21 Jan 2020

How can load on demand make your construction project more efficient?

5 reasons you should consider load-on-demand generators
 
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How can load on demand make your construction project more efficient?

Efficiency is important to any project, not least to those in construction. Contractors and project managers have to make sure they achieve maximum productivity at the same time as ensuring there is little to no waste or expense. With pressure on keeping costs low, meeting tight deadlines, maintaining equipment, and more recently limiting environmental impact, the need for solutions to help contractors improve efficiency onsite is now more vital than ever. In this article we explore how load on demand generator systems can be a key contributor to improved efficiency in construction projects.

From an effective workforce to suitable and reliable equipment, there are many aspects of a construction project that contractors must consider to make sure efficiency is at its best. However, it isn’t only a case of getting the project finished on time and at low cost. There is increased pressure on project managers to consider the energy efficiency of their work as well as its environmental impact.

Environmental impact of all activity in our cities is a central focus for government groups, and the potential health risks caused by poor air quality are driving initiatives to reduce emissions across the Australia. Yet it isn’t just the emissions from our cars being scrutinised, nor the emissions from air travel and the production of energy. Construction has also been thrust into the spotlight as a key cause of air pollution, particularly in large cities and densely populated urban areas.

With this in mind, it is unsurprising that construction sites and the equipment used on them, such as mechanised plant for transportation, levelling, earthworks, lifting compacting and mixing, are in the spotlight when it comes to air pollution. Innovative technology in the construction industry currently is able to alleviate some of the impact construction sites have on their surroundings. On top of developments being made with mechanical plant and their emissions, there are revolutionary innovations being made for powering construction projects in a more environmentally friendly way.

 

THE EFFECTS ON POWER EQUIPMENT

Energy in construction is vital for the different processes within a project. This usually comes from diesel, electricity, petrol or gas sources, with mechanical plant taking up most of the diesel usage, with other smaller tools and equipment using electricity.

Demolition, transportation, excavation and hoisting are just some of these highly energy-intensive processes. It is important for project managers to ensure they have carefully considered not only the timing and cost efficiency of these processes within their project, but also the effect that energy production has on the overall efficiency of the project, including fuel consumption and its effect on the environment.

While construction managers are under huge pressure to reduce costs, value-engineering projects can result in lucrative works being powered by a single, inefficient and over-specified generator. They therefore must consider solutions that not only keep their equipment running efficiently, but also ensure the efficiency of power production.

 

WHAT IS LOAD ON DEMAND?

With consistent pressure to lower costs, reduce emissions and increase efficiency, project managers can make use of load on demand generator systems. 

Load on demand power solutions replace a large, constantly operating generator with a group of smaller generators, which can power up or down automatically according to demand onsite. The flexibility contractors get from this solution allows for consistent onsite power that keeps up with usage fluctuations throughout each process of the project. This bespoke generator set-up also boosts overall resilience, as two or more smaller generators share the power burden instead of one large unit.

For instance, if a site requires a total peak output of 1500kVA, it is possible to use three smaller 500kVA generators together to achieve this output when the site is operating at full capacity. When the demand for power fluctuates and this reduces to lower than 500 kVA, two of the generators can power down when not required. This also ensures that there is an uninterrupted, reliable power supply for the whole construction site that is consistent no matter how the power demand changes.

By having two generators powering down, construction sites employing load on demand power systems can save money on the fuel that is no longer wasted through a large generator constantly operating at full capacity. On top of this, reducing the number of generators in operation during periods of downtime means harmful emissions are reduced.

 

EFFICIENT MAINTENANCE

It isn’t just lower emissions making load on demand systems a viable option for construction sites. Multiple generators allowing for uninterrupted power output mean no workers are left standing around onsite waiting for an overworked, larger generator to be fixed. If one generator needs maintenance, it can be fixed while the others continue to power the site, avoiding extra costs from wages and from time penalties. 

In order to facilitate this more efficient way of powering a site, Aggreko Remote Monitoring (ARM) is a 24/7 remote monitoring system that allows engineers to identify any issues and advise onsite workers on how to resolve them, as well as track any larger issues that control centre engineers can quickly dispatch people to sites to rectify.

Construction projects are under more pressure than ever to be completed quickly, incur lower costs and not affect the environment that they are taking place in. Some of this pressure could be taken off of the contactors if they use load on demand systems such as these.

With the improved efficiency afforded by this reliable and flexible powering system, contractors have an effective solution for ensuring a large part of their project is at its most efficient for cost, fuel, time and environmental impact, avoiding any penalties for time delays or environmental infringement. This in turn will ensure that the company retains a positive image and reputation in such a time where construction is in the spotlight for its effects on the general public.

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