Latest News

Don’t let Summer power outages affect your process

Eaton has released a ‘how to’ guide for Australian businesses about securing their electricity from power outages during Summer, which is the peak season for disturbances on the Australian electricity grid, according to the company.

Disturbances to power supply can be especially troubling for process lines and manufacturing plants where continual and solid power is necessary.

Disturbances can be caused by high winds, bushfires, lightning, fallen trees and heavy rains, with the power distribution equipment, both inside and outside an installation, susceptible to power fluctuations as a result of the hot weather.

According to Eaton, the demand for and reliance upon electricity has far outstripped the ability of the public suppliers to deliver it. Moreover, many power outages occur inside the average Australian installation.

“It’s not a case of if an outage will happen, but when and for how long you must ensure your business can not only continue to operate and serve its customers but also minimise the potential for damage caused by lightning and other power quality problems,” said Eaton general manager, power quality, Michael Mallia.

Eaton offers these tips to prevent or minimise the effects of outages:

1. Ensure your backup power supply is ready. If your business depends on continuous supply of electricity, it possibly already employs some sort of backup power, such as UPS and battery banks.

2. Install surge protection equipment. Surges don’t only originate through a direct strike of lightning. In the majority of cases, the surge propagates through the electrical distribution and telecommunication lines into a building. The installation of appropriately rated surge suppression equipment can greatly reduce the damage caused in the eventuality of a surge.

3. Ensure that your electrical infrastructure is in good condition. During summer, your installation will be submitted to excessive stress due to unexpected power fluctuations and higher temperature and humidity

4. Have an emergency plan. As the reliability of the electrical supply is impaired during summer, it is important that your installation is prepared do take the necessary action in the event of power problems, especially in case your infrastructure requires manual operation of backup equipment.

5. Prepare a list of emergency service providers. Contacting your electricity supplier during an outage is of little avail, as the supplier will work to restore power according to its own priorities, which may not include your business or location; also, they are unable to help if the problem is present inside your installation. Therefore, it is important to have a list of service providers and suppliers with 24/7 response that can be readily available on site.

6. Perform an emergency system test. Given most equipment is tested on a standalone manner, even if your equipment is well maintained, it is possible that the equipment may not perform during emergency situations.

“A few simple steps can help organisations prepare for the upcoming season and avoid the headaches caused by weather-related power quality problems,” said Mallia.

Send this to a friend