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Dec 18th 2017

Resilient Electrical Design and Development Considerations

Electrical Design and DevelopmentThe insatiable demands we put on electrical grids are increasing every day. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017) projects that world energy consumption is expected to grow by more than 12 percent through 2040. From a simple video conference on a smartphone to heating, ventilation, AC and lighting controls, businesses and consumers rely on power every day, but those demands don’t stop in the middle of a storm. With the number of weather-related power outages continuing to increase, a resilient electrical design and development for organizations is crucial.

Initial Electrical Design and Development Considerations

Whether for an office building, healthcare facility, retail or residential complex, modern facilities are quickly facing the challenge of increasing electrical loads. It’s important to ensure that the installation process for a building’s electrical design and development is correct from the beginning.

Because, over time, if a system was installed incorrectly, it can start to cause performance deficiencies and problems such as overheating and shorting. This will be particularly apparent as the building capacity grows and loads increase. Therefore, the system’s electrical design and development must be positioned to scale up with advances in technologies and increased user demands to ensure that the electrical system is fully operational for the life of the building.

But, buildings today are facing more extreme elements than ever before. Severe weather is the single leading cause of power outages in the United States and studies show it shows no signs of slowing down.

Resilient electrical design and development services not only help to ensure a facility is set up for immediate use and operates efficiently for the long-term but that it also can withstand harsh weather conditions such as hurricanes, thunderstorms, blizzards, wind storms, and other hazards.

Hurricane Season Highlights Concerns for Reliable Public Safety Communications and Telecom Backup Solutions >>

Resilient Building Designs and Energy Storage Solutions

While the occurrence of these events cannot precisely be predicted, the recent frequency and severity of major natural disasters have demonstrated the urgent need to adopt strategies for high-performance building designs. But the integrity of a building is only one part of the equation. Beyond a building structure, the integrity of electrical systems, such as energy storage and secure microgrids, should also be evaluated.

The storms we have experienced this past year have demonstrated the vulnerability of centralized electric grids, emphasizing the need for modernized systems. According to Energy Manager Today, “The aftermath of hurricanes sweeping the United States is spurring interest in new microgrid development among city officials, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. As a result, localized power grids that can function independently from the main grid are rising in popularity.”

Microgrids are designed to provide access to power when the traditional grid isn’t functional. And since they are not transmitting electricity over a long distance, they don’t require an extensive network, which increases accessibility after a storm. This protection is critical for organizations such as hospitals, police stations and water treatment facilities. Other common classes of microgrids include commercial and industrial, institutional and campus, community and utility, remote off-grid and military.

Unfortunately, super storms are expected to hit more often and more severely. That means preparation is key.

Electrical Design, Development and Installation

As a turnkey electrical design, development and installation company, KMB provides extra insight at the start of each project directly contributing to a more resilient and efficient outcome to keep businesses protected. Using our extensive utility, engineering and construction experience, we provide each of our clients with a unique assessment based on their current and future individual needs.

Contact the KMB electrical engineering experts to find out how we can help your business create a reliable and resilient solution.

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