What is a Hydroelectric Plant Technician?
A hydroelectric plant technician performs many tasks related to water power generation and distribution.
Technicians are responsible for identifying and fixing problems in their area of the plant, as well as communicating their findings with their superiors and subordinates.
What does a Hydroelectric Plant Technician do?
Hydroelectric plant technicians juggle a long list of important duties. They monitor the plant's performance, make minor repairs, and redistribute the work load of the plant's various generators so as to achieve maximum energy generation without damaging anything.
A hydroelectric plant technician must also often install expensive equipment, inspect it and replace, or repair it if necessary. Safety is a major issue at a hydroelectric plant, so technicians must know the approved safety procedures and stringently abide by those rules. Those with managerial or supervisory authority must also verify that everyone working under them is compliant with the posted best practices.
Some hydroelectric plant technicians are responsible for developing or contributing to the company's safety regulations; they may also screen the technicians under them to ensure that they are implementing those regulations. Hydroelectric plant technicians may even be asked to run safety drills and evaluate those drills at other power plants.
What is the workplace of a Hydroelectric Plant Technician like?
As their title implies, hydroelectric plant technicians work at government-run hydroelectric power plants, which generate electricity by using water to crank generator turbines. Technicians will usually be working in high-noise environments, therefore proper protective gear needs to be worn.
They frequently work in areas with significant air pollution (indoors and out); many wear a closed respirator system. Techs must also wear safety glasses or goggles whenever they're around machines with exposed moving parts.
A hydroelectric plant technician may spend the bulk of their time indoors, inspecting various machines and documenting production as it occurs. In many cases, however, technicians are also expected to go outside and physically inspect the water intake mechanisms. Sometimes this can be accomplished from the shoreline, but many techs have to don a wetsuit and run an underwater inspection.
Because power and electricity are so important to the infrastructure of most modern countries, a hydroelectric plant technician may often have to work over forty hours per week. Many are also put on call on a rotating basis; if serious problems arise in the middle of the night, they must be immediately addressed to avoid more expensive damage to the system and prevent power outages.
An increasingly popular related trend is the 'support phone'; a cellular phone passed among technicians according to a monthly or weekly cycle. If a problem develops, plant staff will call the support phone to notify the on-call technician; he or she may be able to talk the caller through a fix or shortcut around the problem, but in many cases must drive to the plant — even in the middle of the night — to make those adjustments personally. The support phone may also be used on weekends, particularly in smaller plants who use a smaller, skeleton crew on Saturdays and Sundays.
Hydroelectric Plant Technicians are also known as:
Hydroelectric Plant Installation Technician Hydroelectric Technician