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Is poor power quality costing your business money?

You might not even be aware that the power that comes out of your plug sockets and other outlets can vary in quality. It is true that there are strict rules governing the quality of power to ensure that individuals, businesses and organisations receive consistently high levels of power. However, sometimes errors can occur within systems that bring power quality down significantly.

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When power quality drops it can cause issues such as malfunctions with equipment as well as surges, voltage sags and even power outages. Not only can this be frustrating to have to deal with, it can cause a whole range of additional issues, especially if you work with systems that require constant power.

If you are concerned that the power in your building is not up the correct standard you could hire a power quality monitor to check it. The cost of doing so will be offset by the benefit of establishing the quality of your power and then getting the issue resolved. The fact is that if you have poor power quality, it could be costing your business a serious amount of money every year. Here are some of the key factors given by Outram Research in the costs relating to power quality.

Downtime

If your business relies on electrical equipment to do its work then it is vital that you are getting the right power quality. When power quality drops below a certain level it can cause equipment to begin to fail. Naturally when this happens you will experience periods of outage and downtime where you cannot continue to work properly.

Clearly any downtime that low power quality causes your business is going to begin mounting up in cost. How long could your business last without its equipment functioning correctly? Many organisations would begin losing money very quickly during downtime, so it is essential that you get the issue dealt with as quickly as possible to avoid lost working hours in your company.

Equipment issues

There can be many issues relating the costs of equipment problems caused by lower than usual power quality. Aside from the aforementioned cost of downtime to your business generally, it is also true that equipment that runs on low quality power can be damaged. Many pieces of electronic equipment require very specific power levels to work correctly, and when they run on poor power quality it can cause a huge range of problems.

In the worst case scenario, equipment can be damaged to the point that it needs to be replaced. Even if the problems are not so severe, lower power quality can reduce the lifespan of a piece of equipment, meaning that you need to replace it sooner than you would usually. In either case, this is an additional cost that you wouldn’t need to face if the quality of power was at the correct level.

Maintenance

It is also worth pointing out that if you are unaware of the low quality of your power, you will likely assume that the equipment problems are simply the fault of the equipment and spend a significant amount of money on maintenance. Of course, this maintenance will not resolve the issue entirely and this would be a cost that you would likely face again before long.

It may be the case that fixing any power quality issue would require a remedial cost your infrastructure, but doing so would save you the significant ongoing costs of maintenance.

Additional energy cost

Finally, it is worth remembering that poor power quality causes issues such as power spikes as well as affecting the amount of power that is consumed by equipment. Ultimately this will mean that your energy bills will rise to very high levels unnecessarily. If you have found yourself with unexpectedly high energy bills alongside a range of equipment problems, it may well be the case that you have a problem with your power quality. You should take steps to deal with those problems as soon as possible.

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