You already know why you need a power system analysis at your plant, but what about actually executing the project. There a three basic way to approach getting a power system analysis completed:
- Completely In-House
- Completely contracted out
- Hybrid of both
These have their pros and cons, and depending on the size and complexity of your company and system the method that is chosen may be obvious. Below is a brief description of each method, including a couple pros and cons of each.
When you complete the power system analysis in-house, you will have the advantage of being in complete control of the end study, and as a company you will have a better understanding of the status of the power system as a hole. This is one of the less talked about advantages of having a power system analysis prepared, it gives you the opportunity to double check all your drawings and understand any oddities throughout.
Completing the power system analysis in-house assumes you have the resources within your team, including
- Skills – Someone has done these before and knows how to do this one
- Tools – The necessary software is in-house and there are staff trained in using it.
- Time – There are resources to complete all five steps to get it done.
When you outsource the power system analysis to your favorite consultant, it can be a simple matter of writing up a scope and walking away.
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This will greatly reduce the drain on internal resources, now you only need to monitor a contract and review the reports. However, when you do this you also lose some control and add to the monetary cost of the project greatly.
In summary, outsourcing the project will likely reduce you direct input greatly, while increasing the project cost.
3. Hybrid Model
A hybrid model is one that keeps your involvement high, while outsourcing the project parts that you don’t have the resources to complete, whether its time or skills. For example, assume that your company has the resources to gather all the data for the project, but doesn’t have the necessary software or anyone available that has experience in preparing a power system analysis. In this case you could outsource the model development, studies and report (steps 3-5) and prepare the scope and gather the data using company resources (steps 1 and 2).
This model has the advantage of ensuring that the data used in the analysis is accurate to site conditions as your personnel will know the site better than anyone, the cost will be kept under control as data gathering is one of the most tedious and expensive parts of the project when completed by an outside resource, and the study results and recommendations will be accurate and actionable because you had an experienced consultant prepare them for you.
The hybrid model allows the power system analysis project execution to be:
- Good input data – know one knows the facility better than the people who operate it day in and out
- Cost Effective – consultants doing what they do best, and company resources gather the necessary data
- Accurate and Actionable – experienced consultants who have the tools, and training can provide the best report.
What we think
In most cases we will always recommend some type of hybrid model, but the split will always be different and dependent on the resources of the company that we have engaged with to complete the analysis. By using a hybrid model you will be able to leverage our strengths in power system modelling and analysis to produce a great product, while using your internal resources to gather the necessary input data to keep the costs low (and value high) without sacrificing quality.
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