Reliability and Redundancy for Commercial Electrical System

For homeowners, their electrical system is mostly a luxury. Aside from temperature extremes, a short term power outage will not likely cause any serious problems. However, for business owners, interruptions to their electrical power supply could lead to serious problems. Depending on your margins and how much of the business relies on electricity, electrical interruptions could seriously impact your profitability and even lead to financial insolubility. So, what are your options for decreasing your risk of an electrical accident hurting your bottom line?

The most obvious of solutions for preventing electrical issues is having an electrician upgrade, maintain, and evaluate the current infrastructure. While it is possible that the electrical problem is coming from the power company or your local electrical infrastructure, it could also be an internal electrical failure which causes the problem. Both can be dealt with, but the internal problem can be much more severe. Generators and batteries can allow you to get past power supply problems, but if your own electrical system has flaws, this wont help at all.

Additionally, electrical problems have a huge risk of fire or injury. This is only magnified in commercial settings where the amounts of power being consumed greatly outstrip those used for consumer applications. So, not only do you want to ensure that your electrical system is reliable and will not be interrupted, you need to make sure that you, your employees, and your product is safe from electrical disaster.

When it comes to your systems, step one is for an electrician to regularly upgrade and maintain its components. Wear and tear can happen more quickly than you might realize, and seeing a problem ahead of time can mean that you efficiently and quickly solve the problem. Rather than unpredictable blackouts at inconvenient times, you can get all of your maintenance done quickly, efficiently, and at the best possible time for you. With all materials prepared and no investigative work to be done, your shutdown times can be cut down to the shortest possible. Additionally, technological upgrades which increase efficiency and reliability can pay for themselves extremely quickly in commercial settings. Making sure that you keep your system modern, and that most components are replaced before they fail will help to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises.

However, there will always be some power failures. There is no way to completely ensure that a system will not fail. Therefore, identifying your most critical systems and ensuring that they have redundancy or backups in their power supply will give you the chance to minimize losses when there are power interruptions. This will of course depend on the nature of your business and is a calculation which should be made based on the finances involved. Estimations of the cost of failure for individual components, as well as their rate of failure should give you a good idea of when you will need to build in these redundancies.

Finally, backup power options can save you from blackouts or more widespread electrical issues. So what is the difference between using batteries and using an electrical generator?

Electrical batteries have an incredibly quick response time. If your sensors detect an electrical fluctuation, battery power can be switched on in a fraction of a second. For operations which are critical, having battery banks to keep them running without fail is the best option. However, batteries are expensive and not particularly energy dense. If you want to run things for any period of time, you will need a source of power which will last longer. While batteries are great for providing power in the first few seconds up to perhaps an hour, electrical generators will be much better at providing you longer term power, and in greater quantities. The fuel these generators run on is much more energy dense than batteries, and can therefore store a much greater amount of energy. Additionally, these will typically provide energy much more cheaply.

So if you have systems which will need to keep running during a power outage, investing in generators is a great decision. If you have systems which are incredibly sensitive, or where being off for even a few minutes is unacceptable, you should also install a battery system complete with automatic power control. If you are operating life saving machinery for example, this type of power management system is essential. Imagine if you were in surgery and the hospital lost power. You would certainly hope that they had backup power ready instantly.

As a business owner, your risk management and overall efficiency often govern whether or not your business makes money. One of the best ways for you to ensure that you will be financially stable long term is to daily make small investments which will safeguard you against long term problems.

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