Commercial and industrial facilities always come with considerations for handling electrical distribution. You can implement a power distribution system in several ways, depending on the needs of the facility in question. If you're not sure where to start with a power distribution system, here are some of the key design features to keep in mind.
1. Overall Safety and Adherence to Regulations
A power distribution system needs to have a tremendous amount of safety built into the design. You will need to protect your facility and the people in it from any possible electrical hazards.
Safety considerations must include:
- Keeping people safe who use equipment in the facility and outside of it
- Keeping electrically-powered equipment safe for use
- Keeping people safe who must work around or maintain the distribution system
- Keeping the facility safe from power outages and downtime from faulty installation or use
- Keeping the facility safe from the possibility of electrical fires
These considerations will help you stay compliant with state regulations, local regulations, NEC/NFPA codes, standards and OSHA requirements. Following these regulations helps to keep everyone safe. Reputable electrical contractors will adhere to these when designing your distribution system.
However, you may need additional safety options. These options will depend on your facility and how you plan to use electricity. That's why you must discuss safety with your electrical contractor before committing to a power distribution system.
2. Budget for Initial Investment and Maintenance
Your budget is another important consideration. Power distribution systems consist of several components. Each component will vary by price and installation costs. The transformer will probably cost you the most, but it can also save you the most money as well if you purchase a modern, high-quality one.
From there you will need equipment to distribute electricity throughout the facility. That can include switchgear, step-down transformers, electrical panels and other equipment. You will also need to consider maintenance costs. Generally, the more complex your power distribution system, the more you will pay for ongoing maintenance.
Figuring out the best system for your money can become quite a balancing act. You will need to discuss your budget with a professional electrical contractor who will work with you to see how far you can stretch your funds. Just remember that you must consider all possible associated costs, not just the initial installation.
3. Flexibility, Expansion and Service Continuity
No matter how much you pay for your power distribution system and installation, you have to consider the future. Once installed, you won't want to completely revamp or replace it anytime soon. In fact, a power distribution system that allows for some flexibility can grow along with your needs.
Power distribution systems with flexibility allow for a greater level of service continuity. Flexibility can mean redundancy, multiple paths, multiple power sources and other methods to increase distribution capabilities. A flexible power distribution system can serve to reduce or eliminate service outages and also help reduce energy costs.
Work It Out With Professionals
Taking time to work out these considerations can give your facility a power distribution system that can last and perform for years to come. For new construction, it's a good idea to get things right from the start. For existing systems, it's smart to have a professional check to see if you need upgrades or performance improvements.
At Circle Electric, Inc., we can analyze your existing power distribution system or work with you to engineer a new one for your facility. We have the professionals and the experience to handle every aspect of your distribution system. Contact us today to learn more about our services.