Energy reliability and availability
Pains & drivers
- In order to avoid unexpected disruptions and damage to sensitive equipment, some businesses require reliable power performance. This is the case for Healthcare: medical equipment reliability is the main concern. It guarantees patient safety, reduces risk of accidents and related penalties.
- In other businesses, like Data-Centers, infrastructure availability is by far the top requirement due to the high cost of downtime. Unplanned interruptions due to electrical system faults or power outages can generate heavy losses for business with critical operations: loss of production, loss of services, dangerous shutdowns, expensive energy intensive restarts, and overall loss of revenue.
- Unfortunately, utilities do not supply electricity at the level of reliability and availability required by many customer applications (refer to recent network failures in Italy or the US). Electrical networks are constantly affected by disturbances. They have to be managed efficiently depending on the acceptable levels of energy interruptions in each area.
How can a customer manage energy more efficiently?
Regular maintenance and modernisation of the electrical network throughout its life cycle is required to efficiently deliver a reliable energy. Electrical asset management refers to all of the activities to achieve these goals at the best cost compromise in 4 improvement plans:
- Maintenance (curative & preventive)
- Modernisation (new design study and retrofit)
- Monitoring (predictive maintenance, harmonic measurement, consumption follow-up)
- Management (information system)
- Quickly track the propagation of disturbances and isolate problem sources is key. ED monitoring, alarming, event logging and Power Quality analysis monitor power quality-related conditions and provide immediate alerts to personnel to impending availability problems. If an event occurs, the solution enables users to quickly trouble shoot the problem and therefore to get their processes back up and running quickly
- By using efficient software, ED network commissioning enable users to start-up/commission their ED System more quickly and with less labour
- How to optimise the infrastructure utilisation? ED asset optimisation easily and automatically generate load profiles that can reveal hidden, unused capacity by building, floor, feeder, zone or equipment (e.g. PDU, rack, machine). It can also provide automated test reports on back up generation equipment which will give users confidence that back up generation will perform in the event of an outage
Architectures and equipment
Either during the design phase or during operation, it is often times necessary to install equipment to mitigate the effects of disturbances (internal or external, constant or occasional):
- Some equipment, such as drives, inverters, Uninterrupted Power Supplies, arc furnaces, transformers, filters and discharge lamps, generate voltage distortion or harmonics. Harmonic filtering reduce and eliminate the harmonics that stress the electrical network, cause outages and potentially reduce equipment reliability and electrical device life span
- For Critical application continuity, you must reduce the impact of power outages, prevent and avoid downtime. Therefore, strategies involving maintaining or ensuring power to critical loads are used. They include critical power architectures based on relevant equipment (back up generation, Uninterrupted Power Supplies, redundant systems). They can be designed and installed by experienced specialists
- Reliability: need equipment and process fully running
- Availability: have non-interrupted energy or acceptable levels of energy interruptions depending on areas