Maintenance turnarounds, electrical power outages and system cutovers are intense times for all of us in the energy sector. The final outcome of any process downtime can make or break a facilities safety record, its efficiency factor, competitiveness and ultimately, the bottom line.
Having an electrical power plan in place to ensure that your electrical infrastructure does not become the reason you do not achieve your desired objectives during these critical outages is essential to the planning process. Making sure that safety and schedule are not impacted by the lack of available power is best done well ahead of time and certainly before team members start showing up to start work! Electrical power plans can also help with the unexpected outage; when restoring power as quickly as possible can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The decision to shut down any equipment is almost always premised on safety and economics. Mangan’s Power and Distribution Group (PDG) have extensive experience in preparing our customers for the challenges that arise when taking electrical infrastructure out of service. Understanding the impact of deenergizing equipment can often involve the simplest of circuits, and how they will affect your overall operations.
With these considerations in mind, the foundation for any reliable electrical power plan is an accurate load study. Making sure that all affected circuits are clearly identified, and that their impact on larger systems is fully understood is always the first step. Relying on existing system drawings can often lead to problems. Undocumented changes or modifications to your electrical systems can expose you to unexpected process problems when you shutdown. For this reason, and based on the accuracy of your drawing packages, we will often times conduct field verification to validate our assumptions prior to finalizing your power plan.
Next is a firm understanding of project scope. The type of activities to be undertaken during your scheduled outage may or may not require additional electrical power. It could be that the equipment being deenergized affects the areas 120/220/440 volt power outlets. Will this affect your teams ability to perform their work during the outage?
If required, the use of temporary portable generators to accomplish shutdown work may be required. Sizing generators correctly and staging them in the right place may seem straight forward, but in reality it can be a very complex task. Making sure that all temporary power cables are properly sized and located as to minimize any safety hazards, is key to your projects success.
Often overlooked when using portable generators is the fact that they represent a portable emissions source. Let Mangan’s experts make sure that all the correct AQMD permits are in hand prior to the start of your work and avoid embarrassing delays.
Another thing to consider when sizing a generator is your required load during the outage versus ‘connected load’. Evaluating which circuits are going to be needed ahead of time can save you significant dollars and space when deciding how big a generator is needed for your work.
Creating a electrical power plan for your turnaround or outage in collaboration with your power supplier/Utility helps ensure that they are included in the planning process well ahead of the event. This can be crucial to starting your project on time and avoiding costly delays
For more information on how the Mangan PDG can help you with your outage and cutover plans, give us a call and one of our experts will be more than happy to schedule a meeting with you or your team.
We believe that our proven processes will help you deliver the best results with regards to your specific outage needs.
Don’t make the mistake of going into an outage without the forethought and planning that is required. Get in touch with us today.