Power infrastructure is responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. In geographies where electrification happened almost a century ago, the demand for electrical consumption has way exceeded reserved capacity. This puts strain on an already stressed and aging electrical set up of public utilities like waste-water management and critical institutions like hospitals, laboratories, or educational centres. Many a time poor electrical infrastructure is power thirsty, increasing capacity charges imposed by the supply companies.
Modernisation of electrical infrastructure that is long past its life expectancy is a herculean task. Not only cost and resource intensive, it requires strategic planning for sequential phase out and replacement by robust electrical products and applications. The issue coupled with frequent natural disasters makes it more pressing. To cope with the needs for the future, it is important that electrical setups are renovated. With high quality yet affordable products outdated electrical setup can be replaced cost efficiently.
A balancing act in such a situation is to renovate the aging infrastructure through value engineered electrical products. Value engineering in a very basic definition is strategy to design features, systems, equipment along with material selection to achieve essential function and enhance result often optimising cost in aspects which are not directly related to the value of the product.
For example, value engineering considers alternative designs to optimise the expected cost/worth ratio while keeping the desired performance, quality, reliability and safety. This allows greater savings and a faster change of direction which can be a feasible strategy to renovate aging electrical infrastructure.
At sites where renovation of obsolete electric transmission infrastructure is required, we are not only dealing with old grid, but also ‘way past their life’ panels, feeders, switchgear, and wires. Rather seeing this as a crisis, authorities in utilities must consider the opportunity in utilising value engineered components wherever possible.
Optimising capital investment
Value engineered electrical products have less cost from the products that are not. This saving can optimise capital investment, making the overhaul readily scalable. The world is adopting to new models of power distribution and cost saving is key to flexibility.
For example, we are moving farther away from the model where power was generated in a fossil fuel plant far from the consumer site. Now with innovations like solar panels consumer site is also a point of power generation. Hence, even at consumer level the electrical setup needs to be flexible enough to support newer models like decentralized power distribution.
Investing in value engineered low voltage and final distribution electrical products can optimise this massive capital expenditure at residential and industrial sites. This will supplement the drive to consumer acceptance of the cost of large-scale modernisation.
For large electrical infrastructures maintenance is a considerable bill. With low performance, failures, accidents and incidents, maintenance becomes more of holding up and less of continual improvement.
Through value engineered electrical products utilities and public institutions can enhance safety and reliability of assets. In long term this leads to optimised maintenance. With certified and quality assured electrical products it is easier to meet the regulatory contractual, and operational obligations that are often critical for utilities and facilities.
In addition, value engineered electrical products allow faster balance between preventive (new asset) and corrective maintenance (maintenance of commissioned asset) leading to optimised level of total maintenance cost and improved system reliability performance.
Getting ready for future
Reliability has been a critical issue among electric utilities and public institutions for several decades. Modernization is more than mere replacement of what is already there and price tag. It is about how well the power distribution can be improved to meet the new demands from electrification and increasing supply of renewable power. Both – increasing electrification and scaling up of electrical infrastructure, galvanise the need for reliable electrical products. With value engineered electrical products, multi-objective modernization can be achieved economically and faster.
Himel is an award-winning global manufacturer and supplier of electric products for Low Voltage Power Distribution, Final Distribution, Power Management, Motor Control and Protection, Industrial Components, and Home Electric offers. With a footprint in 50+ countries—Himel is a leader in value-engineered electric products for residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Explore About Himel at https://www.himel.com/