Generator control practices are used in the electricity generation sector in various ways. These include adjusting extraction or back-pressure steam control to optimise reuse of steam energy between electricity generation and process use. Monitoring of steam turbine discharge pressure can improve thermodynamic performance to optimise efficiency, power output and net heat rate.

Other controls include operation of individual or multiple units to optimise heat rates, as well as monitoring of turbine performance deterioration and predictive maintenance programs for turbine and condenser.

Sectors and common applications

  • Electricity generation
  • Manufacturing – cogeneration
  • Oil and gas – cogeneration


  • 72.7/100
  • Energy saving across sectors is 175 PJ (2014 estimate).


Indicator Score
1. Energy saving and cost achievement  
1.1 Energy saving 12/15
1.2 Cost effectiveness 7/10
1.3 Prospect 6/10
2. Market contexts  
2.1 Sector energy savings 10/10
2.2 % of Industry $ gross added value 10/10
3. Originality and innovation  
3.1 Originality 6/10
3.2 Innovation 4/10
4. Transferability/replicability
4.1 General applicability 3/5
4.2 Ease of implementation 3/5
4.3 Ability to integrate external resources 4/5
5. Co-benefits
5.1 Environmental 7/7
5.2 Social awareness 1/3


Stanwell Corporation Ltd implemented a reduction in the main steam pressure set point on one of their boilers to reduce throttle losses across turbine control valves. This is estimated to save 154 526 GJ and 12 728 tC02-e per year for the entity. The annual net financial saving was predicted to be $88 900 over a four year period, equivalent to a payback period of less than one year.

OzGen Holdings Australia Pty Ltd has a Millmerran steam cycle design which took drainate from one feed water heater and cascades it down into another feed water heater. The project redirected this flow further downstream, to just before the boiler feed pump suction. Modelling of this process change has shown that at baseload it will increase net output of the unit by 1 MWe with no increase in fuel consumption.

Other companies which have identified generator controls as a source of energy savings include:

For more information, see:

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