Powerstar were engaged to replace a large hospital’s existing Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system with a more efficient, intelligent Battery Energy Storage (BESS) alternative.
Energy Reliability and Resilience
The UK has historically enjoyed a highly reliable power grid, with major disruptions being few and far between. However, a combination of increasing demand for electricity and an increasingly complex mix of generation methods means that the risk of power disruption to businesses is steadily increasing.
The increase of digitisation means that for any business or organisation, the impact of even brief disruptions to your power supply can be very significant. Even momentary dips or surges in voltage can damage or disrupt sensitive equipment and result in lengthy shutdown and restart processes, significantly disrupting your operations and productivity. This is why energy security and reliability is at the forefront of many organisations minds. Ensuring their Energy resilience in the event of a grid outage could save them significant costs which stem from the disruption.
Increased Risk of Disruption
The National Grid have already warned that there is the risk of blackouts for winter 2022/23, and may even be forced to introduce energy rationing in a worst-case scenario. There is no single reason for this, rather we are collectively facing a complex and interconnected range of factors that are impacting on the security of our energy supply.
Rollout of renewables – Wind and solar generation is low-cost, clean and plentiful, and is increasingly becoming the cornerstones of the UK’s generation mix. However, they are inherently inflexible, which brings significant issues when it comes to balancing supply and demand.
We can’t turn the wind or sun up when demand spikes, nor can we turn it down when demand is lower. It’s incredibly important to utilise multiple forms of energy generation to not be too reliant on one source.
Distributed generation – Our National Grid, particularly distribution networks, were designed to deliver electricity from large power stations to end-users. On-site and small-scale, distributed generation puts significant additional strain on local grid infrastructure, that was never designed for complex electricity flows to and from the grid.
Spikes in demand – The electrification of both vehicles and heating is already underway, and will steadily increase over the next decade. These substantially add to our total electricity demand, compounding issues elsewhere and putting further strain on the National Grid. During the winter, spikes in demand are often during the evening when solar generation is minimal, increasing our reliance on volatile gas markets to provide baseload generation.
Download & Read our free Energy Trilemma White Paper: “Tackling the Energy Crisis with Intelligent Infrastructure – How businesses can navigate the Energy Trilemma”
Balancing the Energy Trilemma – Energy Resilience & Reliability
Many businesses and organisations that are reliant on reliable power have already implemented technologies to prevent disruption, such as UPS batteries or diesel generators. While both good at providing emergency and backup power respectively, both do so at the risk of compromising both other aspects of the trilemma. UPS is typically inefficient and adds significantly to your overall energy usage and associated emissions, while diesel generators add significantly to your carbon footprint. Both technologies are an expensive investment for a solution that only operates infrequently when required.
How well some businesses prepare and manage the energy security, and reliability element of the energy trilemma now could be make or break for them in the future
Speak to your team to see how we can help you improve your business’ sustainability and energy security
Related case studies
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Powerstar identified PFF Group’s aging transformers as a a potential power resilience risk, as well as an area where their energy efficiency could be significantly bolstered.
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