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Power Engineering Technology

Prepare to meet technical demands and take responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of a variety of plant and building systems.

A man in a blue NSCC shirt and yellow NSCC hard hat stands in front of a large piece of equipment and writes on a clipboard.
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

Breweries, dairies, refineries, thermal generating stations, pulp and paper plants, hospitals, universities, rinks and refrigeration plants – these are just some of the major industries that rely on a Power Engineer to safely operate and maintain their power equipment.

Your training in this field prepares you for the technical demands of, and responsibility for, the safe and efficient operation of a wide variety of facilities: power, high- and low-pressure steam systems, refrigeration, natural gas and air compressor plants.

Work experience

  • Work placements are scheduled in the spring term of both first and second year. Employers, as co-educators, provide learning opportunities beyond the bounds of the classroom, giving you a well-rounded education, enriched by practical application.
  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two. Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time work placements that last 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Other info

  • Requirements for eligibility to write the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education Technical Safety Division 3rd and 4th class examinations:
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Industrial safety standards require that you have adequate vision and colour perception to operate safely, in the shop and in the occupational field, while performing tasks of the trade.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Akerley Campus Dartmouth Full time In-class Seats available
Marconi Campus Sydney Full time In-class Seats available
Strait Area Campus Port Hawkesbury Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including Academic Grade 12 Math and Academic Grade 11 Physics.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • Advanced Standing – Students who have achieved Power Engineer 4th Class certification are eligible for advanced standing. To be considered, you must apply to and meet the Admission Requirements for the Power Engineering Technology program. Advanced Standing is based on academic credits (certificate/diploma/ degree/industry certification) completed from a recognized public institution within the past ten years that meet the Academic Requirements of the full first year of the program. Advanced Standing is subject to seat availability.
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic and Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.
  • A current, official Criminal Record check is required to complete work placements (such as field work, internships, co-ops) in this program. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,620
Tuition (International):
$11,690

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • After successfully challenging Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education Technical Safety Division certification, graduates may find employment in various boiler plants, thermal power generating stations, processing plants, pulp and paper plants, oil refineries, breweries, industrial plants, as well as heating and air conditioning plants found in hospitals, universities and schools.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Future study options

  • This program is a first step towards certification in the Power Engineering trade. To become certified, you must register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). Once registered, you can transfer credit from this program towards your apprenticeship.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

COMM 1250 - Plant Communications I
This course offers an overview of communication skills required for work in a plant environment. Learners practice reading and research techniques, interpret legal and procedural documents, analyze common drawings and sketches, and review the verbal and written communication skills necessary for work in the industry.

COMM 1251 - Plant Communications II
The fundamentals of clear, concise writing and presenting are reviewed and refined. Learners develop skills in organizing, writing and presenting technical information. In addition, career development skills and portfolio preparation are discussed. Students learn how to collect appropriate work samples and documentation.

COMM 2245 - Technical Communications II
This course focuses on the interpersonal, written and oral technical communication skills necessary for working independently and as part of a team in a technical environment. Further skill development in written forms of technical documentation required for the workplace as well as report creation and oral presentation skills will continue to be emphasized. Team building principles, group dynamics and collaborative writing will be discussed. Students will participate in meetings and take responsibilities in a group project from its inception to completion and evaluation. Students will continue to enhance and apply their research skills and project management principles will also be introduced. Successful job interviews and the portfolio will be discussed.

PETG 1008 - Power Operations and Maintenance Lab I
Learners will have the opportunity to perform lab projects while safely being introduced to a variety of hand tools. Plant maintenance and equipment tasks such as gauge glass replacement, flue gas analysis and various piping procedures will be carried out. This course will provide the learner with a basis for safety and environmental awareness of power plant and boiler operation. Learners will experience startup and shutdown of a firetube boiler with emphasis on operation of equipment and their functions in the plant cycle. Logging of plant parameters will be carried out.

PETG 1066 - Prime Movers, Lube, Maintenance
This course presents the fundamentals of operation and proper care of steam driven equipment, pumps, compressors and internal combustion engines. The learner will become knowledgeable in the areas of steam engine, steam turbine, pump and compressor startup and shutdown. The need for good maintenance practices, lubrication and lay-up of equipment is also presented so the equipment will operate trouble-free.

PETG 1067 - Math, Mechanics and Thermodynamics
This course includes a review of basic applied mathematics with an introduction to the physical sciences, applied mechanics and thermodynamics. The learners will perform arithmetic operations involving metric conversions, integers, fractions, decimals and per cent, areas, volumes, ratios and proportions. Mechanics introduces the learner to the theory and calculations relative to work, power, energy, mechanical advantage, vectors, velocity and acceleration, forces, pressure, friction, stress and strain, and power transmission. Thermodynamics examines the nature and conversion of heat. Topics include the thermodynamic laws, temperature measuring devices, change of state, properties of steam including an introduction to the steam tables.

PETG 1070 - Power Operations and Maintenance Lab II
Learners will have the opportunity to perform lab projects while safely being introduced to a variety of hand and power tools. Plant maintenance and equipment tasks such as gasket making, valve and steam trap maintenance are performed along with a variety of lab operations. Learners will also be required to practice lockout procedures for equipment and components in accordance with Nova Scotia provincial regulations. This course will provide the learner with safety and environmental awareness of power plant and boiler operation. Learners will experience startup and shutdown of condensing and non-condensing turbines along with auxiliary components in the operation of turbines. Remote start up, operation and shut down are also covered in this lab.

PETG 1072 - Electricity, Instrumentation, Plants
This course covers the fundamentals of electricity from types of current to distribution systems, as well as instrumentation controls, computer applications and process plants (gas, oil, pulp). Learners will gain knowledge needed to comprehend instrument and controls that are an integral part of these plants.

PETG 1074 - Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
This course examines equipment, fittings and controls for vapour compression and absorption refrigeration systems. The learner will learn startup, operation, shutdown and maintenance requirements for industrial and air conditioning applications.

PETG 1075 - Power Operations and Maintenance Lab III
Learners will perform lab projects while utilizing plant maintenance and equipment procedures such as repair and replacement of equipment components. Wet lay-up procedures are described and carried out in the lab environment. This course will provide the learner with a continuation of safety and environmental awareness of power plant and boiler operation. Learners will experience boilers/controls, steam condensate, pumps, pressure valves and boiler operations.

PETG 1076 - Applied Mechanics
This course examines mathematical concepts including algebraic operations, logarithms, trigonometry and problem solving. Mechanics investigates problems including forces and friction, work, power, and energy, linear and angular motion, strength of materials, bending of beams, simple machines, pressure, density, and flow. Learners will enhance their skills and knowledge base used to solve problems encountered in power plant operation.

PETG 1077 - Thermodynamics and Applied Science
Thermodynamics is the branch of physics that deals with heat and the conversion of heat into other forms of energy or visa versa. The power engineer is involved in heat transfer in many ways: the burning of fuel in a boiler to change water to steam, the burning of fuel in an internal combustion engine or even the withdrawal of heat from a substance to be cooled as in the case of refrigeration. Applied sciences include the fundamental principles of chemistry, the applications and developments of materials and the formation and methods of corrosion control.

PETG 1078 - Safety, Codes, Combustion, Piping
Pursuant to the certificate level program, this course examines industrial legislation including codes, acts and regulations related to Power Engineering. Fuels, combustion and flue gas analysis are covered. Piping systems, steam traps and separators as well as valves and actuators are also examined. Occupational Health and Safety, WHMIS and fire protection are also included in this course. The learner should be able to enhance their skills and knowledge base used in routine power plant operation and maintenance.

PETG 1079 - Electrotechnology
This course examines electrical theory and circuits, AC and DC machines, safety, systems and switchgear. Instrumentation investigates measurement and control of pressure, temperature, level and flow as applied to power plants. Various control systems and strategies are also covered.

PETG 1081 - Power Operations and Maintenance Lab IV
Learners will perform various lab projects while utilizing plant maintenance and equipment procedures such as fire tube boilers, feed water systems, steam turbines and auxiliary equipment. This course will provide the learner with a continuation of safety and environmental awareness of power plant and boiler operation. Learners will experience boilers/controls, steam condensate, pumps, pressure valves and boiler operations.

PETG 1082 - Boilers
This course examines details of watertube boiler design, construction and heat transfer components. High-pressure boiler fittings, burner systems, draft and flue gas equipment, and boiler control systems are included in this course. Learners should be able to enhance their skills and knowledge base in routine boiler operation.

PETG 1083 - Boiler Operations, Water Treatment, Pumps, Welding
This course examines details of boiler commissioning, operation, lay-up, cleaning and water treatment. Power plant pumps, welding, and construction of pressure vessels are included in this course. Learners should be able to enhance their skills and knowledge base in routine operation and maintenance of high-pressure steam plants.

PETG 1084 - Prime Movers
Pursuant to the certificate level program, this course examines construction and operation details of the steam turbine and auxiliaries. The gas turbine and internal combustion engine as well as methods of cogeneration are included in this course. Learners should be able to enhance their skills and knowledge base in routine operation of steam turbines and other prime movers.

PETG 1085 - Air Compression, Refrigeration, Auxiliary Systems
Pursuant to the certificate level program, this course examines construction, operation and maintenance details of positive displacement and dynamic air compressors. The construction and operation of vapor-compression, centrifugal and absorption refrigeration systems are included in this course. Lubrication principles, construction and maintenance of bearings are also covered. The learner should be able to enhance their skills and knowledge base in routine operation of auxiliary power plant systems.

PETG 1086 - Work Experience II
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply 3rd class Power Engineering skills and concepts appropriate for entry level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

PETG 1087 - High Pressure Boilers I
This course presents the fundamentals of boiler design types, construction, fittings, combustion, as well as operational fundamentals. Additionally, the learner is introduced to welding equipment and methodology, as well as piping, piping components and piping systems. A comprehensive overview of valves is provided.

PETG 1088 - High Pressure Boilers II
This course offers an in-depth examination of boiler safety devices, boiler operations, water treatment and energy plant maintenance.

PETG 1089 - Safety, Codes, Environment
This course provides learners with an overview of the Power Engineering profession and the regulations by which it is governed. Relevant codes and standards are discussed, along with plant safety practices and procedures. The course also examines the relationship between the environment and plant operation, and covers methods used to monitor and control gaseous, solid, liquid, and noise pollutants.

PETG 1100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply skills and concepts appropriate for entry level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Introduction to Fall Arrest and Protection
The learner is introduced to fall protection, fall prevention and fall arrest concepts and responsibilities at the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed and the learner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the use of selected equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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