Residential power environments face more strain than ever. The pandemic has forced workers into home offices, sent students into literal “homerooms,” yet also seen many consumers shift their disposable income toward expensive electrical equipment and smart home upgrades.
As the burden on vulnerable power environments increases, so too may the occurrence of power anomalies in the form of swells, sags, surges, brownouts and everything in between. These issues can have detrimental effects on the lifespan and performance of sensitive equipment and can also lead to inconvenient blackouts or lockups.
These power problems are of course an issue of power quality, rather than power availability, but for homeowners unfamiliar with the difference, all they will see is failing performance from their equipment. Unaware that the power is the problem, their ire may turn to the custom integrators who sold and installed their equipment.
To head off such frustrations, cut down on superfluous and costly truck rolls, and bolster their reputation with consumers, integrators should deploy power conditioning and remote monitoring in tandem.
Power Conditioning & Protection Fueled by Data Analysis
Disruptions in the performance of electrical equipment in residential settings are something homeowners rarely consider ahead of time because such disruptions are uncommonly experienced in commercial settings. That is because as a commercial property, the building has likely been analyzed by a power conditioning system to identify potential issues and managers likely integrated power solutions to resolve them.
It is not that the office has perfect power – such a thing does not exist – but rather that the office has proper power management. Integrators ought to employ the same strategies in residential settings to keep homeowners’ power quality adhering to the smooth sinewave electrical engineers love to see.
But how does power conditioning play out in practice? First, integrators will want to conduct a power environment analysis using a power conditioning system. This process is simple and only requires a technician to plug in a tool that needs to remain in place for a month or so.
The system will provide power protection and conditioning as it runs, and once its month of data is collected, technicians are able to reach conclusions about the likely causes of power equipment disturbances and which technologies can best alleviate them.
Depending on the needs of the power environment, the proper power management solutions will change, but the standard style of solution typically needed is one that will measure electrical parameters, including voltage, current, power, frequency, power factor and crest factor, while also providing advanced surge protection and power conditioning in an appropriately sized form factor.
A variety of these products exist but integrators will want to be sure the one they choose eliminates surge, rather than simply redirecting it, as those products are notoriously temperamental – an unwelcome trait when consistency is the goal.
Remote Monitoring & Control Even More Powerful Amid Pandemic
While implementing power conditioning solutions in residential settings will eliminate many of the power problems a glitchy grid can cause, issues may still arise. If the integrator has enabled remote monitoring of the homeowners’ power infrastructure and equipment however, they will be able to identify the issue in no time, in many cases before the homeowners themselves even realize anything is wrong.
Remote monitoring saves the time of scouring the system for errors while also allowing technicians to service systems without actually having to physically assess the equipment. This reduction of physical service calls is more important now than ever, given understandable consumer trepidation of breaching quarantine to welcome a technician into their home.
The more traditional burdens of physical service visits are present still, too. For both consumers and integrators, truck rolls are inordinately costly, they interrupt traditional daily routines, and they take time to actually resolve issues. Prior to the implementation of remotely controllable power management solutions, technicians could lose an entire day on a truck roll just to unplug something and plug it back in.
With their jobs more difficult than ever before, integrators need every advantage they can find to streamline service, keep customers calm, and eliminate issues. Implementing power management solutions and remote monitoring tools in tandem is an affordable and efficient way to achieve this goal. Their time, money, and reputation may just depend on it.
Author Lauren Simmen is Director of Marketing at AMETEK SurgeX.