The power generation unit is a section of the power plant where electrical generators devices are laid. Generators may be gas or steam turbine and eventually internal combustion engines, but whatever the primary fuel, the electricity generated must be at the same voltage and phase coupled to be channeled to final users. Also purchased energy must be connected to the system and the main reception transformer should be attached to this section, to be linked properly to site distribution lines.
Regarding all previous thoughts about energy efficiency options on power conversion, the same management cautions that are recommended for steam generation, like scheduling and control, quality and reliability, apply here. Concerning continuous power load and peak load, the same strategy used for boilers should be followed for electrical generators. The difference lies in the reliability between generated and purchased power matching priority of electrical process loads.
All electrical power generated and purchased will be distributed by high tension wiring, and segregating the feeder lines by system reliability is an option that calls for safety, continuity and in some extension for efficiency. The more critical and hazardous processes should be connected to the more reliable electrical source while less sensitive and non-potential hazardous areas can allow some sudden stoppage, without bigger consequences.
Efficiencies depend on the operational permanence ofthe generators, so maintaining loads close to design values surely helps optimization of the overall system. And electrical power load variations, together with heat load fluctuations, make achieving and maintaining optimal operational conditions that much more complicated. One energy efficiency opportunity here, is to decide which system assumes really sharp peak loads, either one special and reliable generator or purchased power. Normally, this choice falls to purchased power, if this system is reliable. Depending on regional transmission and distribution characteristics, other decisions may be taken.
As a matter of fact, little can be done to significantly improve energy efficiency at this point, except good operation and management of momentarily best equipment. Nearly all the decisions have already been taken when the equipment was selected and on primary mover operation.
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