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An Introduction to Power Plant Load Shedding and Cogeneration

J. Paul Guyer, P.E., R.A., Fellow ASCE, Fellow AEI

This course provides an introduction to electric power plant load shedding and cogeneration. When a power plant or an individual power generating unit experiences a gradual increase in load, or a sudden but mild overload, the unit governors will sense the resulting speed change and increase the power input to the generator. The additional load is handled by using the spinning reserve; that is, the unused capacity of the generator. However, if all generators are operating at maximum capacity, the spinning reserve is zero and the governors may not be able to relieve the overload. When severe overloads occur, or when large sudden load increases are experienced, the first effect is a slowing down of the generator. If the overload is large enough or if the governor cannot accommodate the sudden load increase, then speed and frequency will continue to drop until the plant or generating unit is tripped to prevent equipment damage, and the load is lost. Cogeneration is the simultaneous generation of electricity (or mechanical energy) and steam (or other thermal energy such as hot air or hot water) from the same fuel (or energy) source.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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