Making large-scale updates on behalf of a business is no walk in the park — deciding on the best path forward typically requires extensive research, comparison shopping, and expert consultation. The decision to modernize or replace an enterprise electrical system is no exception.
When you’re making such a crucial investment in your company that will affect operations for years to come, you want to get it right the first time. And there will come a time when it’s time to update or upgrade the electrical system keeping your business running. It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.
You want to be on the proactive side, implementing the new equipment you need before there’s a major malfunction or inefficiency. Here’s one example: Switchgear help regulate how much power is flowing through a circuit and where it’s going.
And they contain circuit breakers to help prevent overloads that could damage your appliances and systems. But switchgear won’t last forever; at some point, you’ll need to buy new equipment for your business to ensure safety and efficiency. Here are five questions to ask when you’re shopping around for your next commercial-grade switchgear.
What’s Driving The Decision To Upgrade?
What’s driving your decisions to buy switchgear equipment will affect your purchasing decision. Here are a few reasons businesses may find themselves in the market for new switchgear:
- Your company is physically expanding, adding another industrial or commercial site into the mix.
- Your current electrical equipment, including switchgear, have reached the end of their recommended lifecycle (often 20 to 25 years).
- One or more of your current switchgear has failed following a natural disaster or surge, leaving your business vulnerable to overloads.
- Your organization has expanded to the point your switchgear can no longer keep pace with the system fault level.
As Electrical Review writes, businesses basically have three options: refurbish existing equipment, retrofit current equipment with new technology or replace old switchgear all together. Knowing why you’re doing so will help you choose the best solution for your needs.
How Long Can Switchgear Last?
As mentioned above, the switchgear can last upwards of 20 years — depending, of course, on factors like the level of maintenance received throughout their lifetime. If your business has been around for a few decades and is still running primarily on its original equipment, it’s important to evaluate its functionality before a costly breakdown occurs. You’ll also want to ensure you’re investing in quality switchgear equipment that will last you well into the future.
What Are The Business’s Energy Needs?
The needs of your business will ultimately decide which switchgear equipment is most applicable. As TPC Training notes, an electrical system designed for a commercial building will be used very differently from one that powers a huge industrial site.
Sit down and evaluate your company’s power usage and needs, both present and future. To make an informed choice, you’ll need to gain an understanding of the voltage in your system, both regularly and during a peak-load event.
Which Switchgear Equipment Meets ANSI/IEEE Ratings?
One way to ensure you’re buying quality switchgear equipment that’s up to code is to look for devices that meet or exceed American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ratings. These ratings are a quick way to assess quality in design, testing, and manufacturing.
Which Switchgear Integrate With Intelligence?
Switchgear does more than help protect businesses against expensive and dangerous system failures. Today, they’re capable of providing useful intelligence about the state of your electrical system — information that can help your company maximize efficiency and minimize downtime.
When you’re buying switchgear equipment for your business, you want to choose devices that will meet your needs now and for years to come. Asking these questions can help you work toward the best solution.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.