with the design of the actual plant equipment may be identified. Reviews with plant and vendor personnel resulted in many changes to the actual plant equipment and software, mod/install documentation & plant engineering change documentation for the actual system design (both hardware & software problems were identified by the simulation effort). In several cases, the actual plant equipment would never have worked properly by original design. Multiple prints/drawings, Plant Mod test documentation, and Operating Procedures required revision to function per the design changes that were identified.