What comes to mind when you think about making improvements to your residential electric systems? You’d probably start by looking for ways to increase efficiency and cut down on wasted energy consumption — like getting your lights, heat and cooling set up on a timer system. If you live in an older house, you might turn your attention to upgrading certain outdated components to make your home safer and more efficient.
The process is similar when you’re thinking about how to improve commercial or industrial electrical systems. Many of the same principles apply, just on a much bigger scale.
Here are four ways for enterprises to improve their electrical systems.
Work Toward a Proactive Maintenance Strategy
Reactive electrical maintenance involves calling in experts when a piece of equipment fails, or an outage occurs. Proactive electrical maintenance involves planning and optimizing systems as you go along, rather than waiting until a repair is necessary.
The difference between these two strategies can be vast. As TPC Training points out; taking a reactive approach — one lacking electrical planners, central documentation of information on electrical systems and standards for electric schematics — “results in longer down times, expensive repairs and loss of productivity.”
Work instead toward developing an approach that anticipates the need for change ahead of time and makes sure the people and plans are in place to respond accordingly. This will go a long way toward helping your business keep the lights on — literally.
Minimize Mechanical Stress with Soft Starters
Anyone who’s ever seen an operating budget for a commercial or industrial facility knows equipment and maintenance represents a significant investment. So, it behooves organizations to do all they can to keep machinery in good working order for as long as possible.
If your enterprise hasn’t updated its electrical equipment in a while, you may be surprised by the variety of solutions available today.
One example of this is how to reduce wear and tear on machines with soft starters. These devices reduce mechanical stress on equipment with electric motors. Instead of allowing equipment to “roar to life” at full voltage, soft starters increase current gradually — which in turn spins motors up more gently.
Automate Energy Management for Efficiency
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, an average of 30 percent of the energy consumed by commercial buildings is wasted. This presents a real opportunity for facilities managers to tighten up energy usage. It’s simple: Your company only wants to pay for the power it uses. Automating the management of your facility can help you make sure the lights are only on when they need to be, so to speak. Automation can also help companies reduce their environmental impact.
Harness Internet of Things Applications
There are billions of devices now making up the Internet of Things (IoT). Business Insider projects there will be more than 64 billion IoT-enabled devices by 2025, an increase from 10 billion in 2018.
Chances are your business already has a few hundred or thousand devices capable of communicating with each other and centralized monitoring systems in real time — or will in the near future. The more data you can gather about how each component of your overall electrical system is working, the better you can finetune their performance. Keep learning about new ways IoT-connected devices can provide the information necessary to optimize your energy usage. Keep pushing for innovations to make your utilities “smarter” over time.
Looking to improve your commercial or industrial electrical systems?
Start with these four strategies: boosting IoT connectivity, automating facility management, making targeted improvements to your equipment and becoming proactive about the maintenance of your equipment.